You may know that car seats can be heated, but you may not know that they can also let air in. People are becoming more interested in ventilated seats, which are sometimes confused with cooling seats.
Here’s everything you need to know about what they are, how they work, and what kinds of cars have them.
What are Ventilated Seats?
As we already said, many people think that ventilated and cooled seats are the same thing, but they are not. The main difference between these two types of seats is that cooled seats circulate air that has been cooled by your car’s air conditioning system, while ventilated seats do not.
Ventilated seats, on the other hand, have small fans in the cushion and backrest that move air around you while you drive or sit in the front passenger seat.
Ventilated seats have holes like the ones on the dashboard of your car that let cool air in. These holes are strategically placed to give you the most comfort.
Even though the air from ventilated seats is not cooled, it can still make you and your passengers feel very comfortable on hot summer days.
In fact, the moving air draws heat away from your body, which makes it easier for the part of you that is touching the seat to help keep your body temperature stable.
Because of this, your body’s sweat can work as it should and help cool you down.
How Do Ventilated Seats Work?
Even though these seats don’t use cold air to keep you cool, they are still very good at keeping you comfortable in your car on a hot day.
Ventilated seats can move air in one of two ways because they have fans and ducts built into the cushions and headrests. In some cars, like some Chevys, the system draws air into the seat and then moves it all around the person sitting there.
In some cars, the fans blow air from the seat up toward the person sitting there. The air then comes out of the seat through the many small holes in the upholstery.
Ventilated seats can be turned on or off whenever you want, just like heated or cooled seats. You can also change how strong the fans are, so if you are really uncomfortable, you can get more air.
Some cars are made so that when the remote start is used, ventilated seats turn on by themselves. Obviously, this only happens when the car thinks the temperature outside is higher than a certain level.
When this happens, the ventilated seats are made to shut off automatically as soon as the car starts moving. This gives you, the driver, time to decide if you need the extra air or not. Otherwise, you could get into your car and be flooded with a lot of air you don’t want.
More and more cars are being made with ventilated seats that can be set to work automatically. If your car has this feature, you can set the system so that your ventilated seats turn on when the temperature inside your car reaches a certain level.
Cars with Ventilated Seats
If you think it will be hard to find the type of car you want with ventilated seats, you might be surprised to learn that this is an option on everything from cheaper compact cars to sedans, SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks.
In 2021, the Kia Telluride, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Dodge Ram 1500, and Hyundai Palisade will all have cars with ventilated seats. With this option, you could get not only the front seats but also the back seats in each of these cars. This would make you and anyone else in the car even more comfortable.
If you’re not interested in any of these cars but still want ventilated seats, we have a few more options for you.
For example, if you want a car with a unique look and a lot of power under the hood as you drive down the highway, the Ford Mustang has ventilated seats that will keep you cool while you look cool behind the wheel.
We recommend the Kia Forte and Optima, the Ford Fusion, the Chevy Malibu, the Hyundai Sonata, and the Chrysler 200 as cars that get good gas mileage and won’t break your budget.
Since the owners of each of these cars consistently give them high marks, it’s a good bet that you’ll get a reliable car with extra levels of comfort.
Benefits of Ventilated Seats
Ventilated seats, like many other options in modern cars, are meant to make the driver as comfortable as possible behind the wheel and to keep passengers comfortable as well.
The biggest benefit of having ventilated seats is most obvious on hot summer days, when the seats can cut down on how much you sweat while driving. You don’t want to show up to work, school, or a special event looking like you just got out of the shower with your clothes on!
Having ventilated seats in your car is also helpful because they can help lower the temperature of the seats when you first get in.
You know that when you sit down in a car that has been sitting in the sun all day during the summer, your legs and behind will burn for the first few seconds. Since the remote start on many cars turns on these seats, you’ll never be in the hot seat again.
But don’t think that the ventilated seats in your car will only be useful in the summer.
If you use them with your heated seats, the extra air flow will make the air around you feel even warmer.
We bet that when you get to your destination, you’ll have to force yourself out of the warm car.
