In the summer, almost everyone drives down the street with the air conditioner on full blast. But this could make you use more gas than you should.
When using the air conditioner in a running car, it’s important to remember that the gas in the fuel tank indirectly powers the air conditioner. When a car’s air conditioner is on, it uses more gas than when it is off.
Whether you roll down your windows or crank up the air conditioner, you should know that there are times when you should do each. Also, it’s important to know why air conditioning uses more gas and what other ways there are to keep your car cool in the summer.
Air Conditioning System
The air conditioner doesn’t use fuel directly, but it gets the power it needs from the alternator, which is powered by the engine, which gets its energy from the car’s gasoline. To figure out why air conditioning uses so much gas, we need to know how it works.
When the car’s engine starts, the compressor starts pumping, and the pistons start to squeeze a gas called refrigerant. As the compressor squeezes the refrigerant, it turns into a liquid.
Liquid refrigerant flows to the vehicle’s condenser, which removes heat from the liquid. As the liquid moves down the condenser, it keeps getting cooler. Any gas that is left over is filtered out, and then the gas is pumped into the expansion valve.
Once the refrigerant gets to the expansion valve, it turns back into a gas. The gas is then forced through the receiver and evaporator. This path removes the water from the gaseous refrigerant, which then passes through and lets cool air filter through the car.
It’s important to understand how the air conditioner works so you can understand why it might use more fuel than you expect. According to the website uniqueautobody.com, using your car’s air conditioning can make it use a lot more gas.
“Your car’s gas mileage will drop by an average of 3 miles per gallon if you have air conditioning.”
You should also remember that it’s important to know when to use your air conditioning and when not to. This can help you figure out how to get the most out of your gas.
AC and Fuel Economy
Even though turning on your air conditioning will use more gas, experts from Toyota, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and fueleconomy.gov can tell you what you can do to save gas.
First of all, you shouldn’t always have your AC on. During the hot summer months, it can be hard to follow this advice. You should open your windows when you’re driving in the city, but not when you’re on the highway.
This lets the hot air inside the car get out as you drive around the city. This not only makes your car cooler, but it also makes the air conditioner work less hard when you do turn it on.
Make sure the air conditioner is off before you start driving. The AC should be turned off by default so you don’t run it down by accident. After you’ve driven your car for a short while, you can think about turning on the air conditioner. If you do this, the air conditioner will actually work faster than if you let it run while the car is still at a stop.
When your air conditioner is on, make sure the temperature is not too low. You don’t have to drive when it’s freezing, just when it’s comfortable. If you keep the air conditioner on the lowest setting all the time, it will use more fuel than it needs to.
Also, make sure to read the vehicle’s owner’s manual to get the best advice on how to use the air conditioning system. The best time to turn on the air conditioner is when you are on a highway or freeway.
At highway speeds, it’s best to use the air conditioner instead of rolling down the windows because the car will be more aerodynamic and use less gas. You will still use gas, but you will waste a lot less than if you drove on a highway or freeway with your windows down.
Keep in mind that larger, boxier cars tend to use more gas at high speeds, whether the windows are up or down. Because they have less drag, sleeker designs use a lot less fuel.
Improve Gasoline Use
If you care about how much gas your car uses, the air conditioner is not the only thing you should worry about. There are a lot of other things to think about when it comes to using gasoline.
Make sure that when you brake, you come to a slow stop rather than a sudden one. This is not only a good tip for your gas, but it will also keep your breaks from wearing out faster.
Summer is a popular time to travel, but keep in mind that if your car is too full, it will use more gas. This is why you might want to think about packing light.
Also, make sure to use high-quality engine oil. This can save you money over time in terms of how much gas you use and how long your engine lasts.
Keeping Vehicles Cool Without AC
You don’t have to only use the AC in the summer to keep your car cool.
You can park your car under a tree or in a cool garage, whichever you prefer. Cars that are cooler are less likely to waste gas because they move through the air more efficiently. You could also use a sunshade to keep the car cooler on the inside.
If you feel safe enough, you can slightly roll down your windows when your car is parked to let air circulate inside. When compared to having all the windows shut, this can keep the car much cooler.