What do you do when your windscreen mists up? Desperately turn every knob on your dashboard, hoping for a miracle? Wipe the glass with your sleeve? Open the windows slightly?
These are usually our first reactions when we’re faced with a foggy windscreen which needs to be sorted out before it becomes a safety hazard – but none of them really does the job properly. The good news is that there are far better solutions which actually WORK – the trick is to remember what to do in the rising panic that often accompanies a misty windscreen!
Let’s look at what causes a windscreen to mist up in the first place.
Contrary to what most people believe, foggy glass isn’t caused by the cold air outside but rather by your body warmth and your breath heating up the air inside the car, causing water vapour in the atmosphere. When this moist air comes into contact with your windscreen, it cools and condenses, forming a mist.
The trick is to reduce the amount of water vapour in the car as quickly as possible and there are a few ways you can do this. (There are also a few things that you shouldn’t do, which we’ll go into later).
- Let the air in.
You’ll need to be brave on this one, and open the windows fully. It might have you wincing at the icy blast, but it’s a good way to get a strong airflow through the cabin to help prevent warm, moist air from condensing on the windscreen.
- Use your airconditioner
If you use your airconditioner in conjunction with the heater, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the foggy windscreen will disappear. Aircons are designed to remove water vapour from the cabin to lower the temperature, so they’re just as effective in keeping you cool on hot days as it they are at demisting windscreens in winter. Turn the heat up slowly at the same time and you’ll have an even more effective combination because the hot, dry air will dry the glass and draw and absorb water from your windscreen.
- Turn off the air re-circulation.
Fresh cold air from the outside won’t contain much water vapour so it’s best to turn off the ‘air recycling’ function.
- Get to know your car’s climate control system
Most cars have some sort of climate control system which will automatically adjust the ventilation and heating levels to get the best results. Get to know where the buttons are, so you can hit them when you need them in a hurry!
That’s what you should do when you want to demist your windscreen quickly – but here are a couple of things that you shouldn’t do!
- Don’t wipe the glass with your sleeve
Getting up close and personal with your foggy glass to wipe it with the back of your hand or your sleeve can compound the problem, not solve it. The closer you get to the windscreen, the more your warm, moist breath will condense on the windscreen.
- Don’t drive with foggy glass!
A misty windscreen is a safety hazard because it impairs your vision (and the same applies to side and rear windows as well as side mirrors). Don’t be tempted to pull away before you’ve properly cleared the glass and are confident that it won’t mist up again in a hurry.
If in doubt, why not ask the windscreen experts? A company like Autoscreens which has been doing professional windscreen replacements and windscreen repairs in Perth for over 20 years has all the answers to any windscreen-related question from what do about cracked glass to how to demist a windscreen in a hurry – so give them a call on 0400 200 086 or get in touch via their website, www.autoscreens.com.au.