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Monday, August 30, 2010

To Crack Or Not To Crack — Does It Really Make A Difference?

To Crack Or Not To Crack — Does It Really Make A Difference?

Reprinted with permission from UMCDF Today, August 24, 2010

Numerous studies have been conducted and have confirmed something we all already knew — during the summer, the inside of our car gets, well, as they say, "just plain hot." However, other facts that we might not have been aware of have also been discovered: How fast does it get hot in a vehicle?

One study showed that within 10 minutes, the inside temperature rose 20 degrees higher than the outside air, 34 degrees within a half an hour and 40-50 degrees within an hour.

Another study showed the inside temperature hitting 116 degrees within an hour with an outside temperature of only 72 degrees. And in one more study, with an outside temperature of 93 degrees, the inside temperature was recorded at 125 degrees after 20 minutes and 140 degrees after 40 minutes.

Windows "cracked" — yes or no?

Three vehicles were used to look at whether "cracking" your windows had any cooling effect. One car was left with all of its windows fully closed, one had four windows open to 1 1/2 inches and another had two windows opened 1 1/2 inches.

The car with the closed windows showed an inside temperature of 115 degrees at an outside reading of 94 degrees. The car with the four "cracked" windows showed an inside temperature of 113 degrees at an outside reading of 95 degrees. The car with only two windows "cracked" had an inside reading of 109 degrees with an outside reading of 99 degrees. So it doesn’t look like it makes a significant difference whether you leave your windows "cracked" or not.

Dark cars vs. light cars

A study using a dark-colored car with windows closed and a light-colored car with two windows "cracked" 1 1/2 inches showed that after 40 minutes with the outside temperature reading 93 degrees, the dark vehicle had an inside temperature of 140 degrees and the light vehicle had an inside temperature of 138 degrees. As in previous studies, it appeared that "cracking" the windows were ineffective at keeping the car cool no matter what the color scheme.

What does this mean?

Just think, a can of spray paint can burst if exposed to over 120 degrees for a period of time. Not only are people and pets at risk, the heat will affect other items as well such as food and medicines that need to be kept cool. The main thing to remember? It doesn’t take long for the inside of your car to turn deadly hot in summer.

Try these tips:

• Take your vehicle to a mechanic to have its air conditioning system checked ahead of time to be sure the refrigerant level is OK and that there are no leaks in the system.

• Invest in a good, reflecting windshield sun shade (the silver foldable type). It will keep the interior temperature lower and keep your dashboard looking good longer.

Reference Links:

UMCDF Today, August 24, 2010

http://www.mydogiscool.com/x_car_study.php

http://ggweather.com/heat

http://ggweather.com/heat/heating-small.wmv

http://ggweather.com/heat/fig1a.gif

http://ggweather.com/heat/rise.gif

http://www.injuryprevention.org/states/la/hotcars/hotcars.htm

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7631