The rising cost of fuel is having an unexpected side-effect – people are not using their air-conditioning systems.
Unfortunately, since the air-conditioning systems rely upon air circulating through them, car owners are risking potentially harmful spores, trapped in the intake filters, multiplying and building up.
The lack of use can also cause parts to seize or to become corroded.
According to Warranty Direct: "Air-Con should be switched on at least once a week to help reduce the build up of fungal spores such as Cladosporium and Aspergillus, which multiply within a car’s ventilation while it isnt being used.
"The build up of bacterial spores in the air vents can cause health problems, particularly for those already suffering from asthma, when the system is finally used again. Those without allergies may notice a damp, stale smell each time the air con is switched on. At the same time, failure to regularly use the air con increases the likelihood of mechanical failure."
Warranty Direct predicts that car owners who don’t run the air-conditioning approximately once a week could be risking bills of an average of £555 if the condenser fails, or approximately £380 for a new compressor.