Introduction: Do Windshield Sunshades Actually Work?
Video demonstration on test if window sun shades actually work. Considering this car is over 30 years old, it has been exposed to UV damage within the interior. Materials will dry out over time, such as leather, vinyl, plastics, fabric, carpet, etc. This will cause them to crack, fade, discolour, and give off volatile organic compounds. If your are wondering what volatile organic compounds are, as a brief explanation, it’s the evaporation of chemicals from a material when exposed to a certain temperature.
I decided to purchase a windshield sunshade, they’re available in a few different sizes depending on the models. You will have to determine the size of your windshield to pick the correct size. This can be installed on your rear window as well, depending on which area is exposed to the sun more on your vehicle. This version in one of the cheaper ones, only about $20, there is also more expensive versions too.
Simply unfold sun shade and place it in the window. You will have to feed it around your rear view mirror, this model has suction cups which sticks to the glass. This can be easily installed or removed in under 5 minutes. For this test I want to determine if it can keep the interior temperature down.
Now with a little comparison test using a thermometer sitting on the dash for only an hour on a sunny summer day at the end of June. This day happened to be slightly cooler than compared to a regular summer’s day at about 26 degrees Celsius. The temperature without the window shade ended up being about 120 Fahrenheit or 49 Celsius and rising a couple degrees in less than a one minute period.
After the sunshade was installed, I left that for the next day, allowing the materials and atmosphere within the vehicle to cool down. The next day actually ended up being hotter at about 29 degrees Celsius. This time around it was at a steady 92 degrees Fahrenheit or 33 degrees Celsius.
Overall, we can see quite a drop in temperature, along with providing some form of a barrier against UV light. Beyond material breaking down, we also have to worry about them off gassing, especially more noticeable on newer vehicles. Basically this means that a material such as plastic hits a certain temperature and the chemicals which were used to create it, evaporate and emit into the atmosphere. Considering a vehicle’s interior is a small space, the chemical vapour can build up and may have negative effects on one’s health.
So keeping the temperature down within your interior will help protect materials from breaking down and reduce off gassing. With that being said, a cheap sunshade can certainly help keeping these two issues at bay. It can protect one’s health, keeps a vehicle looking good, and maintains it’s value.
2 years ago on Step 4
This is a very late comment, but perhaps you've investigated further.
Obviously the dash is going to be cooler, but what about placing the thermometer in the seat of the vehicle. How much cooler there?
5 years ago
Glass naturally filters UVA, but not UVB.
5 years ago
I got a sunburn on my neck, when I rode in the backseat of a Saturn, going from Oklahoma City to Ft Riley Kansas. This was a in 1999. So apparently the uv protection wasn't on this vehicle.
5 years ago
Good info on temperature protection, but on the UF issue in the USA at least windshields are required to be safety glass with a layer of plastic sandwiched between 2 pieces of glass. This effectively filters out all UV rays
5 years ago
Great experiment, I've always wondered whether those actually did anything or were even worth putting. Thanks for sharing!