It’s not summer quite yet, but it already feels like it many parts of the United States. Over the next few months, the mercury will only keep rising. In some respects, that’s welcome news! After all, summer would not equate to summer fun without plenty of sun!
While most of us probably agree that feeling the sun’s warm rays shining down on our (protectively sun-screened) skin is a highlight of summer, tooling around town in a toasty car (especially while heading to work, school, or somewhere else where perspiration is not a good look) is not a summer highlight. To fully enjoy the season, you’ll want to embrace the sunshine – but keep your car’s cabin climate controlled. Here are some easy ways to do just that.
Give Your AC Some Love. Many motorists don’t pay much attention to their car’s AC until it stops working. You can (and should) avoid this by having your AC serviced before the dog days of summer really set in. Not only will this help you avoid a surprise AC breakdown, it will also help your AC work more efficiently (thus keeping you cooler.) Many service centers run pre-summer AC specials.
Crack the Windows. When your car is parked, even for just a short time, leave the windows and/or sunroof slightly open to allow heat to escape. Most people don’t realize how quickly a car turns from a comfortable temperature to a virtual oven when the air conditioning is turned off and the windows are rolled up. Even on a considerably mild (85 degree Fahrenheit) summer day, the temperature in a closed car can reach 90, 100, and 120 degrees Fahrenheit in 5, 7, and 30 minutes, respectively. The longer it sits, the hotter it gets. (This is also why it is imperative to never leave a child or pet unattended in a closed vehicle!)
Spread a Sun Shade. When parked, block the most intense rays of the sun by spreading a sun shade across your front window.
Spread a Blanket. Especially if you have leather seats, keep a blanket or towel in your car and cover your seats before leaving your car parked for an extended period. Your legs will thank you when you slide into the seat, and your leather will last longer.
Use a Fan. To expedite the removal of heat through your cracked car windows, consider purchasing a solar- or battery-powered fan. A fan won’t cool the inside cabin air, but it will help facilitate the extraction of hot air.
While it won’t do much for your car, consider also keeping a high quality cooler filled with water onboard. The heat doesn’t just cause your car to sizzle, it can sap moisture from your skin and cause you to become dehydrated quickly. Additionally, should your car’s engine overheat, your drinking water can double as radiator fluid in an emergency.