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Many drivers turn off their air-con over the winter months. However, there are many good reasons for keeping your car’s air-con switched on.

use aircon in winter

And don’t worry, air-con isn’t just for staying cool. You’ll still be able to maintain a comfortable temperature in your vehicle.

By keeping the air-con turned on, you can prevent issues occurring with the system and maintain your car in optimum condition. Here’s why we recommend you run your air-con system during winter.

Demist your windows in damp conditions

Your air-con system can be used to circulate warm air, which is a great way to demist your windows in the colder, wetter weather.

As the air coming out of the vents is dry, it acts as a dehumidifier. Using your air-con will eliminate moisture from the air and help to keep your windscreen and windows free from steam and frost.

Stop bacteria and mould from forming

If you don’t use your air-con for a while, then mould and bacteria can grow in the air vents. This will result in a musty smell emanating from the vents.

If this happens, you should use an anti-bacterial cleaning product to try and remove the mould, and you'll need to change the cabin filter.

Keep your air-conditioning system in good condition

Your air-con system is filled with refrigerant and oils. It helps to keep these liquids flowing so that all components of the unit stay lubricated.

If you don’t use your air-con, poor circulation could cause it to seize up. If lubricant doesn’t reach moving parts, then you could end up with leaky seals and expensive repairs. For instance, oil seals drying out could lead to compressor failure or refrigerant loss.

If you haven’t run the system for a while, try turning it on full-cold for about ten minutes to allow the coolant to circulate through the system to lubricate the rubber seals and pipework.

Don’t run air-con with your windows open

When your air-con is running, close your windows to keep the air inside the car at a moderate temperature. It’s not economical to travel too far with your windows open and the air-con turned on.
It’s true that your air-con does put some additional load on the engine, taking up a little more fuel. However, by opening windows, you increase drag. This slows the car down and increases the amount of fuel it needs to run. Therefore, your best bet is to close the windows and let the air-con system do its work.

Avoid expensive repairs

Replacing the air-conditioning system in your car can be costly. But if you keep it well maintained, which means using it regularly, there’s no reason for it to go wrong.

But if your air-con is left unused for six months, the capacity could decrease by as much as 30%. However, consistent use during winter months will keep it charged and working at its optimum level.

Are you looking for reliable car maintenance and servicing?

We offer car servicing, maintenance and repairs for all makes and models of vehicles including classic and vintage cars. We can arrange free collection and delivery if you live near our Fleet or Dogmersfield service centres.  To book your car in please visit or call 01252 615657.


Chatter Alley 
RG27 8SS

Hesters Garage

Upper Street
GU51 3PE


St James Road
GU51 3QH

VW Autos

St James Road
GU51 3QH