# What is the fastest way to heat my car?

During the winter months I often have to drive in a cold car and I want to warm up as fast as possible. What is the best setting to put the air on in order to warm up the entire cabin in the least amount of time?

To simplify, let's start with a few assumptions:

1. Assume a typical small sedan (four door, four/five passenger).
2. Assume the engine is already warm.
3. Assume you have standard vent settings. "Defrost" is directed up from the dash. "Face" is forward and directed toward the driver's face. "Feet" is directed down.
4. Assume each setting blows the same amount and same temperature of air into the cabin.
5. You may also have a combination of "Feet" and "Defrost" or "Face" and "Feet". Assume this setting splits the air flow 50/50 between the two directions.

My guess is there is some kind of thermal effect caused by blowing the air that will make one setting better than the rest. If such an effect will occur, is there a critical temperature for it to appear? Does it matter if the external temperature is $0^{o} C$ or $-20^{o}C$?

As an additional clarification, I am not looking for just making the driver feel warmer (I'd assume that would be the "face" setting since it blows on the driver's face/torso so will make them feel warmer faster. Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken). I am curious was to what will warm the entire cabin fastest.

• Since each of the settings pushes the same amount of heat into the cabin, then any of the settings would be identical. However, since it is important to see out the windshield, you will either need to use the defrost or the defrost/feet setting.
– LDC3
Dec 31, 2014 at 4:42
• I disagree, I think the defrost will warm up the glass faster and the air inside the cabin slower. Face, which is the closest to the center of the car as possible, is the best option.
– user65081
Dec 31, 2014 at 4:48
• Feet will allow heat to rise. To get the most heating done in the shortest time, you will want to evenly spread the energy across the entire cabin, or to focus it in the center of the cabin to maximize diffusion of the heat to other parts of the cabin and reduce diffusion out of the car. So, cabin + feet is probably more efficient. I think there is no well defined answer without some very specific details about the car morphology.
– ZSG
Dec 31, 2014 at 4:51
• @LDC3 Wouldn't defrost cause you to lose more heat to the environment outside the car? Dec 31, 2014 at 4:58
• That might be, but at least the windshield doesn't fog up every time you breath on it. It also makes clearing the ice off easier.
– LDC3
Dec 31, 2014 at 6:27