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Car Dehumidifier

Dehumidifier included in car air conditioning unit
  (+2)
(+2)
  [vote for,
against]

Whenever it's a bit chilly, cars that are left outside overnight invariably end up with a windscreen (windshield) that's dripping with condensation. Currently, the only solutions are either to try and wipe it off the inside (thus leaving annoying wipe marks), or turn the engine and heater on and wait for it to clear.

In my house, I have a large electric dehumidifier, which (as the name suggests) is excellent for removing humidity from the air. However, it's much too large and heavy to carry out to the car, and I'd need a really long power cable for it too.

Consequently, I propose that car manufacturers could include a small dehumidifier unit in with the existing air conditioning or fans in cars. This should hopefully speed up the removal of condensation from the car, making everything safely visible in a shorter time.

pmillerchip, Nov 27 2002

[link]






       Hey - a stronger version of this could act as a thief deterrent. Leave it on while you are away from the car and, if said thief takes the car away without your permission, he won't get too far before he is merely a dried-out husk of a thief.
PeterSilly, Nov 27 2002
  

       Essentially Baked. Running the AC will cause water to condense out of the air and drip out of the catch pan. Can you not route cold air to your defrost vents?
phoenix, Nov 27 2002
  

       As [phoenix] says, A/C units are essentially dehumidifiers and are used beyond just cooling the car. In many modern vehicles, when you turn the heater on to "defrost," the system will usually indicate that the A/C is turned on as well to dehumidfy the defroster output.
bristolz, Nov 27 2002
  

       What's needed is an external power hookup, and a humidistat, so that the system keeps the atmosphere inside the car above the dewpoint while it's standing.   

       Or you could put a small heater in the circuit, and just circulate the air. No need for a dehumidifier.
8th of 7, Nov 27 2002
  

       We have the opposite problem - the car is too dry - and need an in-car humidifier.
DrCurry, Nov 27 2002
  

       I can see where he's coming from...My AC system is pretty simple...separate controls for everything, so I can turn on the AC and heat at the same time to dry things out. I live in Seattle, Wa (mildly chilly but bitterly humid in the winter, not many days above 80F in the summer) and ironically, I use my AC almost every day in the winter to keep my windows clear, and almost never use it during the summer. I have seen several cars where that's not an option, where heat is heat and AC is AC, with no option to blow the air through both the evaporator and heater at the same time. Good idea (croissant) but baked (fishbone), so no vote from me.
Freefall, Nov 27 2002
  

       Gets my + partly because I was considering posting this very idea. My journey to work is not long enough for the heater to get fully warmed up (but is too long for me to want to walk on a regular basis), and, in common with most UK cars over a few years old, my car has no air-con. I was envisaging a dehumidifier built into the car but powered by an external mains connection so I could plug it in overnight without killing the car battery.
angel, Nov 28 2002
  

       //dried-out husk of a thief// Croissant for that anno
thumbwax, Nov 28 2002
  

       I like this idea not just because of winter, but many cars, esp convertibles like mine and sometimes hatchbacks have a problem with mold. I would like to see one that works in the cigarette lighter/dc power source, but doesn't drain the battery, something that can run while the car is turned off... but the newer cars, do not have power to the cigarette lighter/dc power source.
katwomanofsteele, Sep 02 2003
  

       A car air conditioner (like home air conditioners)already dehumidifies the air... that's why they leave puddles. The moist air passes over the cooling coils and condenses.
scarkner, Sep 02 2003
  

       I really need one of these here car dehumidifiers! In my case, I like to meet my girlfriend and make out, and otherwise make the fur fly, in the back seat of my car. During these winter months, it looks like some sort of drenched rainforest terrarium when we're done! Now, my honey's responsible for steaming up only one small window, but I take care of the rest (she's just a little thing)! It's a real problem because I can't drive away until I towel-down the windshield! Somebody help me !!!
KissyKiss, Jan 05 2006
  
      
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