Anyone tried pumping cold water through the heater core on a non-A/C car as an alternative to A/C?

My idea is that during the summer months, the heater core could be bypassed of hot coolant with a section of copper pipe. With a cooler in the trunk filled with ice-water, containing a 12V pump/sump set-up, cold water could then be ran through the heater core. If the core is cold, and air is being pushed through it, the air would thus be cooled off before being pushed through the factory vents. The fist of only two issues I can see, is that the blown air may be hot air from the engine bay, thus harder to cool off. However, my vehicle has a feature that 'recycles' the air from inside my cabin as apposed to bringing in outside air. This might rule out the concern of cooling hot air. The second issue would be the possibility that the material which the heater core is comprised (probably aluminum) and/or its seams/welds may not hold up under such cold conditions, as it is designed for hot coolant to pass through. However, cars have cold coolant for several minutes on start-up in the winter, and many people crank the heater long before the coolant is warm, thus the core probably could withstand the cold exposure. I've never asked a question on here before. I'm not sure what I hope o gain from doing so. But if you have tried this or just have 2 cents to add... please, share. Thanks.

psbuckley7 years ago
OK, I'm late on this but I'll answer anyway...
Your idea is good but has a few flaws. The heater core is plenty strong enough to handle the cold water. The concern would be some corrosion build-up over time. I think you'll find that it doesn't work well enough to keep the system long enough for any corrosion to build-up.
The heater core and whatever contains it doesn't have a provision for draining condensate out of your cockpit of your car like the AC system does. You will most definitely get water build-up on the exterior of the heater core that will end up on the floor board / carpet  or worse... your new shoes!

Never hurts to experiment though. Good luck!
How can it absorb heat ? The minimum temperature that it can see is ambient temperature.
lemonie8 years ago
Air won't be taken in through the engine bay (there are good reasons for that). The heater matrix will either be steel or copper, and can handle ice-cold I'd think. You could do it, and it would work to some extent. BUT, hacking into the heater is difficult, time-consuming, liable to cause leaks. Running tubing from the the trunk isn't going to make your interior pretty, and you'd be lugging a lot of ice around. Also, you have a humidity issue: cold parts will condense moisture, so unless you like in a dry climate you'd get a wet-patch in the footwell. Theoretically, you could get something out of this, practically: I wouldn't try it. L
I don't think it would be cold enough. A cars A/C works by compressing the refrigerant and letting it expand to get really cold. It may only feel a few degrees cooler when your in your car but when its still in the vent its like 40°F so you know its going to be really cold inside.