How Cold Should My Car A/C Be

Adjusting your car air conditioner can be a tricky job, especially during seasonal changes. Many new car owners like to fiddle and experiment with temperature controls, and in the process, they end up losing the “perfect temperature,” never to find it right again.

The temperature at which your car A/C should be blowing depends on various elements. Some factors to be kept in mind are the weather, the design and efficiency of your aircon, and whether the car is running or idling. With that said, a well-functioning air conditioning system should blow out cool air between 45° to 60°F.

We have explained the temperature-control methods for a car A/C below in further detail to make things clearer.

What Temperature Should My Car A/C Be?

It is a common misconception that an air-conditioner “generates” cold air. In reality, it simply pulls in the hot air present in a room, or in this case a car, and compresses it before cooling it down and blowing it back inside. Keeping this fact in mind, we need to understand that there is no “one correct temperature” for a car aircon; you must shift its cooling levels following outside weather.What Temperature Should My Car AC Be

However, the first step to cooling is not about the aircon settings. Instead, it is about the temperature of your car. One of the most common mistakes people make is cranking the A/C up to its maximum capacity right after entering the vehicle. The problem with this is that the A/C would only circulate the already hot air inside the car or outside the car.

To avoid this, you should leave the car windows open for a few minutes before turning on the cooling. Doing so neutralizes the temperature in a car, making it easier for the aircon to cool air faster. Next, use your car’s air recirculation button. This allows your car to continually cool and circulate air in the car instead of constantly cooling exterior air.

The second step is knowing what temperature to set the car A/C. As mentioned before, A/Cs absorb the heat energy from existing air and recirculates it after cooling. The air that enters the system is called return air, and the air that the unit blows out after being prepared is known as supply air. To achieve perfect cooling, the ideal temperature difference between the return and supply air should be 14° to 20°F.

In simpler words, the aircon temperature must be set fourteen to twenty degrees lower than that in your car.

image of car with diagram showing ho to cool quickly

How Cold Should the Air Coming Out of the A/C Be?

If set on auto-cooling, the air blown from an A/C must be about twenty degrees lower than its environment. If the temperature difference between the return and supply air is higher than that, your unit may be leaking. Whereas, if the difference is lower than twenty degrees, the waste may have clogged your filter. It is advisable to get your air conditioner checked by a professional in either case.How Cold Should My Car AC Be

Sometimes, even when everything is functioning well, your car may still feel warm and stuffy despite the aircon working perfectly. This could be due to the uneven distribution of air in the surroundings.
To fix this, instead of pointing the A/C vents towards yourself, direct them towards the roof of the car. This redirection ensures that the cool air spreads all over and gradually settles down, chilling the entire vehicle almost immediately.

Read Also: 9 Best Cold Air Intake for F150 in 2022

How to Take Proper Care of Your Car A/C

Before rushing into technicalities, we must inform you that the simplest way to maintain your unit is decreasing its workload. You can do this by parking your vehicle in the shade, for instance, to ensure your car doesn’t turn too hot. Here is a list of some other things that can help you increase the longevity of your aircon system:

  • Use your A/C regularly, even if it is just for a few minutes a week, to make sure it is still working correctly.
  • Clean the filter regularly to avoid clogging. If it is already blocked, get a replacement.
  • Remember always to ask your mechanic to check the refrigerant level in your car. Operating the unit on low refrigerant fluids can also cause problems with the cooling.
  • Get your car A/C serviced at regular intervals.

image of 2 cars with ac info


If your car A/C is in a well-working condition, it should blow out air about twenty degrees lower than the temperature of your surroundings. The exact measure of this would be around 45° to 60°F. You must also make sure to neutralize the heat in your car for better cooling.

If your aircon unit isn’t cooling correctly even after ensuring everything else, you should get it checked. Regular servicing and maintenance will help increase the lifespan of your aircon unit.