Keeping your car cool during the sweltering summer months is not only important for your physical and mental health it will save you money on fuel (and possibly repairs) and improve customer satisfaction.
Park in shaded or covered parking. Temperatures inside a car can be up to 40°F higher than outside on a hot day. Try to find covered parking even if it costs a little extra. If you are relying on natural shade, keep in mind the time of day and how long you plan to be there. Parking in shade at 10:00am could mean coming back at 3:00pm to a car that has been baking in the sun for hours.
Use a windshield sunshade. A windscreen sunshade is one of the oldest and most effective ways to keep your car cool in the summer. They reflect and/or absorb heat from the sun and keep your car cooler.
Open all the doors before entering the vehicle. Before you get back in your car, open all the doors – and the trunk – to allow trapped heat to escape. Boost the AC and try moving the doors back and forth to increase interior airflow.
Invest in tinted windows. Although laws dictate how much tinting is allowed on cars, it can cool a car down four times better than a window shade. (Read this American Automobile Association article for individual state window tint laws.) If you don’t have window tint, consider purchasing shades for your side windows, in addition to your windshield and back window. They are a great alternative and can be installed and removed, as needed.
Service your air conditioning. Make sure your air conditioner is ready for the heat by getting a full-service checkup and getting any problems fixed. It can save you a considerable amount of money in the long-run and will help prevent getting caught on the road with a broken A/C.
Dash cover. Covering the dash reduces the heat absorbed by (and thus released by) the surfaces in your car. There are covers designed for specific cars, as well as general-fit dashboard covers, but even just a towel can make a big difference.
Cover leather/vinyl surfaces. Seats, steering wheel, armrests, center console – anything made of leather or vinyl – should be covered to avoid burning yourself. Use towels or sheets to keep these surfaces covered when not in use.
Solar powered fan. Affix a solar-powered fan to the left-hand side of the driver seat facing the back right for a good cross breeze. Even better, buy two fans and put the other one on the front passenger’s right-hand side facing the back left seat.
Keep valuables out of the sun. Make sure any electronics, sunglasses, and valuables are kept out of direct sunlight. Tuck them under seats, in the glove box, trunk, or under a blanket in the footwells.
Crack windows. This option has some amount of risk as it could compromise the safety of your vehicle. If you want to crack the windows, be sure it is narrow enough that no one can fit their arm through. If you park in a higher crime area, it’s probably best to skip this tip. Leaving windows halfway down reduces the heat in the car by 60%, but obviously leaves the car vulnerable to theft.
Keeping Yourself Cool
Summer heat can sneak up on you and it can be dangerous. Please heed the following tips to keep you and your loved ones safe this summer.
Hydrate before you feel thirsty. Drink several glasses of water before you go outside, and then regularly throughout the day. Aim to consume at least a half-ounce of water for each pound you weigh.
Limit time outdoors. Try to perform outdoor activities early or late in the day.
Wear sunscreen. To prevent sunburn, wear “broad spectrum” sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply often if you’re sweating or swimming.
Know your meds. Certain medications affect how your body regulates heat. Check online or ask your doctor or pharmacist if you need to take special care.
Monitor your kids (and older adults). Reapply sunscreen often and be sure they’re drinking water to stay hydrated.