Have you considered how to keep your car cool in the summer? If a sudden heatwave hits are you prepared to beat the heat? Perhaps you are going on a family road trip, or your air conditioning (AC) is malfunctioning. The earth’s rotation, cold polar air from the north and warmer air from the Tropics join forces to create Britain’s unpredictable weather. This means hot weather can strike at any time!
As specialist providers of private car insurance, we aim to deliver useful ideas on how you can keep your car cool both before you get in and whilst driving as temperatures rise this summer.
The hazards of a hot car
Not only is it important to keep your car cool in terms of comfort but also in terms of safety. Elderly or younger passengers do not fare as well in the heat as the rest of us. Heat exhaustion is a genuine concern, and can be identified by the following symptoms:
- Muscle cramps and headaches
- Dizziness and confusion
- Increased thirst and sweating
- Pale, clammy skin
- Fast breathing or pulse
These are examples of what could happen to somebody. Adults and children experience similar symptoms, although children may also become drowsy/sleepy too.
How to treat heat exhaustion
Typically heat exhaustion is easily remedied by performing the following:
- Loosen/remove unnecessary clothing
- Relax in a cool, shaded place
- Drink cold drinks
You can also employ extra cooling measures such as applying a cool compress, spritzing with cooling sprays, and utilising the car AC. However, air conditioning may not be available or in need of a recharge/repair.
How to keep your car cool in summer without AC
As the sun moves across the sky it is practically impossible to avoid its glare throughout the day. This is true for your car too. Even if parked in the shade after a few hours the temperature inside could have spiked noticeably. These simple ideas could help:
Firstly, dressing in light summer clothing is critical to keeping your body at a comfortable temperature. Light coloured cotton t-shirts, shorts and canvas shoes are a sure-fire success. Secondly, wear a cap or sunhat to keep the sun out of your eyes and prevent burning your scalp. Finally, avoid materials such as silk, nylon, acrylic, and polyester as they encourage perspiration and retain body odours.
Aerate your vehicle
Open all the doors if possible before entering and use a picnic blanket, beach towel, or the doors themselves to “fan” hot air from the vehicle. You could even use a newspaper, floormat, or roadmap. Do this for a few minutes and you will rapidly cool your car’s interior.
Utilise your car lower vents
As hot air rises it makes sense to utilise only the lower vents of the vehicle to force hot air upwards and outwards. Open the doors or windows and close the upper vents near the dashboard and windscreen. As the engine warms up and the airflow cools down previously warm air will be removed.
Stock up on essentials
Having useful extras onboard can be of benefit to you and your fellow passengers. This is especially true for younger passengers such as toddlers. Keep children’s laps free of luggage, laptops, rucksacks, and other items because they trap heat and can amplify potential discomfort. Items that can come in handy include:
- Frozen bottles of water
- Moist towelettes/water wipes
- Cooling sprays
- Handheld fans
Keep the windows open
It may seem obvious but keeping all the windows open for a few minutes as you drive away will allow excess hot air to escape and allow time for the air from the vents to reach the desired temperature. If you are driving through a town or city open windows will keep you cool and will not affect fuel consumption as much as air conditioning.
How to keep a parked car cool
Many of us park our cars outside work, shops, and gyms daily for hours at a time. But what is the best way to avoid stepping into a car that feels like an oven? Here are a few simple tips that could prove useful:
Keep out of direct sunlight
While it is impossible to avoid the sun completely you can hide from it by parking tactically. Utilise manmade structures such as high-rise office blocks, car parks and shops to shade your car from the elements. You can take advantage of natural objects too such as trees, tall hedges, and thick bushes. Parking in an underground structure or garage is the best way to regulate your car’s temperature so if you have access to one of these make sure to use it.
Cover your seats
As most interiors are black as standard, keeping the heat off your seat is no mean feat. If you can opt for a lighter shade of seat cover preferably made from natural materials. Failing that you can always throw a beach towel or picnic blanket over your seats before leaving your vehicle for the day. Those unlucky enough to experience the discomfort of a hot leather or plastic interior can also opt to give their interior a wipe down with a damp cloth or spritz. Allowing time for the moisture to evaporate will cool the upholstery and the interior too.
Gadgets to keep your car cool in summer
If you are planning a long car journey this summer the experience can be made more difficult in high temperatures. Kids, pets, and grumbling in-laws have the capacity to multiply this feeling of discomfort and irritation as you try to concentrate on the road. Below are a few useful devices that could keep your interior cool and your journey a pleasant one.
A cost-effective way to keep your car cool is a windscreen sunshade. Advances in technology now mean you can now purchase a one-size-fits-all retractable version that can be operated with one hand. The shades are made from hard-wearing polyester which can block UV rays and solar energy. This means that not only is the device keeping your car cool, but it is protecting your upholstery too.
Steering wheel cover
Like a sunshade, the steering wheel cover will prevent your wheel from becoming uncomfortably hot before you enter your vehicle. With a lightweight aluminium film construction, the cover acts as a strong reflector of light and heat which helps keep temperatures inside the car cool. The cover is also flexible and can be stored in a glovebox or footwell.
Electric dashboard and headrest Fans
A great way to keep you and your passengers cool is to use 12V electric fans that plug into your cigarette lighter socket. They can be positioned with suction cups, clips, or adhesive pads and provide a surprisingly powerful blast of cold air. They are small and do not require batteries as they plug directly into your vehicle. Headrest models could be particularly useful with younger passengers on board as the jets can be directed for maximum comfort.
Solar-powered ventilation fan
Why not use the power of the sun to keep your car cool this summer? With a solar-powered fan, you can position it on any of your windows with ease and enjoy the cool air without eating into your car’s battery power. With some models offering a dual power supply this handy gadget could keep you cool even when skies are grey. By employing clean solar energy, you will not need to run your AC, save fuel, and reduce harmful emissions too!
Keep cool and see how much you could save!
With experience in the insurance industry since 1982, we offer private car insurance that can be tailored to your unique insurance needs. We consider all drivers, regardless of your circumstances. Click Get a Quote for a private car, no-obligation online quotation.
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