Can You Install Aftermarket Cooled Seats Your Vehicle?

A Peltier Seat air conditioning Unit with fan

Like most questions regarding vehicle customization, the answer is yes, if you're ready to put in the time and money. If you want to add seat cooling units to your vehicle, but keep your existing leather, you need to know some important information. This project is not easy or cheap, and it requires some special skills and tools.

Is Your Vehicle Compatible?

The first thing you need to know is that you will need leather seats with perforated leather inserts. These are the small holes that allow the cool air to flow through the seat surface. If you don't have perforated leather seats, you will have to buy new leather skins for all your seats. If you do have perforated leather seats, you will still have to remove the skins from your seats and cut out the thin foam on the back of the perforated area. Then you will have to add Reticulated Foam to the back of your leather where you removed the factory foam. This step is necessary to allow the cool air to come out of your perforated leather holes.

This is just the first step and it gets more difficult from here. You will also have to install the cooling units under your seats, either a simple fan unit or a more advanced Peltier air conditioning unit. You will have to mount them properly, connect them to the ducts and wires, and make sure they work with your seat functions. Here is a diagram of a Peltier cooling unit.

Peltier Cooling unit diagram

Note that a fan unit creates a ventilated seat, while a Peltier unit creates a true air conditioned seat. For more information on how these units work, read this article: How Cooled Seats Work The Basics.

What About Retrofitting Cooled Seats Into My Vehicle?

This is typically the most cost efficient method. The installation depends greatly on the type of system used. If the seats are just ventilated, simply use a variable voltage switch. If the seats are truly heated and cooled, we recommend leaving that job to the professionals. We offer a simple 2-wire hookup for heating and cooling on our custom seat builds.

Are There Any Cheaper Alternatives?

viotek seat heater and cooler cover

If you are looking for an easier and cheaper way to get some cooling effect on your seats, you can try some cooled seat cover kits. These are covers that have fans inside them and blow air on your back and bottom. They are not as effective as seat cooling units, but they are simple to install and use. You can find some cooled seat cover kits on Amazon.