Car heaters are a kind of heating device specifically designed for use in cars. The most commonly seen car heater is the kind that is controlled by switches on the dashboard. These switches allow the user to control where the heat is directed, how much heat is produced and how fast or slowly the fan spins, as the system can also double as an air conditioning unit, using the fan to circulate cool air rather than hot air. This kind of system works by drawing water from the water pump in the engine and directing it into a heater unit. Once the water is heated it continues to pump round the system, generating heat which can be transferred to the inside of the car via the operation of the fans in the dashboard and at the rear of the car. The air is heated by the hot water pumping through the system, which in turn is emitted into the car interior by the fan system. If the system is being used as air-conditioning, the water is not heated first and the fans simply help circulate the already cool air.
Some modern car heaters have more advanced control mechanisms, and can be set to maintain a certain predetermined temperature at all times. This is referred to as automatic climate control, and some systems allow different settings to be maintained in the front and the rear of the vehicle.
In Car Heaters
As well as on-board car heaters, in car heaters which can be installed and removed quickly and easily are also available. This kind of 12v car heater works simply by plugging it into the cigarette lighter socket, from which it then draws the power it needs to work. These portable car heaters are fitted with systems to ensure they can quickly and securely be placed on top of the dashboard, and are available with a range of lengths of power cord to suit any size vehicle. Some of these plug-in car heaters use ceramic heating elements to generate heat. Ceramic car heaters generate heat faster than the electric car heaters, and can nowadays be obtained for a similar price.
Portable in-car heaters also have the dual function of being able to help quickly and easily defrost the windscreen of a car. Many new models of portable car heater possess a foldable handle design to this end. As with most forms of contemporary electric heaters, electric car heaters and ceramic car heaters are often fitted with a safety cut out switch to minimise the risk of fire should the unit detach from the dashboard. Similarly, some models of plug-in car heaters are fitted with a timer that can be set to cut off the power of the unit if it has been left on continuously for a certain length of time.
12 volt car heaters of the plug-in variety, like their dashboard mounted counterparts, can also be used to generate cool air, and thus act as a portable in car air conditioning system.