How To Use Your Car’s AC Effectively In a Heatwave

By: | July 30th, 2020

Image by MikesPhotos from Pixabay

Heat can bring a world of pain to your car. Your air conditioner is the antidote to the rising temperatures and the messiah for the scorching summer days. But how do you help reduce its burden when you know it’s going to be pushed to its limits during a heatwave? 

When a heatwave is going around the city, the windows and cabin of your vehicle can act a lot like a greenhouse. When your car encounters sunlight, the sun’s energy can enter through your windows or be absorbed by the metal roof and get trapped with no way to escape. This trapped heat causes the interior of your vehicle to get extremely hot and turn your once adorable and friendly car into a flesh melting heat monster. Given that in-car temperatures can rise to 35°C, combating it solely and ineffectively with your AC can push it to its breaking limits. 

To help you mitigate these heating effects, we’ve curated a practical and easy-to-implement list of solutions. Follow these tips on how to make sure your air-conditioning system is operating at its most effective.

Avoid The Sun

The most effective solutions are usually the most simple ones. Avoid your car from being exposed to direct sunlight by parking it in a large shade area. The duration required to get your car heated is significantly lesser during extremely hot days, and direct sunlight is the source for a barrage of problems.

Allow Maximum Ventilation

When you encounter a hot car, do not try to fix it by immediately blasting the AC to the maximum. All this does is blow warm air through the cabin or recirculate the hot air. Instead, simply opening the doors and windows for a couple of minutes will allow the trapped hot air to escape and cooler air to enter the car. 

Vent Direction

Although the temptation to throw your face in front of the AC is strong after getting an involuntary sweat facial, you must avoid pointing and blocking the air vents directly towards you. Doing so stops the air from being evenly distributed around the car. 

The direction the air is flowing inside the car matters. Pointing the vents upwards will ensure that the air moves around inside the car, reaches every passenger, and cools the interior of the car.

Climate Control

Modern cars now come with their own climate control feature. This is a more sophisticated form of air-conditioning. If your car has climate control, rather than a more basic air-conditioning system, you can set it to the Auto setting. This intelligently detects its environment to control the fan speed and also whether the air should be recirculated in the cabin or drawn from outside.

If your car doesn’t have the auto feature, you can manually adjust the settings to keep the air intake to be from outside and blower-speed set to low. Maintaining the right configuration for the AC on an especially hot day can help you cool the car more quickly and minimize fogging.

Regular Usage 

An air-conditioner that is rarely used builds the opportunity for dirt and bacteria. Therefore, it is good practice to use your car’s AC frequently, even sprinkled throughout the winter. This allows the functioning of the AC parts regularly, which increases long-term reliability. Also, regular maintenance such as replacing filters every year or two will keep it operating at its maximum efficiency.

Other Important Tweaks

You can also choose cooler tweaks like a sun reflective tint, light color paint, and using a windshield sunshade. We also recommend a thorough check of the air-conditioner unit in this season to make sure the condition of hoses, belts, and coolant levels are perfect. Sometimes issues can get out of your control and slip through precautionary walls, therefore also make sure you give special importance to vital functioning parts like the AC compressor. Using a reliable ac compressor service can save you from a world of troubles.


Heatwaves are inevitable and ignorant usage of your ac can burden it to the point of breaking. Being proactive can prevent you from driving an oven-on-wheels and help you beat the heat.


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