How to get the most from your car’s air-conditioning during a heatwave

With flaming June finally living up to its name, many drivers will be taking full advantage of their car’s air-conditioning system. Whether or not they will be using it correctly, or at its most efficient, however, is another matter.

Follow these tips on how to make sure an air-conditioning system is operating at its most effective, as well as warning motorists that not cooling their car sufficiently after it’s been parked in the sun can lead to a driver suffering from impaired reaction times.

Those latter claims are based on Seat’s research which shows that an in-car temperature of 35°C (not as implausible as it first sounds when you think that a car parked in the sun for a long period can reach 60°C inside) can reduce reaction times by 20 per cent compared with a temperature 10°C lower.

Now, you might well question whether anybody would actually ever try to drive in a car that was 35°C inside without at least opening the window, but Seat’s tips on how to make the best use of an air-conditioning system could still serve as a useful reminder.

Open the doors

One common mistake made by drivers is to switch the air-con to full blast the moment they get in the car. Instead, it advises motorists first open the doors and windows for a couple of minutes to allow the hot air to escape and cooler air to enter the car. Skip this step and all the air-con will do is recirculate the hot air.

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