Ventilated Seats vs. Cooled Seats
When you first heard about ventilated seats, you might have thought they were pretty much the same as the cooled seats found in many cars today. But refrigeration is the most important difference.
The way cooled seats work is similar to how ventilated seats work, in that there are several fans in the seat to help move the air around. After going through a material that helps spread the air, the air leaves the seat through holes or mesh in the upholstery.
The main difference between air from ventilated seats and air from cooled seats is that air from ventilated seats doesn’t usually have to be cooled. A cooled seat will use cold air from either a cooling element built into the seat or the air conditioning system in your car.
One of the best things about having ventilated or cooled seats is that it’s a much better way to stay cool while you’re in your car. When you run your car’s air conditioner at full blast, it can waste a lot of gas.
When you use ventilated or cooled seats, you don’t have to try to cool the whole car’s cabin. This makes it easier to keep yourself and others cool.
Are Ventilated Seats Worth It?
You’ll need to think about a few things when you’re trying to decide if ventilated seats will make enough of a difference in comfort to be worth the extra money you’ll have to spend to get them for your car.
First, think about how hot your car usually gets in the summer. If you like the cool air from the air conditioner, you might not think that ventilated seats are worth the extra money.
But since they can be used with heated seats to make you and your passengers more comfortable on colder days or nights, you may come to rely on this feature a lot in the winter if you add it to your car.
If you’re like a lot of other drivers, you might decide that ventilated seats go well with cars that have heated seats and steering wheels.
Also, if you like having as many features as possible in your car, you might like ventilated seats, especially if you drive a lot.
Can You Add Aftermarket Ventilated Seats?
If you have been driving around in a car without ventilated seats, you may now think they would be a great addition to a car you already love. If so, you’ll be glad to know that you can add ventilated seats to almost any car aftermarket.
But if you don’t know much about car electronics and interior redesign, you might not want to do this yourself over the weekend. You might want to take your car to a body shop that specialises in custom work instead.
If there’s one thing you don’t want to do, it’s think that you can just start cutting up your old car seats and putting fans in them to make them cooler.
If you do this, you’ll only damage the inside of your car. These special features can’t be added to seats that already exist. Instead, you need people who know what they’re doing to put in new seats.
Most of the time, you or a body shop worker can easily find aftermarket seats with the features you want. Installation is actually a lot cheaper than most people think. Most of the time, you can get the parts you need from junkyards at reasonable prices.
If you hire a pro to do this job, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for labour and parts.
If you’d rather do something cheaper and faster, you can buy air-conditioned seat cushions that are portable and can be put right on your car seat.
You can plug these cushions into your car’s electrical system. They cost a lot less than $100 and are very comfortable. The best part is that you can move these cushions from one car to another, which can be helpful for families with more than one car.
Do Ventilated Seats have Disadvantages?
Even though we think you’ll love having ventilated seats in your car and use them often, there are some things that some people don’t like about these seats.
First of all, the owners of some cars with ventilated seats have said that they make too much noise. It has been said that this is more of a problem with cheaper makes and models of cars than with Mercedes-Benz and other high-end cars.
Even though the noise isn’t so loud that you’d have to turn up the volume on your car radio to the max, it can still be annoying.
Some vehicles have also been reported to have a ventilation system that doesn’t work properly. If this is the case, you’ll need to turn your ventilated seats all the way up to get the results you want. If you don’t, it’s likely that your back will still feel sticky and sweaty.
Lastly, most drivers and passengers like it when there’s enough air around them to keep them feeling cool. However, some people say it can take some time to get used to having seats that let air in.
Even though it’s not a big deal, some drivers have said that having air blow on their back feels a little strange. But since you could turn off your seat if you wanted to, this small issue shouldn’t stop you from adding this feature to your car.
If you drive thousands of miles every year, ventilated seats can make your time behind the wheel much more pleasant. When all is said and done, we think you’ll love having ventilated seats in your car. You can use them with heated seats on cold winter days or with cooled seats in the summer to keep from sweating.