Cooling Down a Hot Car


You know the familiar feeling of opening the car door on a hot day, only to feel like a blast from a blow dryer in your face. Then you sit down, burning the backs of your thighs on your seat and hands on the steering wheel.

“A car sitting in the Florida sun is scorching,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

A parking garage is not always available, so below are some tips for cooling down your car swiftly.

Seek some shade

Park your car in the shade. Look for a tree or neighboring structure that could be casting a shadow in the parking lot. At least try to shield the sun from entering through your back window.

Crack your window

This may seem risky, but if you are in a safe area it is worth it. A study in Pediatrics, found that cracking the window 5 cm lowered the temperature in a car by about 28 degrees F on a 98-degree day. Measured with the windows fully closed the car measured 150 degrees.

Turn on the AC

This sounds like a no brainer, but make sure the air conditioning is set on fresh air instead of recycled, since it is cooler outside.

Use a sunshade

Sunshades reflect some of the light out of your windows before the interior of the car absorbs it. The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSCE) a research institute run by the University of Central Florida (UCF), discovered these shades can reduce the interior of a car by 15 to 20 degrees. Researchers also found the coolest results came when the reflective surface was turned to face the interior of the car. That’s right, backwards.

Car window tint

A good ceramic window tint covers all the windows. While it requires an investment, it is a permanent solution that will drop the internal temperature by several degrees.

Florida tint laws allow your windshield to be tinted with non-reflective tint along the top of the windshield. The front side windows must allow 28 percent of light through, while the back windows and rear window must allow more than 15 percent of light through.

Try the Japanese Door Trick

Roll down the driver’s side window, then open the passenger door, opening and closing it several times. This helps draw hot air out and pull in cool air.

“Regular car maintenance will also make sure systems are running accurately,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance agency.

Check the air filter

Check your cabin’s air filter to make sure it is clean. A dirty filter prevents air flow.

Keeping the interior of your vehicle cooled off will protect your investment and keep you and your passengers more comfortable.

GreatFlorida Insurance has been providing friendly service and affordable auto insurance since 1991. We are comprised of independent insurance agents with over 110 offices located throughout Florida. We are committed to helping you make informed decisions about all your insurance needs. Call us at 1-888-478-7801 or visit us online at