Cars heat up even with window open
THE letter by Gloria Oxley to The Witness on November 7 gives advice on what to do when leaving an animal, or a child, in a vehicle on a hot day.
She suggests that a car window should always be left open to prevent the high temperatures inside causing harm to the animal or child.
Some years ago, as part of a UKZN masters research degree, we investigated the conditions inside a vehicle parked in the sun, even in winter, including the effect of leaving a car window slightly open. Our measurements showed that such a practice did not assist in lowering the inside temperature.
Cars get hot inside mainly due to a lack of air flow and a small gap in the window still does not allow sufficient airflow to the inside, especially when there are obstructions surrounding the vehicle that decrease the airflow around the vehicle and through the window to the inside.
Our investigations clearly showed that leaving any animal or child in a car in the sun even in winter for a short period of time is dangerous and fool-hardy. The best advice is simply to refrain from such a practice.