Getting out of the house with kids isn’t always easy and when you’re faced with the blazing summer heat coaxing cranky tots into their car seats can be downright impossible. Luckily there are some simple steps you can take to beat the heat. Here’s how to cool off your car in the summer without breaking a sweat.

No matter what tricks you try, like parking in the shade, your car will inevitably still be hot on those blazing days. So what do you do? Blast the AC? Roll down all the windows? While those steps can help, according to Thrillist car editor, Aaron Miller, the fastest and easiest way to cool your car off is to fan the door. Roll down the passenger side window and then fan the driver’s side door by opening and closing it quickly a few times. After testing several methods, Miller found that fanning half a dozen times before starting the car and AC lowered the temperature by 3.6 degrees per minute within the first ten minutes of driving.

According to Popular Science, the reason your car gets so much hotter inside than the temperature outdoors is due to a greenhouse effect. Light gets in through the glass windows then gets absorbed by the interior of your car, when it radiates back out the wavelengths change, making it harder for them to pass back out through the glass and trapping the heat.

There are some things you can do to prevent your car from getting too hot on the first place. One is to cover your windshield with a reflective cover. A study conducted by the Florida Solar Energy Center showed that this could reduce a car’s temperature by up to 20°F. Another quick fix is to leave your windows cracked a couple of inches, allowing the trapped heat to escape. One study found that leaving the windows about two inches open reduced the internal temperature by almost 30°F.

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—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Pexels

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