Do You Waste Gas Using Car Air Conditioning?
Things can get hot here in Henderson NV, but if you’re on the road, you can always rely on air conditioning to keep you cool. But do you waste gas using the car air conditioning? Some drivers wonder if it’s better to suffer through the heat rather than use any gas on cooling the vehicle’s interior. Is this true? Let’s find out.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hot weather can actually make your vehicle more efficient because the heat can help your engine more quickly warm up to an efficient temperature. That being said, using the air conditioning can negatively affect fuel economy. The real question is, by how much?
[Read more: Which type of fuel does your Volkswagen need?]
Is it more fuel efficient to roll the windows down or use air conditioning in warm weather?
How much fuel gets used when using your car’s air conditioner in hot weather can depend on many factors, making it difficult to say for sure. Though it may be difficult to tell how much fuel your air conditioning is costing you, the EPA reports that using it could affect fuel economy by over 25 percent.
Unfortunately, simply turning the air conditioning off and opening the car windows isn’t as simple an answer as it may seem, since it increases aerodynamic drag. Therefore, it’s tough to say if it’s better to use your car’s air conditioning or just roll down the windows, but here are a few tips:
Fuel Saving Tips in Hot Weather
- Roll the windows down when traveling at lower speeds, since there will be less effect on the aerodynamic drag. In turn, save your air conditioning use for highway speed situations.
- Try to eliminate the need for air conditioning by parking in the shade or a garage.
- If idle, let as much hot air leave through rolling the windows down rather than using the air conditioning with the windows rolled up.
- Limit your driving to nighttime whenever possible.
So, do you waste gas using car air conditioning? Unfortunately, yes, but if you’re smart about it you can easily limit the negative effects to your car’s fuel economy while still remaining cool in the hot weather.