Turning off air conditioning can end up causing health problems for drivers, according to maintenance specialists Nationwide Autocentres.

Air conditioning systems can build up a store of bacteria and germs such as e-coli when not used regularly.

The advice is to use aircon regularly, even in winter months, to keep the system clear, and has been issued as Nationwide claims that many motorists are turning off their aircon to lower fuel consumption and save money at a time of financial instability.

Duncan Wilkes, CEO of Nationwide Autocentre said: “In reality, ad-hoc use of A/C systems can actually increase the cost of fuel consumption as substances can build up to form blockages, reducing the A/C’s efficiency when it is used.”

Nationwide Autocentre also recommends ensuring the system is regularly maintained and refilled with gas and cleaned annually at a cost of about £70.