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Using the heater too soon

My husband insists on turning on the car heater immediately upon starting the car. He says the blowing air is warmer than the air outside. I say blowing cold air is just that – blowing cold air. He also insists that the car warms up faster with the heater on; I disagree. Are there any facts out there that I could “share” with him to prove that I am right?? Thanks!!

On your side is the fact that automatic climate controls always wait till the engine is warmed up enough to provide warm air before they start the blower.

On his side, I suspect that the car interior would warm up at least of couple of seconds faster with his method. To me that isn’t worth the discomfort of the cold air blowing around.

Maybe you can go on e-bay and find a Stewart Warner gasoline heater. These were available as aftermarket heaters (a heater was an option) in cars through the 1940’s. Then you and your husband will have instant heat and no more arguements.

I don’t turn on the fan until I see the temperature gauge start to rise. Before that, there is no heat.

The important thing your husband should learn is that when the wife is unhappy, everyone is unhappy. If you need our help to settle this dispute, you are not using the tools God gave you.

There is no heat to be had from the engine immediately after starting it, so all that’s happening is cold air is being blown around. However, within a short time the air coming in should be warmer than outside air.

The engine will take SLIGHTLY longer to warm up if the heater is on, since some of the engine’s heat is being removed by the heater.

Personally, I wait at least a few minutes before turning on the heater, and my car with automatic climate control will not attempt to warm the interior until the engine starts to warm up.

Good luck convincing your husband. Old habits die hard.

Tell him “Happy wife, happy life.”

What the others said, plus this: the heater is, in effect, a little radiator, so using it as soon as he starts the engine (slightly) slows warming up the car, it doesn’t make it faster. I used this to keep my overheating car at a reasonable engine temperature while driving across I-10 in southern Louisiana in August - air conditioner off, heater on. Can’t say I was comfortable, though!

One of our cars has climate control and it determines when the blower starts. It’s when the temp gauge gets to a level that would supply air warmer than the ambient air of the cabin. They must know what they are doing (more than your husband and me) when they programed it.
So, I follow suit in the car w/o.
I’m not sure which is better for the car…but MY comfort is more important when it’s cold and the car manufacturer probably feels the same.

Right away may be better than waiting. In the old days, if I waited, the windshield would fog up as soon as I turned the fan to the high speed. Right away would prevent that. Why does it work that way? Who knows? It’s results that matter.

We members of the proletariat don’t have climate control systems. We have heating and air conditioning systems.

I know my Civic reaches operating temperature faster if I leave the temp set to cold, fan on lowest setting(not off), and driving a bit. This isn’t really possible to do if there’s frost or ice on the windshield as I like any extra help clearing off the windshield I can get(remote starter with fan and heat set to high).

Too bad for you. Maybe when this country goes fully socialist, we will all have the same - nothing.

It sounds like you should leave the heat and air conditioning to the Men. Next time you get in the car just worry about the directions.

There are lots of facts, but non of them are really going to settle the question since it still comes down to a choice.

My suggestion is to adjust your vents so they don’t blow on you until they start warming up and let him do as he wishes. It is a drivers choice item.

Between husband and wife, this kind of question should not be settled based on facts, but rather love.

Good Luck

Fact: the heating system works by removing heat from the coolant via a small radiator called a “heater core” and blowing that heat into the cabin. If you run the heating system while the engine is trying to warm up, that heat being removed from the coolant will necessitate that the engine run longer to warm up to operating temp.

Fact: Immediately upon starting the car for the first time in the morning everything, including the air in the vents, is at ambient temperature. Turning the heater on just blows cold air initially. And air being blown over you skin has a “chill factor”…it removes heat more rapidly than if the air were stagnant. It thus feels colder.

Fact: none of this matters. If hubby knew enough basic thermodynamics to understand my post he’d already know this. I’d suggest getting a noce warm “throw” (small blanket) to put over yourself when you’re in the car with him.

As usual, mountainbike has explained it very well.

The OP’s hubby is wrong, wrong, wrong, but someone who lacks this vary basic level of understanding is not likely to change his ways. Perhaps the only thing that might motive him is the obvious fact that his car is using more gas than necesary, since he is delaying warm-up of the engine and as a result is causing the engine to run on a rich fuel/air mixture longer than it would if he knew how to operate the heater properly.

However, the OP may well just have to live with the situation (and with her stubborn spouse), and mountainbike’s idea of using a warm throw is probably the most practical way to deal with this unnecessary discomfort.

Incidentally, the next time that the OP and her husband buy a car, she should insist upon a model with heated seats. She may not be able to change her husband, but if she was sitting on a heated seat, she wouldn’t be as uncomfortable.

Turning on the heater when the engine is cold blows cold air only, also it takes the engine longer to heat up.

Couldn’t prove it with my F-150,absolutely no difference.Well the cold air part is true. My F-150 is blowing warm in under 2miles when ambient is 35F

It’s Not About Fans And Blowing Air! I’ve Noticed A Phenomenon: Women Get Cold Quicker Than Men (Or Complain About It More) …

… even though they have a thicker layer of subcutaneous fat (more fat than men!). But maybe there’s a reason. I have also observed that sitting “passively” in a cold car can contribute to the problem.

My theory is that the driver (more “active”) always feels warmer than the passenger(s) (passive, except for complaining). Since most husbands drive when a couple travels by car, well … there you go!

Rebecca, I’ll bet your husband usually drives when you’re together in the car, right? Try starting out with you as the driver and see if your “thin skinned” husband stays warm or starts complaining.

Oh! Please don’t shoot me. I’m just the messenger. Here’s a female fat link:

P.S. I’ve also observed that the passengers are first to complain about too much heat, shortly after complaining about too much cold.