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Improving in-vehicle air quality already was starting to be a thing before the coronavirus, with several carmakers offering advanced filtration technologies.

(Images: Hyundai)

Now such systems are fast becoming de rigueur on next-gen “green” models—even if they don’t claim to kill COVID-type viruses.

Hyundai Motor Group, which touted its own air purification system last year, is introducing three new air conditioning technologies to help cleanse the passenger compartment of dust and mold, while creating a more comfy environment.

The technologies are:

  • After-Blow
  • Multi-Air Mode
  • Fine Dust Indicator

Here’s how they work…

No Mold

The “after-blow” system dries liquid condensation on the evaporator and suppresses mold growth in the air-conditioning system, which Hyundai notes can cause an unpleasant odor during hot weather.

After the engine is turned off, condensate drains naturally for about 30 minutes. The after-blower then is turned on for 10 minutes to dry the evaporator and any condensate leftover in the air passage. Outside air is allowed in during this time to prevent humidity from building up within the system.

A sensor monitors the battery and automatically switches the system off if power is low. The system also is deactivated when the air conditioning system is not in use for a certain period of time, or when the outside temperature is low.

Hyundai says the system can be implemented without adding costs.

Less is More

Multi-air mode uses a network of micro vents to reduce deployment force at higher fan speeds during air conditioning and heating functions.

When activated, air is dispersed via new multi-air slots and normal air vents. Hyundai says the overall air flow remains the same, but the new dispersion reduces direct air contact on a person’s body.

The carmaker likens the softening effect to the feeling of a gentle breeze.

Drivers can turn the system off and on throughout a trip based on personal preference.

Dust Buster

The “fine dust indicator” measures particulate matter accumulating inside the vehicle in real time to allow motorists to better manage air quality, according to Hyundai.

The concentration and pollution level of ultrafine particles are displayed on a color coded basis:

  • Blue (good) – 0 to 15 μg/m3
  • Green (moderate) – 16 to 35 μg/m3
  • Orange (bad) – 36 to 75 μg/m3
  • Red (very bad) – 76 μg/m3 and higher

At orange or red levels, the air-cleaning mode automatically is activated to purify cabin air. The air-cleaning system automatically sets the air volume, switches to air-recirculation mode and activates the air conditioning system to reduce humidity, Hyundai says.

If conditions don’t improve, the system prompts drivers to replace air-conditioner filters and/or clean contaminated seats and floormats.

What’s Next?

The new HVAC technologies will be introduced on select models in Korea later this year.

Other Hyundai, Kia and Genesis vehicles worldwide will get the systems later.

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