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Schwäbisch Hall, May 13, 2015. The thermal management expert Behr Hella Service recommends drivers to have their vehicle’s air-conditioning systems serviced regularly. “There are three important reasons for that,” says Jörg Laukenmann, marketing expert at Behr Hella Service. “Firstly, a properly functioning air-conditioning system helps the driver to concentrate, literally to keep cool even in stressful situations. This in turn increases the safety of all road users. Secondly, it helps to render harmless the bacteria and fungal spores that progressively build up in the air-conditioning system and may cause sudden coughs or sneezes and other allergic reactions. Finally, regular maintenance enables you to avoid high repair costs, because every air-conditioning system loses up to 10% of its refrigerant every year, which not only leads to impaired cooling performance and possible damage to individual components, it can sometimes cause the entire system to completely fail,” says Jörg Laukenmann.
To prevent this last situation from occurring, Behr Hella Service recommends motorists to have their air-conditioning systems checked once a year or every 15,000 km. This check includes replacing the cabin air filter that removes dust, pollen and particles of dirt. These filters have only a limited capacity, and after about a year they can no longer adequately ventilate the vehicle and clear fogged windows. The annual check also inspects and tests all the components and the air-conditioning system as a whole, if necessary also disinfecting the evaporator, whose fins provide a dark, damp environment that is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungal spores. The thermal management expert also advises a full air-conditioning service every two years. This provides the same benefits as the annual air-conditioning check, plus a complete change of refrigerant, a check for any leaks and a new filter drier. The filter dryer removes particles of dirt from the refrigerant and binds the moisture, but its capacity is limited, and once this is exhausted any excess moisture in the air-conditioning system can release acids that attack and corrode the individual components.