What Your Car's Air Conditioner Actually Does

Not getting the chills?

What Your Car's Air Conditioner Actually Does

During the gruesome heat waves, do you long to hop in your car, turn on your air conditioner and feel that cool, crisp air? Much to your dismay, you turn it on and find it to be mildly cool and somewheat humid still. Uh-oh... is your car's air conditioner on the fritz?

As my climate-control professors would remind me, the purpose of air conditioning is to provide cool, dry, and clean air.

 Cool. Your car’s air conditioning system uses pressurized refrigerant to transfer heat from the passenger compartment to the outside (ambient) air around your car.

 Dry. The air conditioning system works to remove humidity (moisture) through the evaporator.

 Clean. While the evaporator may also act as a filter for the air conditioning system, the cabin air filter is the first line of defense in preventing contaminants from building up on the evaporator. Another function of the cabin air filter is to filter most road dust, allergens, and exhaust fumes. More on this little but often overlooked filter in future posts (stay tuned!).

All of these functions are relative to the ambient temperature. The system is limited in the amount of heat it can transfer and the amount of humidity (moisture) it can remove. So on very hot and humid days (especially during heat waves), you’ll find that the air conditioning in your car is not as effective compared to warmer and drier days. Remember, the A/C system provides cooler, drier, and cleaner air into the car compared to what is outside the car. 
Before jumping to the conclusion that there's something wrong with your A/C system, try it again the next day when the weather's not as hot and humid. If you find that you've got that cool, crisp air back then your air conditioner is functioning as it should.

Auto Insurance: To Be At-Fault Or Not To Be At-Fault

Confused about Ontario's no-fault insurance?

Auto Insurance: To Be At-Fault Or Not To Be At-Fault

I’m dating myself here but I remember when Ontario switched over to ‘no-fault’ insurance and it was a big change to our auto insurance system. Now, over 20 years later there’s still some confusion about what ‘no-fault’ really is. With the help of Fraser Wilkinson, Insurance Broker with Deeks Insurance, here’s what I found out about Ontario's no-fault insurance system. 

No-fault isn’t what it sounds like. Kinda like Cadbury’s Mini Fingers aren’t really tiny, small fingers and a fortune cookie doesn’t really have a fortune in it.
No-fault insurance in Ontario simply means that no matter who is at-fault in an accident, each insurance company will pay for their client’s damages. Companies no longer subrogate against each other because in the end each company will pay out roughly the same number of claims. Whether or not you’re at fault, the collision will show up on your record. 
What does this mean in terms of your insurance premiums?

 If you’re not at fault, it won’t have an impact on your premium (and vice versa)

 If you have the Accident Premium Protector option, this is the first at fault collision and you haven’t had one in the last 6 years, your rates are protected

 You are deemed a high risk driver if you have more than 1 at fault accident in 5 years

So be aware that Ontario's ‘no-fault’ insurance doesn’t actually mean that no one is held responsible in a collision. There are other provinces with similar 'no-fault' insurance structures. You can find more information on auto insurance for your specific province at the Insurance Bureau of Canada

Auto Insurance Clarity

Misconceptions about Ontario auto insurance

Auto Insurance Clarity

There are some people in my life who think that talking about insurance is taboo. To talk about insurance is to say with certainty that something bad is going to happen. Well, I like to be prepared and let’s face it, insurance is important to cover the ‘what ifs’ in life. I sat down with Fraser Wilkinson, Insurance Broker with Deeks Insurance, to talk auto insurance in Ontario and here are some interesting things I found out.

There are many misconceptions about Ontario auto insurance. Many people believe that if they stay with one insurance company, they’ll get the lowest rate as a reward for their past business.  That’s not the case and year after year insurance rates fluctuate. It’s always a good idea to shop for rates. You can either do that directly or have your insurance broker shop for you.
Another misconception: Any claim I submit will increase my premium. Some types of claims will not affect your premium including: 
  • ‘Not at fault’ accident claim 
  • Comprehensive claims such as vandalism, fire, theft, collision with animal
  • Windshield repair or replacement—keep in mind that insurance companies would rather pay for small stone chip repairs before the crack gets larger because by that point, the only option left is to replace the entire windshield
Did you know? If you have child car seats and your car is in a collision (big or small), your insurance company will likely cover the cost of replacing the car seat. Even if there’s no visual damage to the child car seat and/or your child wasn’t sitting in the seat at the time of the collision, Transport Canada still recommends that the car seat be replaced as a precaution. 
Other notes about Ontario insurance that you may not know:
  • While standard liability insurance is $1 million, $2 million is a smart consideration particularly because our society is becoming more litigious. Liability insurance is there in case you get sued for the negligent use of your vehicle. 
  • Accident premium protector is an option you can choose to protect your rates when you have your first ‘at fault’ accident, given that you haven’t had one in the last 6 years.  Typically the cost of this protection is insignificant compared to the cost of a rate increase as a result of your ‘at fault’ collision. Link to YMC at fault
  • How many tickets does it take to make you a ‘high risk’ driver? 1 ‘at fault’ ticket in 5 years or more than 1 traffic ticket conviction in 3 years.
Whether or not you live in Ontario, take the time to get to know your insurance policy. If you have questions about it, ask your agent. The time to do this is now before an emergency comes up.  For details on your province's insurance structure, visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Image via www.msn.ca