Can car air conditioning cause health problems?

With the official autumn season now upon us, the heat of summer is well and truly over. With it, we can pack away our summer clothes and turn our minds to heating, rather than cooling, our homes and vehicles. Before you do though, now is also the ideal time to check your vehicle’s air conditioning system and run some checks and maintenance on it. Why? Like any air conditioning system, if it is not regularly cleaned and maintained properly it can not only work less efficiently, but it could also be causing you harm. We explore why it is important to service your vehicle’s air conditioning system.


We delved into how air conditioning works in your vehicle a couple of months ago – here’s a refresher if you want to have another read of that first. As it works, your air conditioning unit will deal with moisture that is in the evaporator system. Warmer temperatures favour the growth of bacteria, and any bacteria that are in that moisture can begin to multiply, leading to mould. It’s similar to mould growing in your bathroom or kitchen if you are not ventilating your home enough after showering or cooking.

If you notice a smell coming from your air conditioning vents, then get your vehicle to your mechanic for a check and clean. It’s an easy enough process, but you can prevent it from happening in the first place if you practise regular system maintenance and keep your car clean and free from dust and dirt. Vacuuming frequently and dusting surfaces will prevent dirt and bacteria from getting into vents and settling in your air conditioning system.

These little bugs can survive the winter, so when you next get around to turning your air conditioning on they will start to recirculate in your vehicle. That’s why regular cleaning and maintenance are important to maintaining a healthy environment.


Filters are there to prevent dust and pollen from getting into your car. But if they are not cleaned regularly and changed as necessary they will clog up. You don’t have to suffer from hay fever to find dust and pollen irritating, especially in an enclosed space.

There are a few signs that tell you your filters are clogged and need to be looked at. You may notice an unusual smell – like a dusty, dirty smell. It’ll be worse when the air is turned on – either the air conditioning or the heating.

The air flow may also be restricted. If your filters are clogged there is less room for air to push through, resulting in less of it coming into the vehicle when you need it, or it not being as powerful as it usually is. Your filters are typically checked during a service but if you have been in dusty or high-pollen environments over the summer, it’s worth having them looked at before your next service.

Is there an unusual smell in your vehicle or are you overdue a check on your filters and air conditioning? Bring your car in to Double Dee Autos and our team will have it sorted out for you in no time. Call us anytime on 020 8460 3040 to book an appointment.