6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, How to Cool Your Car Fast & Save Gas

(ABC 6 NEWS) – When your car has been parked outside on a hot day, we all know that feeling of opening your car door and getting hit with a blast of hot, humid air. Getting a quick cool down with your car’s A/C is what you need, but what’s the most efficient and effective way to get it?

The first this to know is movement is your friend, so this isn’t the time to use your car’s remote start. It won’t do much to cool down your car, and you’ll be wasting fuel.

"Your car air conditioning works much better when you’re actually driving because the faster the engine turns, the faster the AC compressor runs, which lets the system cool more effectively," said Mike Quincy, Consumer Reports Car Expert.

When you start driving, turn on the air conditioner and open all the windows for 10 to 20 seconds.

Then, crank the fan! Once cold air starts flowing through the vents, roll up the front windows, but keep the rear ones cracked open for another 10 to 20 seconds to pull the cold air to the back of the car.

"Next adjust the AC to the lowest temp and make adjustments to the fan speed and direction to make you comfortable," Quincy said. "This will actually make the AC unit efficient, will dry out the air more, and can actually save some fuel."

If you have passengers in the back seat, make sure you turn off recirculation mode, so the air in the back doesn’t get stale and hot.

Another tip from CR – if you’ve got a newer car with an auto start-stop system, you may want to turn it off, if that’s an option. This feature saves fuel by shutting off the car’s engine when you’re stopped, but it may also shut off the car’s AC compressor. Something you’ll want to keep running while stuck in stop-and-go traffic on your way to the beach!

And, when you get a chance, check your cabin air filter to make sure it’s clean. A dirty filter prevents optimal airflow and on a hot day, you don’t want anything between sweaty you and the sweet, cold air!