This Is the Best Way to Defog Your Car Windows

Foggy car windshield
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Winter is upon us. As the temperatures drop, it can be difficult to keep your car windows from fogging up. This reduced visibility can raise your risk of an accident.

Fortunately, there is an easy — if counterintuitive — fix to the problem: Increase the air conditioning inside the car.

To make this trick work, Consumer Reports recommends activating your car’s “defrost” mode. When you do this, it triggers the air conditioning and a high fan speed. This pushes warmer and drier air to the windows in the front part of the car, which both heats the glass and removes condensation.

While the concept of air conditioning in the winter might sound crazy, it makes more sense than you think when you run the A/C at a warmer temperature. According to Consumer Reports:

“Air conditioning is the key. Cold air may be the last thing you want in the winter, but remember, this mode isn’t called ‘chill’– it is ‘air conditioning‘ because it dehumidifies the air. You can still set the temperature to a comfortable level and enjoy warm, dry air from the vents.”

CR notes that simply cracking your windows a bit also can help fix your foggy problem, as can manually adjusting your car’s climate control system so it’s in fresh-air mode, which allows in outside air. CR urges you to resist the urge to rub a cloth on the windshield, because that can lead to streaks that can obscure your view.

Relying on air conditioning in the winter isn’t the only counterintuitive way to improve your driving experience.

For example, if your car begins to overheat in warm weather, turning off the air conditioning and turning on the heat is actually a great way to cool things down. As Firestone notes:

“This can help pull heat away from the engine to keep it from overheating until you can pull over in a safe location. You may get a little hot yourself, but a few minutes of discomfort is a small price to pay compared to major engine repairs.”

Looking for more car safety tips? Check out:

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