Have you ever wondered what you need for a pleasant and comfy traveling experience in long durations of extreme temperatures, especially in summer? A properly functioning HVAC system helps regulate temperature, filter, and circulation of fresh air and control humidity levels in controlled interior climates, including buses, trains, planes, and even hotels.

However, a malfunctioning HVAC can contribute to discomfort, well-being, and even the safety of passengers. People may experience dehydration and heat exhaustion if the system stops working in hot extremes. Moreover, the inability of HVAC to filter harmful pollutants can lead to allergies and respiratory problems.

This discomfort can result in negative perceptions of travelers about brand reputation, reducing satisfaction levels and influencing future travel decisions with the travel agency. Although commercial HVAC installation service providers offer more valuable insights, this article will mention a few tips for maintaining an HVAC system while traveling to provide a relaxed, comfortable, and satisfactory travel experience. So, let’s dive into these tips without any further ado!

1.  Prepare HVAC System Before Travel

Conduct Routine Maintenance

Before leaving for a trip, conducting routine vehicle maintenance by yourself or taking professional help is advisable. The procedure of regular maintenance includes

  • Look for any visible HVAC system damage, including unusual noises, leakage, or loose connections.
  • Clean the area around the system unit. Make it free from dust, debris, leaves, or other obstructions.
  • Make your vehicle’s drain line clogged-free to reduce the risk of water leaks.

Check for Air Filters and Vents

The primary purpose of the air filter is to remove any debris, dust, or pollen from entering your cabin. If this particulate matter stays inside the air filters for a long time, it may build up bacterial growth, lowering the system’s efficiency and performance. So

  • Clear or Replace the air filters if needed
  • Use a soft cloth or vacuum to clean the vents and grill to allow the unobstructed flow of air through the filters.

Adjust Thermostat Setting

Keep your thermostat HVAC at the highest level to achieve energy saving and efficiency of your vehicle engine. The most advisable thermostat temperature is 170 degrees in summer. You can adjust it by yourself or take your mechanic’s assistance.

2.  Set Temperature & Humidity Levels of the HVAC System

Ideal Temperature and Humidity for Energy Efficiency

The temperature of an HVAC system depends on multiple factors, including the number of passengers inside the vehicle and their personal preferences. But according to general guidelines, keeping the temperature to 22-23 degrees Celsius for a comfortable interior climate is advisable.

Along with temperature, humidity is critical in keeping the car’s air conditioning performance at the highest level. Higher humidity levels may cause the system to expand more to remove moisture. So, the ideal humidity level is between 40%-60%.

Adjusting Settings for Short and Long-Term Travel

If you travel for a short period, like two to three days, an ideal starting temperature can be 28-29 degrees. While if you are away from home for an extended period, keep the temperature a bit higher, saying about 32-41 degrees Celsius is appropriate.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable or smart thermostat allows vehicle owners to adjust the temperature and humidity level of HVAC systems if he is not sitting inside the vehicle with just a touch of a button. With the options available on the remote control, you can easily precool the car, creating a comfortable environment before setting toward the destination.

3.  Protect the HVAC System from Power Surging

Install Surge Protectors for HVAC Unit

You must install a surge protector to protect your HVAC unit from sudden voltage spiking that can damage the electronic system or, in severe cases, may cause a fire—the surge protector act as insurance for your car. The main advantage of this device is its ability to divert the extra voltage to the system’s ground wire, protecting it from damage.

Unplug Unnecessary Electrical Devices

Unplug all the excessive and unnecessary electrical devices like woofers or mobile charges connected to your vehicle because these devices cause an extra load on the system which may lead to a power surge.

Ensure Proper Grounding of the Electrical System

To maintain the integrity and safety of the unit, ensure the grounded conductor and electrode system are appropriately placed with the consultation of a conductor. The loose connection may fail the electrical faults to dissipate, which helps the system to protect from the susceptibility of power surges. 

4.  Control Airflow and Ventilation

Clear Obstructions Around Vents and Air Pathways

As the HVAC system is responsible for the thorough air circulation throughout the cabin, cleaning the air pathways is essential more frequently. Because if you don’t clean the obstruction in vents, including debris, leaves, and drapes, it may lead to suffocation inside the vehicle, causing discomfort for patients with respiratory issues.

Use Window Coverings to Regulate the Path of Sunlight and Heat

You can use window shades, curtains, or blinds to minimize the likelihood of heat waves inside the car. You can also use insulated window coverings and reflective films for better insulation.

Use Fans or Natural Ventilation System

To maximize the ventilation, you can rotate your ceiling fans, causing more air to circulate and making the inside climate more pleasant. Moreover, let your windows open a bit to allow the natural air to flow inside the cabins.

5.  Address HVAC Systems Issues Remotely

Connect HVAC System to Smart Home Platforms

The fun thing about HVAC systems nowadays is that you can easily control and monitor them, customize the settings, and create automation even if you are close to them. It happens by simply connecting your unit to innovative home platforms and operating it with remote control. This allows you to save energy and time in a broader ecosystem.

Monitor and Adjust Settings With a Mobile App

You can install an app on your smartphone that helps remotely change modes and regulate temperature and humidity alterations. You may even receive notifications about irregularities in the HVAC system even if you are far away from the system.

Hire Professionals for Remote Diagnosis of Irregularities

To assess the diagnosis of certain irregularities in the HVAC system from a remote location, some companies offer valuable insights. These help the technicians from far-off places to analyze the system’s performance, identify the problems, and provide possible solutions.

6.  Protect the HVAC System from Pests

Seal Openings and Cracks to Prevent Pests Entry

Pests entering the HVAC system can cause the clogging of the vents. Moreover, they can chew the wires of the unit leading to malfunctioning. To avoid these happenings, seal the opening and cracks of your car, allowing the pests to enter the cabin.

Remove Vegetation & Debris From Outdoors of the HVAC Unit

Make sure to switch off the car’s unit before removing contaminants outdoors. Use a soft brush or a vacuum at low power to remove leaves, debris, branches, and shrubs. Take extreme care while removing because it may cause the bending of vents or wires if done forcefully.

Scheduling Professional HVAC Maintenance Upon Return

It is wise to schedule Professional HVAC Maintenance upon returning from the trip to ensure the performance and longevity of your system. A professional can take a look, diagnose, and can provide possible services to keep your unit at high performance.

Final Thoughts

It’s crucial to take preventive measures before setting on the road. HVAC is one of the vital components of a vehicle, which can destroy your mood and traveling experience. The tips mentioned above will help keep your HVAC System fully functional while saving energy. So stay relaxed, comfortable, and safe on the road!


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