NEWPORT and Gwent is in the middle of a summer heatwave, with temperatures having skyrocketed in recent days.

Though forecasts are predicting that thunderstorms are set to follow the sunshine, temperatures are expecting to remain high, ahead of a second spike in heat in a few weeks.

With warm weather persisting, many people are looking for ways to escape the heat – with the likes of fans and cold drinks proving to be popular choices.

But for those travelling this summer, air conditioning is a must in order to keep cool.

However, according to car leasing comparison company LeaseLoco, many people are skipping out on vital steps which are essential to get the most out of a car’s air con.

You can check out their 10 top tips below.

Don't pre-cool

Don’t turn your air con up as soon as you get into your car as this simply recirculates the hot air while the air con tries to cool it.

Air con works much better when you’re actually driving and the engine is working harder.

Open the windows

Instead of turning the A/C on when you first get in your vehicle, lower the windows first and let some of the heat escape.

The air con will have less work to do in order to get your car to the temperature you want.

Turn on the fan

Give your air con a helping hand by turning up the fan to force hot air out of the car.

If you have rear seat passengers then open the rear windows not the front ones, as the fans will force air out of the front of the car, leaving the air in the back hot and stagnant.

Don’t recirculate

Turn off the recirculation mode while you introduce fresh cold air, because this mode moves the existing hot air around the car.

Everyone in the front might be cool but the air in the back of the car can get stale and hot.

Close the windows

Once you’re driving and you turn the air con on, don’t keep the windows open because you’ll be pumping cooled air outside and wasting fuel.

Point the jets upwards

The cold air will spread around the car faster and more evenly if you point the jets at the roof - and it will cool the car more effectively.

With a car full of passengers this will ensure everyone is nice and cool - and not just the driver and front passenger.

Use the climate control  

If your A/C has a climate control function, simply hit the button and let it get on with what it’s designed for, which is regulating the fans and temperature settings to make sure your car is at the optimal temperature. 

A/C not working 

If your A/C is not keeping the car cool then it could be low on coolant, or has some other underlying problem.

It’s best to take it into a garage to have it looked at.

The last thing you want is to not have A/C when you have a long drive ahead of you this summer.

Refresh coolant

Nothing lasts forever and it’s the same with A/C coolant.

The coolant used by the A/C system needs to be refreshed regularly, with many manufacturers recommending a refresh every two years.

Check your filters

It’s worth checking the cabin air filters when you have a chance to make sure they’re clean and not clogged up with dirt. Dirty air filters will prevent optimal airflow.

Read more summer news

John Wilmot, CEO of car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco, said:

“Turning on your A/C can cost you up to 10% in extra fuel consumption, so it's important to make sure you’re getting the most from your air con when it’s being used in this exceptionally hot weather.”