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HVAC/Air Conditioning

Qbenjamin

Frugal But Classy!
Jan 7, 2017
1,140
675
Bravos
Has anyone noticed a considerable difference in the air conditioning from their ICE vehicle versus the MS? I used to run my cabin temperature at 76F in my car, and it would be nice and cool to me. Inside the MS, I have to take it down to 70F and I still seem to be uncomfortably warm.

I've already tried closing the back vent to help with the pressure output to the front, but I'm still nearly breaking a sweat. Anyone else notice something similar..?
 
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BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
I have noticed the same... I keep my Model S set four degrees cool than I had my prius. I suspect that it may have more to do with inaccuracies of the temperature sensors and/or the placement of the temperature sensor in the cabin. I wouldn't be surprised if 76 in your old car and 70 in the model S were actually the same temperature when measured with the same thermometer in each car.
 

RayW

Joy Riding
Nov 9, 2016
397
681
Cypress
I'm not sure where MS sensor is measuring the temperature (vent, center console, dash, who knows?), I've found my epidermis sensor is the most accurate to tell me if it's too hot or too cold.
 

David29

Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,182
1,793
DEDHAM, MA
Lots of discussion on this in various threads. Basically, ignore the specific temperature and set it to a temperature that is comfortable regardless of the number. And that will vary. With a bright sun on the car, I find I need a lower setting to be comfortable than I do on a cloudy day or at night. My last car, a Mercedes, probably had a better AC system, but its absolute temperature setting still did not necessarily reflect what I felt.
Some folks find it is helpful to manually control the fan speed. If there is a noticeable breeze from a higher fan setting, you might feel cooler than with a lower fan speed, at the same temp setting.
Precooling helps, too. If the seats and other parts of the car have been cooled down when you get in, you'll feel better from the get-go. Sitting on a hot seat will feel hot for a long time, even if the air is what you would otherwise like.
Bottom line, it probably is not as good a system as a mature brand of auto, but you should be able to get comfortable with a little trial and error with the controls, and pre-cooling.
And make sure Range Mode is off. That limits your AC power.
 

KidDoc

Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2014
348
428
College Station, TX
I have no complaints about the HVAC, in fact I much prefer it to my wife's 2015 BMW. THe single setting I changed that made all the difference in the world is to keep recirculate air set to recirculate all the time and leave the rest to auto. With those settings I usually set the temp to 72 and I'm fine winter or summer in Texas.

Before setting recirculate to on it did seem like the fans were not blowing hard enough.
 
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Barry

Active Member
Aug 9, 2013
1,822
1,397
Colorado
The comparison is meaningless. In your old car, it was miscalibrated in the opposite direction.

Think of it as just a number. It's like saying the radio in my old car was a comfortable at 6, but in the Tesla it's 4. BTW, I like mine at 68.
 
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doctorwho

Active Member
Jan 3, 2014
1,133
485
Eurobin, Victoria. Australia
I asked this question in a separate thread and nobody replied so I'll ask it here:
If I leave the A/C setting on 'Auto' it seems to leave the A/C on (as in the' on' option is black and the 'off' option is greyed out) all the time irrespective of temperatures or conditions. Is there a situation where 'Auto' ever switches the A/C off?
I'm asking because as soon as I switched the A/C option to 'Off' the economy has improved noticeably
 

clostridium

Member
Mar 6, 2017
314
291
NE Ohio
I asked this question in a separate thread and nobody replied so I'll ask it here:
If I leave the A/C setting on 'Auto' it seems to leave the A/C on (as in the' on' option is black and the 'off' option is greyed out) all the time irrespective of temperatures or conditions. Is there a situation where 'Auto' ever switches the A/C off?
I'm asking because as soon as I switched the A/C option to 'Off' the economy has improved noticeably

I'm pretty sure that it doesn't use the A/C unless it has to. I've also been observing what it shows for the A/C modes when you click on the climate control menu but am not yet convinced that the A/C indicator not grayed out actually means that it is running or vice versa. I will pay more attention to it and see. I do wish sometimes that the vents were bigger than they are - in most other cars you don't have to have them pointed just right to get a good breeze but the Model S vents are quite small. I think the overall air pressure coming out is fine but just more picky about the direction.

I have not tried comparing all windows up to A/C vs. no A/C in summer however I can say that I've been impressed with how little the A/C seems to impact economy. I'm getting 250-275 wh/mi on a 3/4 highway and 1/4 city street commute in hot weather averaging 70 on highway without trying very hard. In most cases above city street speeds you are better off with A/C on and windows up than you are with windows open and A/C off (at least from an economy standpoint - existentially it does feel better but that's different).

Separately I've been wondering if there is a way to disable the cabin heater like you can disable the A/C. I haven't figured that out. The heater has such a massive impact on economy. It would be convenient to be able to do so though not a major deal breaker if you can't.
 

boaterva

Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,565
3,736
Northern Virginia, USA
From other threads, the temperature sensor is that grille on the console between the seats. There's a fan that draws air in to get the reading. Don't know how the average ICE car did/does it...
 

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