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Air Circulation button in cars, when it should be used

The air conditioning and climate control systems of our cars have air recirculation or air recycling . This is one of those almost unknown buttons that we hardly use. However, their presence is due to both convenience and safety reasons. This is how air recirculation works, let’s see why this system exists and when it is useful to use it.

The air that ventilates the passenger compartment normally comes from outside . This air was traditionally sucked in through a ventilation mouth located under the windshield, but in current designs it is usually more hidden. When air is drawn in, it passes through the conditioning block that directs and modulates it based on selected temperature and orientation preferences: either towards the windshield, towards the front or towards the feet, or a mixture of these locations.

The air recirculation button is used to select where we want the car to take the air from. By default, it is outside air, but if we press the recycle button, the car will become practically hermetic and the air in the passenger compartment will be used again. We say practically, because in reality the air in the cabin is never completely isolated from the outside. In any case, with recirculation running, the air circulates and passes through the system filters before returning to the passenger compartment.

When to use air recycling

Having fresh air in the car affects safety and comfort . The main function of air recycling is to prevent dirty air from entering the passenger compartment. For example, in a traffic jam inside a tunnel, when we pass near a refinery or when we pass through an area laden with dust in the air, the air recirculation button is our friend.

Do not hesitate to press the air recirculation button to prevent dust and / or bad smells from entering the passenger compartment. Obviously its effect is not instantaneous, since you will have to recycle the air to eliminate these discomforts, but it is quite fast.

In addition, when we use air conditioning or climate control, air recirculation can be useful to cool or heat the cabin more quickly.

Thus, if we want to lower the temperature of the passenger compartment in summer , the air conditioner will use increasingly cold air with each cycle, as it will take in the air from the passenger compartment that has just cooled and not hot air from outside. Then the system will reach the desired temperature more easily. In any case, we should not use recirculation for more than 10 minutes.

We should not use air recirculation more than 10 minutes

Once we have left behind the area or the event that made the use of air recirculation necessary, it is advisable to disconnect it and have the car renew the air in the passenger compartment. Some cars have a timer that generally limits recirculation to about 10 minutes, thus automatically turning off the air recirculation.

It is not advisable to abuse the air recirculation system . On the one hand, it can create condensation on the vehicle’s windows, especially in winter, and on the other hand, the recirculated air is rarefied air that can cause drowsiness, reducing the concentration and reflections of the driver.

In any case, it is important that the filters of the car’s ventilation or air conditioning system are clean , and that they are changed according to the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of time intervals. Otherwise, in the long run they can become a nest of bacteria that we will breathe every time we use air recirculation. Finally, it is advisable not to smoke if we use air recirculation in a car with air conditioning, since tobacco smoke is deposited on the evaporator of the system and is a frequent cause of bad odors.

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