Entering a parked vehicle on a hot summer day can feel similar to an oven. This is because of the greenhouse effect, where the air within the cabin can reach a temperature that is fifty degrees higher than the external air. Below are some tips to cool down the car quickly.
Roll down the Windows to Extract the Air
Your first inclination after getting into the car is to turn on the A/C and set it to the highest settings, but you shouldn’t. Instead, you’ll want to roll down the windows and if you’ve got a sunroof you’ll want to open it as well to let all the hot air out. Wait a few minutes before turning on the A/C, since the hot air will rise automatically. You might also want to keep the doors open while the vehicle is parked since the doors function as a type of pump that will force air outward.
Check Your A/C to Ensure its Operating at Max Efficiency
Just because your vehicle’s air conditioning is blowing out cool air doesn’t mean it’s operating at maximum efficiency. There could be lingering problems that might not be immediately noticeable, such as refrigerant leaks. Most drivers don’t realize something is wrong until their air conditioning starts making strange noises or the vents only blow out warm air. By this point, the problem has progressed to the extent that fixing it can be costly. By getting your A/C inspected at least once a year by a competent technician, you’ll be able to detect problems in advance and get them resolved before they become expensive.
Don’t Turn the A/C to Max Settings
When getting into a hot vehicle that has been sitting in the sun for a while, it seems logical to turn the A/C up to the max settings. The reason is that when the air conditioning is turned to max, the system extracts air from the cabin, cools it down, and then blows it inside. The trouble is that because the air within the cabin is already hotter than external air, this means that the A/C must work harder when initiating the cooling procedure.
However, if you turn on the A/C but place it on a setting lower than max, air will be extracted from outside rather than inside. And because the external air is cooler than the air within the cabin, this minimizes the work the A/C has to do to get the passenger compartment to a comfortable temperature. You should only turn the A/C up to max once the interior has become cooler than the external air, since that cooler air may be recirculated through your A/C system.
Always Park in Shade or Use Protective Covers
Generally speaking, you should avoid parking in direct sunlight if at all possible. You want to put the vehicle in an area that is shaded because this will keep the cabin cooler which makes it easier to cool further when you turn on the A/C. If no shade is available then protective screen covers should be used to block sunlight so it doesn’t heat up the cabin, especially the leather.