Do you ever find yourself torn between renting a flashy convertible for your upcoming vacation to Florida…or selecting a more reserved vehicle that will keep you cool and comfortable in the sultry south? Luckily for you, both options are available. You can choose to let your hair fly or relax in a luxury car with air conditioning to ward off the heat and humidity of the outside world.
Air Conditioning Wasn’t Always an Option
For much of the history of the automobile in America, though, air conditioning was a dream. In the early 1900s, your best bet at “conditioned air” was through the installation of the Kool Kooshion. This simple seat cover used small springs to lift you about a half-inch above the car seat, allowing air to circulate under you and behind your back.
It wasn’t until 1930 that a system for cooling your car (rather than just the driver) was developed. The “Car Cooler” used the evaporation of water to cool the air, which was then blown in through the passenger window. Although this device did lower the air temperature inside the car, it was quite bulky and expensive for the time.
What’s Standard Today?
Today, automatic air conditioning that was available in 67% of vehicle models in 2005 can now be found in over 85% of vehicles on the market. Single-zone, driver-controlled A/C is becoming a thing of the past as well. Only roughly 40% of cars today have anything less than dual-zone climate control. So, what’s the hot, new ticket when it comes to climate control in luxury vehicles?
Feel and Smell Cool
Mercedes offers an enhanced air conditioning system that keeps you cool while also offering a fragrance additive. The system lets you choose which fragrance you prefer, feeding it through the vents along with the ionized and filtered air. You can even add your own alcohol-based cologne or perfume for a signature scent.
GPS-Linked Climate Control
Automatic climate control is pretty standard in luxury vehicles now, so it only seems natural that someone would develop something even better. That’s where GPS-linked climate control comes into play. Although it costs a pretty penny, this system communicates with a GPS-linked solar sensor that determines the position of the sun to direct additional heat or cool air to the appropriate passenger.
Solar Powered Ventilation
Speaking of the sun, how about a ventilation system that uses a solar-powered fan to circulate outside air through the cabin once the interior temperature reaches 68 degrees? Or why not go with a remote start for your A/C system, so you can warm or cool the car before you ever open the door? With today’s technology, the days of the Kool Kooshion and the Car Cooler are long gone. The more automated air conditioning systems become, the more comfortable we will be on our commutes to work and our Florida vacations.