The interior of a parked car in Florida averages 150 degrees, according to researchers at the University of Central Florida.
“Every driver in Florida is familiar with the intense heat that greats you as you open the car door on a hot day,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent car insurance agency. Not only is a hot car terribly uncomfortable, but cooling your car down quickly can keep you from looking like a hot mess before you arrive at your destination.
Engineers at Consumer Reports found the best method for cooling off a hot car as soon as possible. The following are their instructions for how to do it.
Don’t Pre- Cool
Don’t run the air conditioning in your car until you are ready to drive. The A/C works better when you are driving. Once you are on your way, open the windows and crank the fan to full blast. When cold air starts coming through the vents, close the front windows but keep the rear windows cracked open for another 10 – 20 seconds. This gets cold air to the back of the car and creates an easy path for the hot air to escape the cabin.
Adjust the temperature and fan. Setting the temperature to the coldest temperature and adjusting the fans speed keep the air from drying out, making the A/C more efficient saving you some fuel.
If passengers are in the backseat, turn off recirculation mode. This takes air from the front of the car and pulls it back through the front system keeping the people upfront cool, but leaves the air in the back stale and hot.
Turn Off Start/Stop
Newer cars have an auto start-stop system, turn it off. This feature saves fuel, but it can also keep the air conditioning compressor from running when it shuts the engine off. In very hot weather, you will notice the lack of cool air quickly especially if you are stuck at a lengthy stoplight or in stop and go traffic.
Check the Air Filter
Check your cabin’s air filter to make sure it is clean. A dirty filter prevents air flow.
Automatic Climate Control
If you have automatic climate control in your car, lowering the temperature doesn’t make the car cool off faster. Most systems will do all the temperature and fan adjustments automatically, so you can just set it and forget it.