Automobile air conditioning units are susceptible to bacterial growth which can damage the system itself as well as your health. Below are some best practices that can help drivers remove bacteria from car A/C. Typical signs that you have a problem with bacteria in the A/C include poor airflow from the vents, difficulty breathing, allergies, coughing or sneezing combined with an unpleasant odor.
Clean Your Air Filter or Replace It
Mold and bacteria will often grow on the air filter. Depending on how much is present, you’ll want to start by trying to clean it, but if this is not effective it is best to remove the filter completely and replace it with a newer one. Many auto experts recommend changing the air filter every twenty-four months.
Use Antibacterial Solution
There are numerous products on the market which are designed to kill both bacteria and mold. Many of these products come in the form of a spray that has to be applied directly to the A/C, but be sure to follow the directions on the label. Most solutions take between thirty and sixty minutes to work and during that time you shouldn’t operate the vehicle or sit inside it.
Cleanup The Vents
Air flows through the vents and is one of the most common sites for bacterial or mildew accumulation. The good news is that they are simple to clean; all you need is a cloth that is fresh and has been soaked in baking soda or vinegar. It will do a great job of cleaning up the vents and unlike the air filter, you shouldn’t have to replace them.
Hiring A Professional
While some drivers are content to manually remove bacteria from the A/C system themselves, there are others that lack the time or inclination. In this case, it is highly recommended to hire a professional. They have the tools and knowledge to totally remove the mildew and mold to ensure that your car smells good and the cabin air is breathable.
How Can A/C Bacteria Growth Be Prevented?
Preventing bacteria or mold from accumulating in your vehicle’s A/C unit is best. The first step in doing this is to always keep the interior of your car clean, removing all rubbish while washing down and changing the floor mats periodically. We’ve all seen or met people who do not clean their cars and such vehicles are always susceptible to bacterial growth.
Even those that don’t frequently use their vehicle should still wipe down the vents and activate the A/C for at least ten minutes each week. It is also important to turn on your A/C during winter even though the weather is cold because when the air conditioning remains off for months at a time this increases the likelihood of developing mildew. You should already be getting your A/C inspected once a year anyway as this will help you catch problems in advance, both bacterial and those involving other mechanical issues. The sooner you detect and get the problem resolved the better.