MinuteRant™: Turn off your recirculation feature

It’s a beautiful, rainy fall day here in East Tennessee, sort of cool-ish, and it drives me up the wall that so many people don’t understand what their “recirc” buttons in their cars do for them.

Lots of people are turning on their windshield defrosters to cope with condensation inside the car on this rainy, somewhat cool day. But if the number of people I see driving around with COMPLETELY fogged-up windows is any indication, very few know how to use their heating/cooling systems in their car properly. It’s dangerous to drive when you can’t see out your windows, people. And if you use your defroster (or heater, or air conditioner) with the recirculate feature enabled, that means your car is only going to pull air from inside the cabin to heat or cool it.

Don’t get me wrong, ‘recirc’ is a great feature when you’re trying to cool off the interior of your car or warm it up quicker. But please realize that when you recirculate the air in the car’s interior many times, you’re also recirculating moisture from your breath, from your sweat, and from your rain-dampened hair. So that super-humidified air, while lovely for plants and for your skin, makes for poor driving visibility, vis-á-vis those foggy windows.

So if you have a button on your car’s dashboard that has a little arrow chasing itself around in a circle, please make sure that button is NOT in use all the time. K, thanx, bai.

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