By Ray Petelin

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — We all know that in the summer, our cars basically turn into ovens.

They get much hotter on the inside than the air on the outside.

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While we know it happens, have you ever wondered why?

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The inside of your car’s heat starts with the air temperature.

If it were nighttime, your car would generally be the same temperature inside and out if you are not using the heat or air conditioning.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Once you add add in the sun, you change that up quickly.

The sun’s short wave energy is absorbed by most things that the energy hits.

Since the sun’s shortwave energy can easily pass though the glass windows, that energy hits the interior of the car where it is absorbed.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Once that energy is absorbed, it is converted into heat.

That has long wave energy that can’t pass through the glass.

That means the heat is trapped and continues to build.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

When you open the door or windows, that energy can start to escape a bit.

Even when you crack the windows, it still remains hotter inside the vehicle.

This means it could be dangerous for people and pets, but perfect for baking soft cookies!

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

It took about an hour to get the cookies to almost cook inside our car.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

To see how different colors can influence the amount of heat that builds, make sure to check out one of my previous experiments about “Albedo” here.