Why Your Vehicle A/C Fails To Beat The Summer Heat

Why Your Vehicle A/C Fails To Beat The Summer Heat

In the summer, temperatures soar, and while it’s nice to go outside and sit on the beach, it’s less pleasant to come back to the car after an afternoon of sun tanning, for both you and your car! Getting into the car is like getting into a furnace oven, and the seats are simply burning your skin! Why does the car get so hot in the summer? How come your vehicle A/C fails to beat the summer heat?

The Greenhouse Effect

What you might not know is that car interiors create a Greenhouse Effect. The sun enters the vehicle through the glass surrounding your car, and its heat is quickly absorbed by your seats, dash, and other components inside your car. Unfortunately, the same glass that allowed the light in, does not allow the heat back out. This creates an effect much like in a greenhouse, where the temperature inside the glass area is actually higher than the temperature outside it. Even if the temperature outside is only 70 degrees, the temperature inside the car can get up to 115 degrees in no time. That is why, you never want to leave a child or pet inside your car, nor a can of aerosol spray in the dash!

Rapid Rise Of Temperature

An average rise of interior temperature of an enclosed vehicle, according to a study by the Department of Earth & Climate Sciences, San Francisco State University, is 43 degrees in just 60 minutes. The initial increase is especially fast, from 0 to 19 degrees in 10 minutes, with an average of 34 degrees increase in the first 30 minutes.

The Biggest Culprit Behind Rapid Heat Absorption

What is the biggest factor causing your car to absorb the most amount of heat? It’s the color of your seats and dash. That’s right, dark colored car seats and dash would absorb heat much more quickly than light colored ones. In fact, the color of the internal components of your car actually plays a bigger role in heat absorption than the materials used, so whether it is leather or fabric, this doesn’t make much of a difference as the color does.

Unfortunately, dark colors are usually popular for seats, as they don’t look dirty as quickly as light colored ones, so this heat issue would likely affect the majority of car buyers. So don’t worry, you are not alone in this situation.

How To Prevent The Car Temperature From Rising

Opening your window a crack doesn’t help much because it lowers the temperature only slightly (and also you may be inviting misdemeanors). The best thing you can do is to park in the shade and use a sun shield to prevent sunlight and heat from entering your car. Also, if you find that your A/C is not blowing air cool enough, you may need to check on the refrigerant to make sure it is topped up to provide you optimal cooling in your car especially on those crucial summer days. R & Y A/C Compressors is committed to helping customers solve their vehicle issues. To find out more about checking your vehicle’s A/C, you can visit our learning center.