How to Keep Your Car Cool in the Summer
By: Good2GoPublished: July 28, 2014
It’s the middle of the summer which means your car has effectively been transformed into a human oven. And if you find yourself sticking to pleather seats or screaming in agony whenever the seatbelt buckle touches your skin, it’s time to find a better way to cool your car. Using your air conditioner is great, but it takes a lot of energy to cool the entire car and if your A/C kicks the bucket, you’ll need a backup plan.
The interior of that four-wheeled inferno you call a car can reach temperatures well over 120°F on an 80°F day in a matter of minutes. This is because the sunlight heats the trapped air inside and all of the surfaces, creating a greenhouse effect. To reduce your chances of burning your skin on the gear shifter or having your passengers curse your name from here to eternity, here’s how you can keep your car cool in the summer.
Use tinted windows: Primarily used to reduce the amount of visible light and ultraviolet (UV) radiation entering the car, tinted windows are a great way to keep out unwanted heat. Be advised that some states have laws regarding tinted windows as certain levels of visible light need to be let through, so be sure to check your state’s laws before installing them.
Invest in a sunshade: Also known as windshield sun blockers, these inexpensive pieces of folded cardboard or other material can be placed against the inside of your windshield to keep the sun out and reduce the interior temperature of your car. Look for sunshades that are reflective, as they provide the most protection and deflect the most sunlight.
Park in the shade: Like you didn’t think of this already. Finding a shady parking spot can be difficult, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Try parking your car in a garage or behind a building where it won’t be in direct contact with the sun’s sweltering rays. If you do find it impossible to find a safe-haven for your vehicle, park facing away from the sun so at least your front seats and steering wheel are a little cooler.
Add seat covers: If your car seats are made of pleather or some other sticky material, these covers work like a charm on those hot summer days. They’re inexpensive and come in a variety of colors and designs.
Keep blankets in the car: This may sound unconventional, but your backside will thank you. By leaving blankets on the seats when you’re away from your car, the seats will be protected from the sun. That means only the blankets will be exposed to the heat. Once you and your passengers return to the vehicle, simply toss the blankets in the trunk for future use.
Use a fan: We’re not talking about a full size window fan. Small fans that can be placed on the dashboard or attached to the sun visor can be found at many auto part stores. This will help circulate the air inside the vehicle so you can stay cool on those long trips sans A/C. But again, having items attached to your dashboard is illegal in some states, so check your local laws before purchasing a car fan this summer.
Just add water: Not only should drivers always stay properly hydrated during the summer, but having water on hand can help cool off your car to make road trips a little more bearable. To cool off hot surfaces like the dashboard, steering wheel and seatbelt buckles, pour water into a cloth and use it to wipe down those surfaces. The water will evaporate once it comes in contact with these surfaces, eventually dissipating the heat.
To cool yourself off, wrap frozen water bottles in a towel and use them as ice packs. Place the water on the back of your neck to cool you down during the drive. Once the water inside thaws, drink up to rehydrate.
Roll down the windows: This may sound obvious, but there’s a trick to this piece of advice. If your car has a fan operated cool air vent, open it up, turn on the fan, and lower one of the rear windows just enough to create a draft throughout your vehicle. This will help increase air circulation by pushing out the super-heated air in the car. You will also want to consider opening the car’s sun roof to draw in even more fresh air.
Keeping your car cool in the summer without an air conditioner will save you money and the environment. Only use your A/C on extremely hot days where no other methods of cooling will suffice.
One final important message: Under no circumstance should you leave an animal or small child in an overheated vehicle. As we mentioned earlier, interior car temperatures can reach over 120°F and small children can suffer heat stroke in a matter of minutes. If you see a small child or animal in a car on a hot summer day with no ventilation, it is advised that you call 911 immediately.
Good2Go wants you to drive safe – and affordably. Find out how you can protect yourself with Good2Go.com auto insurance. Get a cheap car insurance quote today.