Bacteria in your car air conditioner
by Jamie Ruf
It’s 4 PM on a stinking hot summer day, and you’re on your way home from the office. Looking outside, your air conditioned car never felt so good. The cool air rushing over your face in stark contrast to the obviously increasing heat on the other side of your windows.
Then the smell hits you … it’s musty and foul.
A car's air conditioning system can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, microorganisms, mould and fungi. This generally results in an unpleasant odour, but can be a serious a health concern, especially for sufferers of asthma and allergies. A modern car’s air conditioning system is very conducive the growth of bacteria. Because of condensation that gathers on the evaporator coil design.
It has been suggested that running your defroster for a few minutes post use will dry out the evaporator, but there’s little you can do about your car’s design.
Once the bacteria has grown, the air passes over the evaporator picking up particles of this waste before entering the car’s cabin through the air conditioning vents. As mentioned above, you’ll smell it before you see it.
The smell is generally strongest after a period of resting the system and can seem to lessen after a few minutes of use. You should be aware this is generally due to the occupants sense of smell acclimatising, not the smell subduing. The bacteria would still very much be in the air.
Such is the prevalence of medical conditions caused by situations like this, they’ve been given a name; Sick Car Syndrome.
Symptoms of Sick Car Syndrome include:
- Running nose
- Itchy and/or watery eyes
- Flu like symptoms
Don’t worry, there are ways to prevent bacteria and mould from building up in your air conditioning system. By using your air conditioning weekly (for at least 10 minutes), running the defrost setting after long periods of use and most importantly, having the system serviced regularly.
Sure, spraying air freshener is easy, but it is just a temporary solution for a far bigger problem. A quick service is the healthier and safer choice for you and your passengers and the only real solution to solving the problem.
So next time you notice an unpleasant odour coming from your air conditioning, don’t reach for the air freshener, let a professional check it out for you.
Get rid of those horrible smells now and get a healthier A/C system! Keepin' Cool has the latest Cliplight Ozone machine to carry out this service. Takes only 20 minutes to perform either on its own or in addition to a full A/C service. So make an appointment to see us today!