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How Do Window Defrosters & Timers Work Together?

Posted on by Judy Johnson

In the cold, winter months it can be frustrating to walk out to your car to find the windows covered in ice and snow, and removing it by hand is a tiresome task. Window defrosters have been around from virtually the moment car heating systems were invented to relieve drivers of this tedious job.

Electric window defrosters are most commonly installed on the rear windows to remove snow, ice, and condensation. Window defrosters offer convenience and allow drivers to safely operate their vehicles without visual obstructions.

How Do Window Defrosters Timers Work Together

How Do Window Defrosters Work?

While front windshields utilize the air conditioning system to defrost, rear windows are defrosted by drawing electricity from the car’s battery. Exterior mirrors can be heated similarly. Electric window defrosters require the following components to operate:

  • Electricity: Electricity is drawn from the vehicle’s battery to power the defroster.
  • Dashboard Switch: The operator turns the switch to the on position to activate the defroster.
  • Heating Element: The heating element is composed of thin wires that can be seen on a car’s rear windshield.

When the operator turns the dashboard switch on, electricity from the battery is directed to the heating element. As heat is applied to the window, the snow or ice begins to melt. Many rear window defrosters use a timer that automatically turns it off after a designated amount of time.

Types of Defrost Timers

Timers play several important roles in defrosting systems. They reduce the workload of the defroster by limiting the amount of time it spends in operation, helping it to more effectively keep the window clear of ice and snow. Because the defroster uses the car’s battery, the car must be turned on to operate. Timers limit the amount of time the car needs to run to defrost the windows, preventing the battery from depleting.

Timers automatically shut off the components of the defroster, but when the system is shut off depends on the type of timer used. There are two types of timers — continuous and accumulative — that can be set to turn off at certain times or intervals.

  • Continuous Timers: As the name implies, continuous timers run constantly as long as the device is in operation.
  • Accumulative Timers: These timers run only when there is an immediate need for defrosting. They are activated when the compressor is running.
  • Interval Timers: Interval timers are set to auto-defrost in predesignated intervals, such as 6- or 12-hour segments. These timers are often used in refrigerators.
  • Set Time Timers: Timers can also be set to turn off defrost components after the defroster has been running for a certain amount of time.

Timers at Amperite Co.

Defrost timers offer a convenient and efficient means of defrosting car windows, saving users time and preventing the car battery from depleting due to unintended extended use. At Amperite Co., we are dedicated to crafting the highest quality products made to our customers’ specifications. We specialize in time delay relays, fuel pumps, flashers, and other custom components. Contact us today to learn more about our defrost timer offerings.

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