Let’s get down to business — it’s hot.
The collar of your shirt is sticking to your neck when you go outside due to the 100-degree heat. Your pants feel like they are pasted to your legs from the accumulation of sweat drizzling down each pore of your limbs. And don’t get started on the forehead — the puddle on your head is almost big enough to be called a pond.
You rush to your car that has been sitting in the sun all day for refuge, but when you get in the car, you are sitting in your own personal sauna.
At the immediate start of your car, you proceed to blast the air conditioner for instant relief, but much to your chagrin, it just blows humid air at you and your whole body remains slippery with perspiration.
These 8 tips could help your car cool off faster so you aren’t grilled into a medium-rare piece of meat while you drive.
1. Avoid the Habit of Pre-Cooling Car
Don’t expect the air conditioning to work immediately — it works much, much better when the engine is active.
Save yourself some gas and time by not letting the car run before you buckle yourself in. It’s a much better idea to start driving so the A/C compressor has more power to cool the inside of your car.
2. Open Windows
To help cool the car even faster, you can blast the fan without the A/C and open up the back windows to force the warm air out.
If you just open the front windows, the air will just make its way to the back of the car, leaving your passengers agitated in a cloud of humidity and possibly yelling a few choice words at you.
3. Low-to-High A/C Speed
When working out, you don’t just start by lifting your max weight or running as fast as you can — you gradually work up to it or start at least with a warm-up.
You can think of an A/C system like your body — it needs to warm-up before it can maximize its performance.
Start your A/C at the coldest temperature setting and lowest fan speed, then have it work up to your desired speed while it’s warming up (or cooling?).
4. Turn Off Auto A/C System
Most modern cars now possess an auto A/C system that prevents the air conditioning compressor from running while the engine is off or not active.
Although having it on will save gas, the A/C compressor will shut off if you are stopped at a long light or in heavy traffic where the engine is barely being used.
Unless you don’t mind the heat, it is recommended that you keep the auto A/C system off to maximize your air conditioner performance.
5. Recirculate Air If No Passengers Are in the Back
Once you have cool air inside your car, you want to activate recirculation mode so your A/C will use the cool air already inside your car — you definitely don’t want it sucking in the warm air from outside.
If, however, you have passengers riding with you, then you don’t want to use recirculation mode, according to Consumer Reports . The air that is recirculated is only taken from the front of a car’s cabin, thus keeping the back of the car at a higher temperature and only making the front cabin cool.
But hey, I’m not the judge on how you treat your passengers. By all means, make the people sitting in the back simmer in frustration.
6. Park in Shady Areas
If you are going to be parked for an extended period of time, it’s a fantastic idea to park in a shaded area and roll your windows down a few inches.
You may have to park a little further away from your destination, but you’ll be happy when you get back in your car and you aren’t blamed by Dwight Schrute for “starting the fire.”
7. Use a Dashboard Cover
When you can’t find a shady place to park, you should have a dashboard cover as a backup. Not only will it keep your car cooler, but it will also protect your car’s interior from sun damage that could potentially cause bleaching or cracking.
8. Keep A/C Filter Clean
Over time, your filter will accumulate lots of dust and dirt which will affect the airflow of your A/C.
If you don’t know how to check your air filter, here is an article by NAPA of how to change your filter. This article will work for most cars, however, there are a few first-generation cars that require you to remove your entire dashboard in order to get to the filter.
These 8 tips can help you stay cooler while you drive the rest of the summer. If you have anything to add, then please comment or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!