How Much Extra Fuel Is Burned When Using Air Conditioning?

November 29, 2018 5:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Do you ever find yourself not turning on your vehicle’s air conditioning just to save a little extra gas? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of drivers opt to roll the windows down instead of turning on the AC in an effort to conserve fuel. You don’t need to be a master mechanic to understand that the more energy your car is expending to cool the cabin, the more fuel it’ll use up. If you’d like to learn more about fuel usage and your AC, keep reading! This post will teach you what you need to know.

What contributes to fuel use?

So, now that we know that auto air conditioning in Port Charlotte, FL does burn extra fuel, it’s important to understand what contributes to all of that fuel use, and what you can do as a car owner to help mitigate the issue:

  • AC compressor: Your compressor is responsible for taking refrigerant and turning it into fresh, cool air, so this is the part of your AC system that generally uses up the most fuel. In fact, it can account for a five percent decrease in gas mileage, but older compressors or those that are on the fritz could use up more gas than that.
  • AC setting: Keeping your AC on full blast while you’re out and about will use up fuel faster than running it at a warmer temperature and slower speed. If you’d like to stay comfortable without using up quite so much of your gas, consider turning your AC down just a little bit.

When should I use my AC?

If you’re trying to save fuel, the answer isn’t always to roll down your windows instead of running your AC. Studies have shown that when driving at higher speeds (like on a freeway), it’s more fuel efficient to use your air conditioner rather than rolling down your windows. Driving with the windows down creates much more drag, which your engine must overcome by using up more gas. So, in addition to driving in a less noisy and windy car, you’ll save money in this situation by flipping the AC on.

Do you need AC repair?

Worrying about how much fuel your air conditioner uses isn’t an issue if your AC doesn’t work. If your air conditioner doesn’t put out as much cold air as it used to, or if it doesn’t turn on at all, you know you have some sort of problem, but other signs that your AC is on its way out include strange noises or even bad noises when your AC is running. Bringing your vehicle to a professional is the only way to really tell what the problem is and how to address it.

Be sure to bring your vehicle to Ice Cold Auto Repair if you’re having problems with your auto air conditioning in Port Charlotte, FL. Our mechanics have experience working with makes and models of all kinds, so you can rest easy knowing that we’ll quickly be able to diagnose the issue and fix your AC right away.

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