No one wants to get in their car during the frigid winter months, but getting kids to school before heading to work makes it unavoidable.

For some, warming up a vehicle is a necessary step toward not feel like they are stepping into a refrigerator. But is this really a good idea?

Ideal Time To Warm Up Your Car

AAA believes the practice of warming up a car is acceptable only if the driver does it for a small window before heading down the road.

"Start the engine and allow it to idle only for the time it takes you to fasten your seat belt," AAA announced on its website. "This ensures that lubricating oil gets to all of the engine's vital parts."

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Getty Images

Of course, it might make sense to let it run for a little extra time if you are out there chipping away at ice on your windshield.

Is It Safe To Warm Up Your Car In A Garage With The Door Open?

One of the other common dilemmas faced by drivers in the winter is where to warm up their vehicles. The temptation is certainly there to keep the car in the garage where you can quickly run out to fire up the engine before quickly heading back into the house.

According to a list of myths about warming up cars published by Esquire, this is a practice you should avoid even if the garage is not attached to the home and the door is open.

The website said the driver is at an increased risk of being exposed to carbon monoxide and other noxious gasses.

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"If the garage is attached, those fumes can enter the house," Esquire reported.

Several states including California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Minnesota, have have gone as far as enacting "anti-idling" laws to reduce air pollution and potentially dangerous situations involving cars running during the winter.

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