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Recirc Button ? What The Heck Is It And What Does It Do?

Car air conditioner dials

Whenever you turn on the A/C or heater in your car, you have 2 options – “fresh air” or “recirculation” mode. Although almost every vehicle comes with these options, the majority of drivers are completely unaware of when to use which – or what the recirculation button even is!

When hit, the recirculation button closes the air duct in the front of the car so that the air from outside does not enter the car. Instead, the air already in the vehicle is recirculated and cooled or heated, based on what settings you’re using. Leaving it on will not make you drowsy from lack of fresh air/oxygen.

Alternatively, using “Fresh Air” mode opens the duct and introduces air from outside into the vehicle.

You should avoid using the recirculation button in the winter or in cold weather. It traps humidity inside the car, causing foggy windows and mugginess. Instead, use “Fresh Air” mode in the winter. All cold air will be forced through your heater core first so it’ll be nice and warm by the time it reaches you. Your windows will also de-fog a lot quicker when using “Fresh Air” mode in the winter.

The recirculation button is best used in summertime and in warmer weather. When you put your car in recirculation mode, it recirculates the cool air inside your car, continually running it through and cooling it off until it’s as cool as the system can possibly be. If your A/C doesn’t get your car very cool even with the Recirculation button pressed, make sure to bring it into the shop right away – there’s likely a problem!

Some newer models of vehicles come pre-equipped with sensors that monitor air moisture levels and switch automatically between Fresh Air and Recirculation. If you don’t see a recirculation button in your car, don’t stress – you’re just fancier than the rest of us 😉

One final tip: In summer, roll down your window a bit when you first turn your vehicle on. This will help to flush out all the stuffy air that builds up in your car when sitting in the sun or a hot garage. Even if you do this for just a minute, you’ll noticeably speed up the process of cooling the air down to a comfortable temperature. In winter, hit your A/C button right after you start your vehicle to help clear the windows faster. The A/C naturally de-humidifies air. Your heater will still warm up the air as long as you set the temperature to something nice and toasty.

If you have any questions about your vehicle’s heating and cooling systems, we would love to help provide the answers. Give us a call today or schedule an appointment to come see us.



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American Fork, UT 84003


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