Posted on: 8 April 2016Share
Your car's interior naturally heats up in the hot summer sun, and unfortunately, running your air conditioner constantly causes your vehicle to consume extra petrol. Luckily, there are other things you can do that don't have any impact on your car's fuel efficiency. Here are five products to consider:
1. Solar-Powered Air Vent Fan
Solar powered air vents are powered by the sun, meaning you don't have to worry about charging them or providing them with any energy from your car. Their role is to keep your car cool whilst it is parked. That way, when you return to the car it is not too hot to drive, and you don't have to run the AC on high to bring the temps back down.
You simply slip the air vent fan into one of the windows on your car -- to fit it, you roll down the window a few inches, pop it in and secure a bit of weather stripping to hold it in place. Then, the vent fan pulls cool air into your car while releasing warm air.
2. Tinted Window Films
In addition to using a tool such as an air vent, you may also want to add tinted window films to your vehicle. Car window tinting helps to reduce the amount of heat that enters your car, both whilst it is parked and as you are driving it. Window film is basically a tinted overlay that can be stuck to your window with adhesive.
Ideally, this is not something you should do yourself -- Instead, you should have a professional handle the application. That way, they can be sure that there are no air bubbles or other issues with the film.
Tinted window films block sunlight from entering your car, and the amount of light they allow in is called visible light transmittance or VLT. In New Zealand, the highest VLT you are allowed to have on your side and rear windows is 35 percent. To keep your car as cool as possible, opt for this level of VLT.
3. Windscreen Cover
For safety and visibility reasons, you are not allowed to have a front windscreen with a VLT rating lower than 70 percent. As a result, you need to make a bit of extra effort to keep the sun from entering through your front windscreen when your car is parked. For those times when you have to park outside and shade is not available, invest in a windscreen cover.
You can buy a cover made especially for this purpose, or you can make your own. A large dismantled cardboard box can work as well as a large beach towel taped to the inside of your windscreen.
4. Spray Bottle
Unfortunately, even with vents, window films and a windscreen cover, your car still may harbour unwanted heat. Luckily, a simple spray bottle can help. Imagine your car has been parked in the sun all day long. In spite of your heat-thwarting attempts, the interior feels hot when you open the door.
To temper that feeling, grab your water bottle and spritz water onto your steering wheel, seats and even the floor of your car. The water droplets will evaporate in the hot air, and they will take some of the car's heat along with them.
5. Vent Visors
After you've sprayed down your car and are ready to start driving again, consider installing some vent visors. Vent visors attach to your car door over your window. They allow you to open the window and let cool air into your car, and as a result, you don't have to run your AC. If it's raining, vent visors keep out the rain. However, they also increase the aerodynamics of your car, and they help reduce drag in spite of the fact that your windows are open.