PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The heat is here! That’s mean our cars will be baking in the sun and pretty toasty trips around town.

So what are some easy and affordable ways to keep your car cool?

Let's start with the sunshade.

[WATCH: Tips to keep your car cool in the Arizona summer]

You can get the for less than $20 at most stores around town. But do they really make a difference? I looked at more than a few studies, some scientific and some, not so scientific.

The shades did make a difference, but the real temperature savings were in the temperature of the dashboard, the seats and the steering wheel.

The air temperature difference was not huge. Sometimes only 10 or so degrees compared to a car with no shade.

The bigger difference was in the temperature of the car dashboard. Cars with a sun shade came in 50 degrees cooler in one test.

So while the air temperature change may not be monumental, the surface temp will be cooler with the sun shade.

So what should you do when you first get in your car. Consumer reports and others suggest waiting before immediately turning on the air conditioner.

First, open the windows to help usher out the hot air. Once you’ve done that, turn on the air conditioner but not on the recirculate mode.

[READ MORE: CBS 5 This Morning stories]

You want to cool the car down a bit first and then recirculate that cooler air. If you do it right away your car will have to work hard to chill the recirculated hot air.

For more tips on how to keep your call cool, click here!

An Arizona native, born and raised in Mesa, and graduate of Arizona State University, meteorologist Ian Schwartz brings you the forecast weekday mornings on CBS 5 This Morning.

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