Can a Low Battery Affect Air Conditioning?

Can a Low Battery Affect Air Conditioning

Without a functional battery the car will not start, this also applies to some component of the car that relies on the battery for the power supply to function.

Due to some reasons, a battery may become weak or keeps getting low even after it has been recharged, this could be pointing to a problem that needs to be looked into. Therefore, can a low battery affect air conditioning?

The air conditioning of a car can be affected by a low battery because enough power is not passed to it when the battery has a low voltage. It can cause the air conditioning to stop working or function below its usual performance. 

What Can Cause Car Battery to be Low?

It can be really annoying when you realize you have a low battery even when the car is not in use. Knowing the cause of the battery drainage will help you take steps to avoid future occurrences.

Below are some possible causes of a low battery:

1. The Battery Connection is Loose

Car batteries are able to function and recharge because of the positive and negative terminals connected to them. Over time, these connections come loose and result in the battery’s inability to recharge and transmit power. If this is the case, the terminals should be reconnected in time.

2. Weather Condition

Extremely cold or hot weather conditions can affect a battery’s performance although this is mostly applicable to older batteries. New batteries are known for their ability to resist tough temperature switches.

3. The Alternator isn’t Charging the Battery while Driving

The alternator is responsible for charging the battery when the car is in motion but it may happen that the alternator is faulty and unable to recharge. When this happens the becomes low without a means of recharging.

4. Old Battery

Over time,  a car’s battery will become old either because of where you are resident or the kind of driving the car is subjected to. A battery’s life span is shortened because of its everyday use, climatic conditions, etc.

5. Some Car Components are on

Besides the use of a battery in starting the car, other components of the car such as; the headlight also derive power from it.

A battery’s power will drain out if the headlight is left on, so be sure that your headlight is off before leaving the car.

Can a Low Battery Affect Air Conditioning?

Yes, a low battery can affect the air conditioning. The battery is responsible to provide power to the air conditioning system of a car, therefore, if the battery is low, it can cause the air conditioner not to function at all or below its usual performance.

The air conditioner will experience reduced performance and the AC compressor won’t work because the battery isn’t supplying enough power for it to function optimally.

How not to have a Low Car Battery

Dealing with a low battery can be frustrating and can also happen to the best of us. However, it is very possible to take action in order to avoid having a low battery. Here are some things you can do;

Switch Off All Car Accessories

When the car is no longer in use or you’re retiring for the night, ensure that all accessories (headlight, heaters, etc.) that use the battery are switched off. If all these are left on through the night, you can be sure to wake up to a low or dead battery.

Check the Battery Regularly

Part of a car’s maintenance procedure should include checking the battery, if this cannot be done by the driver, a professional should be consulted. In the event that the battery is bad then a replacement is in order.

Resist the Urge to Turn your Car on and Off

Turning a car on and then off may seem like a good idea if the car hasn’t been driven for some time but it is in fact a bad idea. This is because turning the car on and off just to power up the engine weakens the battery over time.

Drive the Car Around for a Few Minutes

As opposed to turning the car on and off, the car can be driven around for at least 15-20 minutes. Doing this is a safer way of topping up the battery’s power.

A car’s battery cannot die while driving except if the battery is already bad or damaged/weakened beyond repair.

Should I Use AC when my Car Battery is Low?

No, you shouldn’t use AC when your car battery is low. In actual fact, the decision to do this isn’t really in your hands because when the battery is low the AC may not function at all or function minimally.

The AC is one of the car’s components that is sustained by the battery, therefore, if the battery does not have enough voltage you may hit a dead end in trying to use the AC.

Will Using the AC at Low Battery Kill the Battery?

Using the AC at a low battery may most likely kill the battery. However, this will depend on whether the car is in motion or idling.

If the car is in motion all things being equal i.e. nothing is wrong with any component in the car or the alternator, then the AC may not kill the battery.

This is because the battery is able to recharge on the go, but if the car is idling and the AC is in use then the probability of the battery being killed is high.

Can Changing Car Battery Affect Air Conditioners?

Changing a car battery shouldn’t affect the air conditioner in any way but it is not impossible. There are instances where a change of battery will affect the AC.

While removing or installing the battery, damage may occur leading to a problem with the AC. The AC line may also be damaged due to a leaking lead-acid battery.

When replacing an old battery with a new one the services of a professional should be employed unless the driver has in-depth knowledge of how the car works.

Replacing the battery correctly may help to prevent a problem with any of the car accessories including the AC.


Using the AC when the battery is low and the alternator is not functional will only result in you killing the battery. Therefore, it is better to wait till a solution has been found to fix the battery problem before using the car accessories.

Moreover, although having a low battery is not uncommon, it can be avoided by taking some preventive measures discussed in this article.