What’s the right way to defog your windshield?

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Raise your hand if this has happened to you: You’re driving your car and your windshield suddenly fogs up and obstructs your vision while driving. Are we all raising our hands?

It can be scary and dangerous to have your windshield fog up, especially during inclement weather conditions. You know you’ve got to act fast. Do you blast the heat? Crank the AC? Here’s the right way to unfog your windshield and maintain a clear view of the road ahead.

What causes your windshield to fog up in the first place?

Typically, this happens when there is a significant difference in temperature and humidity between the inside and outside of your vehicle. Moisture from the air condenses on the cold surface of the windshield, creating fog.

Tried-and-tested ways to unfog your windshield:

1. Turn on the defrost setting: Most vehicles are equipped with a defrost setting specifically designed to clear foggy windshields. This setting activates both the heater and the air conditioning system, which helps regulate the temperature and humidity inside your car. By directing the airflow towards the windshield, you can quickly clear the fog and restore visibility.

2. Adjust the temperature and fan speed: If your vehicle doesn’t have a dedicated defrost setting, you can manually adjust the temperature and fan speed. Set the temperature to warm or hot and increase the fan speed to maximize airflow. This will help evaporate the moisture on your windshield and prevent it from fogging up.

3. Crack open the windows: Opening your windows slightly can help equalize the temperature and humidity inside and outside your vehicle. This allows the moisture to escape and reduces the likelihood of fog forming on your windshield.

4. Use the air conditioning system: Although it may seem counterintuitive, turning on your air conditioning can be beneficial in defogging your windshield. The AC system helps dehumidify the air inside your car by removing excess moisture. By lowering the humidity levels, you can prevent fog from forming and maintain clear visibility.

5. Avoid recirculating the air: Many cars have a recirculation option, which recycles the air inside the vehicle. While this feature can be useful for cooling or heating purposes, it can contribute to foggy windshields. When your windshield fogs up, make sure the recirculation function is turned off, allowing fresh air from outside to circulate and aid in defogging.

Whatever you do – don’t wipe the windshield with your hands! It might provide a temporary fix, but the oils from your hands could make your windshield worse later on.

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