We’re living in historic times as weather continues to break barriers we thought inconceivable. The United Kingdom had experienced for the first time ever temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and many European countries experienced long periods of heat. However, deliveries can’t stop. So how can you keep the car cool while en route even without the air conditioner on? Here are our 10 tips for more pleasant drives in intense heat.
1. Freeze some water bottles to make ice packs
Prepare some water bottles in your freezer the night before and take them with you the next day in a cooler. Pack up some wet hand towels (you’ll see why in a minute). As you ride, you will have something cold to hold against your chest or the back of your neck to bring down the body temperature. And the best part is as they melt, you’ll have an ice-cold drink to refresh yourself.
2. Bring ice cold beverages
This is a pretty self-explanatory tip. A cold drink will help your body keep a lower temperature than it normally would be and keep you hydrated. Ice water is a good choice, who could say no to some iced coffee or tea while starting the day out?
3. Cooling seat covers
A hot seat is very unpleasant, as your back as a driver gets the worst of the heat. And if your seat is leather, you know it’s even worse to have your skin stick to hot leather. But even if you haven’t experienced the sensation, a leather surface becomes hotter than textile surfaces, so consider installing some cooling seat covers. A cooling seat can keep your head, back and seat cool and sweat-free, while making the ride more pleasant. Even if it’s a cloth seat cover or one that can plug into the car’s 12-volt system, you will avoid that hot feeling when getting back in (even if just 2 minutes passed since you got out).
4. Cooling Towel
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve seen players put over their shoulders towels with ice during breaks. Cooling towels, be it with ice or just cold water, are specifically designed to keep your body cool in intense heat. So the easiest way is to bring a towel, wet it with some cold water, wring it out, and drape it over your neck as you drive. It’s important to keep the car cool during the heat, but also your body.
5. Open windows and doors
While you drop off a certain delivery and depending on the level of safety in the area, keeping your car’s windows open will keep the air flowing. About half an inch (a few centimeters) should be enough for air to flow and not get super hot. If you park in a private garage, you could keep your windows all the way down, but depends on how comfortable you feel in that area.
6. Park in the shade
Be smart about where you park and find a shaded place. Even if you have to park a bit further away from your stop location, find some surrounding trees or buildings that provide a lot of shade, and don’t underestimate how much parking in shade helps.
7. Portable cooling fan
If your car doesn’t have AC or it doesn’t work at all, invest in a portable car air conditioner to reduce the heat. We recommend installing it on the driver’s left hand, facing the back right of the vehicle. If you can buy two, you can install the other one on the right hand of the passenger seat, facing the back left of the vehicle. This way you will create a cross-wind breeze to keep the air in the car moving.
8. Use a sun shield
A sun shield you can place over the dash is a critical factor in making the surfaces remain cooler. While you are away from the car, setting up a reflective windshield sunshade and even one or two side window sunshades can reduce the temperature of the interior surfaces up to a few noticeable degrees.
9. Place a wet cloth over the center of the air vent
If your car tends to get too hot while driving, here’s a cool trick. You need frozen or as cold as possible cloths, which you can keep in a cooler inside the car with you. Use one cloth at a time. Clip it to your dash vents and crank up the air. This turns basic air than enters your car into an evaporative air cooler. The air that passes through these cool cloths sends cold air to your face and will cool down the car in the process. When the cloth dries out, get the next one from the cooler, and so on.
10. Invest in tinted windows
If tinting is legal in your country, although this solution is a bit more expensive, it’s worth it in the long run. You can achieve around 10 degrees cooler ambient air temperature, just by having your windows tinted. In states where temperatures are hotter than normal, window tinting has fewer restrictions and regulations than in other states. The darker the tint, the cooler the car, but check the regulations before.