The harsh summer days can be a bit of a bother. You wouldn’t really feel comfortable – whether you are in your office or in your home. Sure, you do have fans inside your home, but what do you do inside your car?

You wouldn’t want to open up the car windows while you are driving – which leaves you with just one choice, to start the car’s AC. However, is that a wise thing to do? Turns out, it isn’t as great as you think it to be.

Using Your Car’s AC during the Summer Days

We think of air conditioning as a boon to provide us respite from the summer days. The comfort is also available in our cars which come with AC and keeps you cool while traveling. But there are some considerations which you should keep in mind when using your car AC.

Most people are ignorant about the health effects that can arise when you use your car AC after it has been parked after under the sun. Heated cars and subsequent use of AC can cause several health problems including cancer. So you must now switch on the AC just as you enter your car. You should at least wait for a few minutes.

Why you shouldn’t switch on the Car AC right after you enter it?

The interior of the car and accessories like the dashboard, seats, door panels and other parts can release benzene. Benzene is released by the car interior components and also air fresheners which is known to cause cancer.

It also impacts the count of white blood cells lowering the strength of your immunity system. You can also get anemia and bone poisoning due to short term exposure. When exposed for prolonged periods, it significantly increases the risk of cancer and causes leukemia and also miscarriage in women.

Benzene is also known to impact brain, heart, lungs, kidney, liver and leads to chromosomal damage and DNA strand breaks. Inhaling the benzene will cause serious harmful effects on your health. Scientific studies all state the same – the benzene which is produced inside a hot car just isn’t good for you.

The benzene level in cars parked under hot sun with temperature of 60 F can produce benzene to levels around 2000 to 4000 mg. Even cars parked in shades or outside of sun exposure contains 400 to 800 mg of benzene.

Do you know what the safe standard of benzene level is?

The acceptable level of benzene in air is 50 mg per square feet. So you can understand the humongous amount of toxic substance you can inhale if you switch the AC just after entering the car.

It has also been seen that the benzene levels are higher in cars older than two to three years.

Also, using the car AC just upon entering creates the greenhouse effect. When a car is parked under the sun with the windows closed, the temperature inside can rise above the temperature outside. It is always advisable to cool down the car naturally before using the AC.

How to safely use AC in a Hot Car?

You don’t need to do anything special to avoid the hazardous effects of benzene. When you enter the car, the first thing you should do is roll down the windows which helps in two things- first, the harmful level of benzene is lowered in the air and it becomes breathable.

Second, the car gets to cool off as the warm air flows outside eliminating the greenhouse effect. After you have opened the windows and waited for a couple of minutes, only then go ahead and use your car AC.

Just few minutes of your time can save you from cancer and keep you disease free. It isn’t a great idea to switch on your car’s AC, and it wouldn’t cost much to open up the car windows once a while, you know?