Air Conditioner

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Psherman82, May 6, 2011.

  1. Psherman82

    Psherman82 RackNRoad

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    I am inquiring what the proper way to use the A/C would be. Here in Sacramento my car will be hot as hell when I get in the car. I am still figuring out the best way to cool the car down. How does the "LO" compare with the temperature gauge? I am noticing that when I use the 65 instead of the LO that the A/C feels cooler, but that could be just me.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. BrettS

    BrettS Active Member

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    Honestly, the best thing is to just hit the auto button set it on a temperature you're comfortable with (72 or 75 or whatever) and just leave it there. The car will automatically turn it on full blast when you first start it and it's hot inside, then it will slow it down when it gets near the temp you set. Theoretically you shouldn't really have to touch it much at all.

    Note that if you adjust the fan speed or change the vent location while it's in auto mode then the auto light will turn off and it will drop out of auto mode and stop adjusting itself. If that happens just hit the auto button again.
     
  3. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    I couldn't figure out a good way to run the A/C until I followed the advice above.

    Leave the A/C on auto, but manually adjust the temperature up and down. If you want the fan lower, raise the temp; if you want the fan higher, lower the temp.

    I find this method works perfectly. I can run the A/C anywhere from 73-78 and it keeps me cool. I try to set the temp so the fan is running at level 2 (the level I like). I hardly have to adjust the A/C now, and if so, only the temperature.

    Adjusting the fan would take the A/C out of auto and I would always get too cold or hot.

    I also keep the passenger vent closed when there's no passenger, and direct the remaining three vents towards me.
     
  4. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    +1 for what other posters say. When my car is extremely hot inside, I put down windows for a short while, then turn on A/C.
     
  5. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    I live about 30 miles from you in Lincon and had my Gen III last summer.

    They have a good AC.

    If you are driving in ECO mode, take it out of ECO until your car gets comfortable. ECO cuts down on AC performance, usually OK oncc your car is comfortable or any time in mild weather.

    For a max quick cool down.

    Lower your windows.

    Run the AC full blast on outside air until the car is as cool as the outside air, then roll your windows up except leave the rear windows down about 1 inch. This step should take about a minute.

    After another minute or two roll you rear windows all the way up and switch to automatic.

    If you want to simplify things, skip rear the windows one inch down step. I usually do.

    As someone said earlier, you can control your cooling by leaving it on automatic and just adjusting the temperature.

    The purpose of putting the AC on fresh air for a couple of minutes at the start is to use the AC to force the parking lot hot air out of the car. Also, as long as the air in the car is hotter than the outside air, you get cooler air out of your AC on outside air. That should just take couple of minuets though.
     
  6. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    There's a small trick that I sometimes do (not always).

    First, I unlock my car and open all the doors (if I can), and open the rear hatch. Especially opening the rear hatch lets a lot of hot air escape.

    Then I turn on turn on the power to my car. Usually the ICE starts a few seconds after.

    I let the hot air in my car escape, while I wait for the ICE to do its thing with the 50 second warm up.

    When it's done warming up, I close the hatch and doors, get back in and turn on the A/C to a comfortable level.

    Also, if you want to take an extra step, you can extend the tonneau cover, as that air does not need to be cooled. When I have groceries there, I don't do this.

    So not only does this cool down the car without A/C, I don't run down the battery during the mandatory warm-up session when the car runs on battery power only.

    I do this sometimes at work. At public places like shopping centers, I don't do this because it looks a little weird. Perhaps I just open one door, and roll down the windows, while I load things into the hatch.
     
  7. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    If you are in a place where it's safe to do so, leaving your windows down a little bit when you park helps a lot. 1/2 inch can make a big difference.
     
  8. seasalsa

    seasalsa Active Member

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    I agree, I have window vent shades which allow you to crack the windows about an inch which lets a lot of heat out.
     
  9. SWprius08

    SWprius08 SoCalprius

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    I live in the SF valley in Soth California, gets probably hotter here than Sacramento with temps upto 110, with my black Prius it absorbs all the heat available. I open the drivers side door, then without getting in the car hit the start button 2 times (smart key system must be on), this turns on the battery system and can roll down the glass windows. So I roll all 4 down until a breeze drives away all the heat from within the car.

    A/C with Auto works best for me too. Initially I leave it at high temp like 78 or 79 then after few minutes of driving 75 gets me to comfortable mode.
     
  10. Caug1

    Caug1 Member

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    After all of these preparations.
    should i be using AC with recycle mode on or off?
    thanks,
    c
     
  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Recirculation will help cool the interior down faster but I would switch to fresh air to get some, well, fresh air in once the interior has cooled to a comfortable temperature. Alternatively, just leave it in AUTO.
     
  12. SWprius08

    SWprius08 SoCalprius

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    Recirculation is more efficient and gas saving. Fresh air brings in all kind of smoke and pollution from that gas guzzler and trucks going in front of me. I always avoid fresh air and leave it on recirculation mode only, unless I need to defog the windshields in winter. If using recirc mostly, make sure the cabin filter is clean. DONT have dealer install the filter they charge $ 50 labor for a simple 2 minute change that can be done by anyone easily. Toyoya charges about $ 20 for the filter, after market filters are available for about $ 5. There are videos on Youtube and am sure here on Prius Chat as well.
     
  13. lindajm22

    lindajm22 New Member

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    Auto mode is awesome! Take advantage of the feature. Not all cars have it so it's a bonus to have it in the Prius. My last car had it for front and rear separately. Very nice feature that works really well.
     
  14. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    Not initially when outside temp is lower then inside.
    I usually roll windows down and put fan on outside/full for a minute or two to cool interior down and then roll up and switch to A/C inside.
     
  15. Teakwood

    Teakwood Member

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    Most automobile owners manuals recommend using recycle only as a quick cool down, and then switching to outside air. The reason for this is to avoid trapping CO inside the car.
    Think about it.
     
  16. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Fine... nitpick :p Yeah I was just assuming it's the middle of summer.
     
  17. inseek

    inseek Enthusiast

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    Aftermarket alarm with remote start may help :)
     
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  18. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    The aspect of the electric air conditioning in the Prius that I really like is that you can leave it ON in an unattended car. If I'm going to be in a store for maybe a half hour and it's a blazing hot day, I'll just lock up the car with the A/C still ON. The gas engine will run for maybe a minute out of every 5, keeping the car comfortable. You have to use the mechanical key to lock/unlock the car as the remote doesn't work while the car is ON.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    MSantos has a suggestion, might be HCH specific, or equally applicable to any car with thermostatically controlled air:

    Initially set the temp high, then lower until the blower really starts accelerating, then raise slightly, till the speed backs off a little. This will likely be a fairly high temp, somewhere between 25C and 30C.

    After a few minutes try lowering temp, again until the fan starts racing, and again back off a bit. Repeat periodically 'til you're down to a comfortable level.
     
  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Kinda like a P&G for A/C usage?
     
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