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Automatic Temperature Control

Automatic Temperature Controls (ATC) are complex systems incorporated into many newer car models. These temperature control systems take many different factors into consideration when setting and keeping the desired temperature inside the cabin of a car. Their systems use information from inside and outside of the car and look at the overall efficiency of the car and adjust accordingly. Simply, the goal of an ATC system is to keep the cabin of the car at its most ideal temperature. Let's learn a bit more about how these ATC systems actually work.

How Does Automatic Temperature Control Work?

ATC systems use many different sensors, internally and externally, on a car. For instance, it uses ambient air temperature sensors, humidity sensors, pressure sensors, interior temperature sensors, outlet duct/evaporator sensors, sunload sensors, and blend door position sensors. Although slightly more uncommon, some cars may use infrared sensors placed on a dashboard to track the cars body temperature.

  • Automatic Temperature Control

All of these different sensors and components are used in combination with each other to keep the car’s cabin and its passengers at the ideal temperature. ATC systems, in the simplest terms, does whatever it has to do in order to keep the car’s temperature at the specified level the passengers set it to. For instance, if you set the temperature to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, these systems work together to keep the car’s temperature at said level. It uses all of its different sensors placed in and around the car to keep its temperature in check.

Solar Load Sensors

Solar load sensors are incorporated into many ATC systems. These sensors are responsible for increasing or decreasing the car’s temperature and cooling systems when the cabin is in direct sunlight. Natural sunlight heats the cabin of the car and can make it hotter on the inside, despite what temperature you have your car set to. The solar load sensors help combat this issue by adjusting the car's temperature system accordingly.

Humidity Sensors


These sensors measure how much humidity is in the air. Humidity sensors are a relatively new addition to ATC systems and are generally found in newer car models and certain car brands.

  • Automatic Temperature Control

This information the humidity sensor regulates how much air is aimed at the car’s windows to reduce fog buildup. Additionally, it also helps manage a comfortable climate within the car.

Similar to the temperature control systems, some humidity sensors use infrared sensors to measure the windshield and side window temperatures for further climate regulation inside of the cabin.