What Is Climate Control?

Article at a glance

  • Climate control keeps the cabin temperature at the temperature set in the console.
  • Climate control uses air conditioning.
  • Climate control is more expensive but can save money over time.

If you were to search on any popular search engine for "what is climate control" you'll get a disappointing box that says it's another term for air conditioning. We don't feel that this is a fair way to describe climate control as it does work differently from air conditioning and perhaps many would overlook it if they thought that these two features were the same.

So, in today's blog, we're going to look at what exactly is climate control, its benefits, and key differences from traditional air conditioning.

What is climate control?

The key to what climate control is is in the name - climate. An easy way to describe climate is to use the context of the weather - a climate is the average state of weather conditions which includes the temperature, this is different from the weather which is the state of the climate at that time. Climate control is to be able to control the climate inside of a vehicle at all times as opposed to at any one time.

A car with climate control has the ability to keep the temperature inside of a car at a constant without the intervention of the driver through the use of air conditioning.

Related: How much fuel does air-con use?

How Does Climate Control Work?

Vehicles with climate control will have a dial to set the desired temperature inside the cabin. The vehicle is also fitted with several sensors to detect the current temperature. Using a simple computer the climate control device will then automatically cool the air and speed/slow down the fans, adjust the circulation settings to get the temperature to the desired setting and then stay on to maintain that temperature.

If you've got something like Hive at home to manage your home's temperature then climate control works just the same way.

Some vehicles will also have multi-zone climate control which enables different areas of the vehicle to have different temperatures set. This means that your front passenger can enjoy 18 degrees, whilst the driver is at 20 and the rear passengers at another temperature.

A lot of owners of vehicles with climate control in the office and customers we've spoken to have said that they set the temperature on climate control once and then never change it again. Once you've found the perfect temperature for you there really is no need to make a change. You'll never feel cold and you'll never feel warm - you'll feel "just right".

Also read: What is mpg?

BMW Climate Control

Is Climate Control Better than AC?

Despite common belief, there are various differences between climate control and air conditioning. Climate control comes with benefits that are not included in AC, such as:

  • Once the temperature is set the vehicle will keep it there
  • No manual adjustments like air-con
  • Can be more economical than air conditioning as it's only used when needed
  • Multi-zone allows passengers to set their own temperature
  • If you have climate control you'll automatically have air conditioning and don't have to use it
  • Some cars with climate control can preheat the car before a journey which is very handy in hot and cold weather

An extra benefit to having climate control in your car is that it is likely to sell quickly when it comes to selling your vehicle. (Of course, if you are leasing your vehicle, you don’t have to worry about this.)

How are Air Conditioning and Climate Control Different?

The key difference between air conditioning and climate control is the temperature setting. With air conditioning, the operator sets the temperature of the air that gets blown out and that's it. This means that to get the temperature to be exactly what you want you'll need to constantly adjust it accordingly. Even if the temperature is set, other factors can affect the actual temperature of the cabin such as the outside temperature, number of occupants, speed of the car, how the air is circulated, and how much sunshine is coming into the cabin.

Despite the above drawbacks, it is certainly better to have air conditioning than not when it comes to interior comfort, especially in the summer. Many people associate air conditioning and climate control with hot weather but they are both equally as handy to warm up the car as it is to cool it down.

We hope you've enjoyed this short guide. While you're here - why not take a look at our latest car leasing deals?

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 10th May 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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