Beyond the Air-Conditioner: 4 Clever Ways to Keep Your Car Cool
As the weather in Washington transitions from spring to summer, you can expect the days to slowly get warmer. You don’t always have to use your car’s air conditioner to stay comfortable, though. On mild days, you can rely on these four clever ways to keep your car cool.
Park in the Shade
Parking in direct sunlight can make a car’s cabin reach excessively hot temperatures. After 30 minutes in 85-degree F temperature, a car’s interior can reach 119 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 128 degrees.
This is why it’s so dangerous to leave animals and children in parked cars, even on days that don’t feel particularly warm.
Parking in the shade won’t eliminate the heat, but it can keep temperatures more comfortable.
If you can’t park in a shaded area, then use a windshield shade to block direct sunlight. Windshield shades are most effective when you put them in the front and back windows. Some research shows that this method can lower interior temperatures by nearly 11 degrees F in extremely hot weather.
Have the Windows Tinted
Tinting your car’s windows is another effective way to lower interior temperatures. When you tint your windows, you make it difficult for infrared light to enter your car. That means sunlight won’t raise the temperature as much.
In many cases, tinting your windows can work just as well as using windshield shades. Of course, you want to make sure that you choose a tint film that doesn’t make it hard for you to see the road. In Virginia, you cannot have tint on side windows that lowers transparency by 50 percent or more. Your rear window’s tint should not lower transparency by more than 35 percent.
Use the Bottom Vents
Shade will keep interior temperatures lower, but it can still get pretty hot inside your car. No matter how it is, resist the temptation to blast the air conditioning as soon as you get in. It takes time for your air conditioner to work, so you’re just blowing hot air.
You can, however, use your car’s fan to push hot air out of the cabin. For the best results, close the top vents, open the side windows, and turn the fan on high. This will push hot air outside. After a minute or so, you can open the top vents for a refreshing breeze.
This works because hot air weighs less than cool air. By using the bottom vents, you can push hot air out of the vehicle more effectively.
Buy a Solar-Powered Fan
Solar-powered fans are inexpensive and they don’t use any of your vehicle’s fuel. If you’re looking for a cheap way to stay cool on a summer day, adding a solar fan to your car is a sure bet.
Many solar fans come with mounts that will let you place them on your windshield or dashboard. Experiment with placement to find a spot that feels best to you.
As summer approaches, you’ll notice that the days start to get hotter. Use these four tips to stay comfortable without using your car’s A/C.
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