It’s that time of the year again; the sun is coming out of hibernation, the lotion is being dusted for cobwebs and pulled out the back of the cupboard, and you’re relying on your car’s air con to keep you cool on your travels. But could you be harming yourself in the process?
As a rule, you should service your air conditioning every two years. This regular maintenance is important to ensure the system runs smoothly and to prevent nasty bacteria from building up. Dust and dirt inside your vehicle and polluted air will eventually mix with the moisture in the system and cause bacteria and fungi. Left this way, you may even notice strange smells coming from your car.
However, there is a more sinister problem to think about. A new study by Kwik Fit and researchers at London Metropolitan University has revealed this bacteria is associated with meningitis, urinary tract infections and septic arthritis. Those with asthma and allergies may notice their symptoms worsening as the fungus builds up, but it could eventually impact even those with a clean bill of health. Senior lecturer Dr Paul Matewele at London Metropolitan University says, “The study highlights that air conditioning systems are suitable breeding grounds for bacteria and therefore underlines the importance of cleaning and replacing filters. I’m sure if car owners knew what they were blowing out of their air conditioning vents, they would think twice before switching them on this summer.”
Now, we’re not suggesting that you shouldn’t use your air conditioning; just make sure you look after it. We recommend an air con regas every couple of years to service the system as the bare minimum – even if it seems to be working fine. You may also wish to add an antibacterial treatment for further decontamination and peace of mind.
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