Unknowing drivers will question why anyone would recommend switching the air conditioning on during the cold winter months.

However, not turning the air conditioning on in the winter could damage your car. The vehicle's coolant contains a lubricant that keeps all the rubber seals and pipework in a working condition, so when the air-con isn't used for a long period the coolant won't move around, leaving the lubricant unable to work on the rubber parts.

Other problems caused by not using the air-con include moisture being built up within the vehicle's air vent ducts that are used to pipe cold air to the air vents. This could lead to mould and bacteria forming in the vents, which then could be blown into the vehicle when the air-con is finally switched back on.

It could even lead to a serious accident on the road, as air conditioning helps to keep your windscreen and windows clean by removing moisture in the air. When vehicle's steam up in the cold, the air-con clears mist from glass, providing clearer vision and allowing an earlier set off time.

Drivers should run the air conditioning system every couple of weeks for a short spell on full-cold for around 15 minutes, giving enough time to allow the coolant to circulate properly though the system.

Turning the air-con on in winter doesn't mean you will be forced to sit in the cold. Simply turn the heater to warm, even when the air con is switched on and you will benefit from both systems.

If you find that the steam or mist isn't shifting from your windows this means that you have had your air con turned off for a while, and moisture has already set into the ducts. That moisture will then be being blown out into the car when the air con is turned back on.

So for those who are only now becoming away of the issues with leaving the air con off for a period of time, make sure to only turn the air con back on when the vehicle is stopped, allowing time for it to completely clear.

Increasing the fuel costs by having the air con on during winter shouldn't be a worry either. As not having it turned on in the first place, and instead opening a window could damage the vehicle's aerodynamics which would lead to using the same amount of fuel. Not to mention that failing to keep the air con system in good quality could potentially lead to a costly repair.

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