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Bacteria and mould are both common in air conditioning units and can lead to headaches, common colds and allergies.
Whilst it's easy to ignore the signs, especially when the smell usually clears quickly, it's important to know that the build-up of bacteria and mould is still happening behind the scenes.
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Whilst some cars can go a good 5 years without needing to be re-gassed and the air conditioning still working fine, it pays to still keep on top of regular servicing for the compressor's sake (the belt-driven device that transfers refrigerant gas into condenser).
Even the best running vehicles will lose around 10% of the gas in their air conditioning systems annually and as this goes, so will that clean cold air.
Air conditioning that isn't working properly can be a sign that the unit is leaking – regardless of whether you can see the leak or not.
Older vehicles are more prone to slow leakage of refrigerant and should be checked by a specialist to detect any leaks.
Especially in Australia, having a working air conditioning unit in your car is fairly essential.