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Does Max AC Work For Heat?

When driving during the summer months, we can't wait to crank the A/C onto max and enjoy the cold air. But does it work the same for heating in the winter? You may be surprised to learn what it does.

Turning your A/C on max will recirculate the moisture and air in your car much faster, which is the opposite of defrosting. However, if you put your A/C on regular or low, the colder air will help remove the moisture from your car faster.

Thus, the A/C works as a dehumidifier helping to defrost your windows.

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This may seem counterintuitive, but to help you understand how this works, let's look at how your car's A/C system works. In addition, we will answer other questions about the vehicle's heating and cooling systems, so read on!

Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Quattro 2016 climate control hot heat cool cold switch, Does Max AC Work For Heat?

How Does Air Conditioning Help Defrost Your Car?

Your car's air conditioner system is made up of a compressor, condenser, evaporator, and expansion valve. The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas, which turns it into a liquid.

This liquid then goes through the condenser, where it releases its heat. Next, the now-cooled liquid refrigerant passes through the expansion valve, where it becomes a low-pressure gas and enters the evaporator.

Driver's finger presses the button for maximum air conditioning inside the car

The evaporator is located in the car's cabin, and as the name suggests, this is where the refrigeration process occurs. First, the low-pressure gas from the expansion valve enters the evaporator, evaporating and turning back into a gas.

This process absorbs heat from the air in your car's cabin, cooling it down.

Now that we understand how the A/C system works, let's see how it can help to defrost your windows. When you first turn on your car's air conditioning, the compressor will start to circulate the refrigerant through the system.

The evaporator is located in the car's cabin, and as the refrigerant passes through it, the evaporator will absorb the heat from the air inside your vehicle.

This process will also help remove any moisture in the air inside your car. The water is condensed on the evaporator coils as the moisture is removed. This condensed moisture will then be drained out of the vehicle through a drainage tube.

As a result, the A/C will not only cool the air inside your car but also help remove the moisture, which will help defrost your windows.

Will Using Max A/C Do The Same Thing?

Now that we know how the air conditioning system works, let's answer the question: will you using max A/C do the same thing? The answer is yes and no.

As we mentioned earlier, turning your A/C on to max will recirculate the moisture and air in your car much faster. However, if you put your air conditioner on normal or low, the colder air will help remove the water from your car more quickly.

In addition, your vehicle will more than likely turn off the max A/C setting when using the heat setting in the winter. The max A/C setting is designed for cooling and not heating.

So, if you want to use your car's air conditioning to help defrost your windows, we recommend putting it on the regular or low setting.

Is Turning The A/C To Max Bad?

No, this does not mean that you should never use max A/C. You may want to use the max setting, such as when you are trying to get extra cool air on a hot day.

However, you don't want to turn on max A/C the minute you get into your car on a hot day. Instead, wait until the vehicle cabin is cooler than the outside temperature.

Then, you can turn on the A/C to the max and enjoy the extra cool air.

How Can I Heat My Car Faster?

The frozen window of a car in cold winter day. Frost pattern

In addition to using your car's A/C to help defrost your windows, there are other ways to heat your vehicle faster.

Let's take a look at them below:

Using Remote Start

If your vehicle has a remote start, you can use it to heat your car before you get in. This way, you can get into a cozy and warm vehicle without turning on the A/C.

Most cars will let you preset your climate settings before starting the vehicle remotely. So, you can set the temperature to whatever you want and then start the car from the comfort of your home.

This is a great way to heat your car, but it does have its downside. It requires a remote starter, which not all vehicles have.

Another downside is that you have to be within range of your car to start it. So, if you're not close to your vehicle, this method won't work.

As long as your vehicle isn't a manual transmission, you can purchase a remote starter relatively cheaply and have it installed by a professional.

Park In The Garage

If you have a garage, you can park your car inside to keep it warm. This is a great way to heat your vehicle because you don't have to do anything except parking your car in the garage.

If you don't have a garage, park your car under a carport. You can avoid snow and ice buildup on your vehicle by doing this.

Clear Any Snow/Ice

If you can't park your vehicle to cover it, remove the snow and ice before you start driving. You can do this with a brush or scraper.

By doing this, you can speed up how quickly your vehicle can warm up.

Turn Off Recirculating Air

As we mentioned earlier, the recirculating air setting will keep the moisture in your car circulated. So, if you want to heat your car faster, you should turn off this setting.

The cold air will be dry, so it will help remove the moisture from your car faster. In addition, the dry air will help to prevent your windows from fogging up.

Use High Heat Settings

Another way to heat your car faster is to turn the heat settings on high. By doing this, you can get warm air circulating through your vehicle quickly.

This includes the fan, defogger, and temperature settings. Doing this will maximize the drying air coming from the vents and help heat your car faster.

Use Your Seat Heaters

While heated seats won't do much to heat the rest of your car, they can help to keep you warm. So, if you have seat heaters in your car, turn them on.

This is a great way to stay warm on a frigid day. Most cars will have seat heaters in the front seats, but some may also have them in the back seats.

Female driver turning car air conditioner knob

Is Max Air Conditioning Bad For Your Engine?

Since the air conditioning takes energy from the engine to power it, some people believe that using max A/C can strain the engine.

However, this is not the case. The air conditioning system in your car is designed to work with the engine, so using max A/C will not put a strain on your engine.

The only time you should avoid using the A/C is when you are low on fuel. Otherwise, feel free to use the air conditioner to keep cool on a hot day.

What Is A Downside Of Using The Air Conditioner In A Car?

Gasoline gauge dash board in car with digital warning sign of run out of fuel turn

The only real downfall of using the A/C is that it can use up fuel quickly.

This is because the air conditioning system in your car uses a lot of power to run. So, if you're low on fuel, you may want to avoid using the A/C.

Have your fuel tank at least half full during the cold months to avoid running out of gas and being stranded in the cold. Plus, it will help get fuel to your engine faster on a cold day.

In addition, the A/C can put a strain on the charging system in your car. So, if you have an older car, you may want to avoid using the A/C to prolong the life of your charging system and avoid draining your battery.

To Wrap Up

Overall, using your A/C will help dehumidify the air in your car and defrost your windows faster. This will help you see better while driving and make your ride more comfortable. Hopefully, this tip will help you on your next road trip.

Made it to the end? Here are a few other articles you might find helpful:

Should Both Heater Hoses In A Car Be Hot?

Car Heat Only Works While Driving – What To Do

How To Defog Your Windshield Without Using The Heater