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Man driving a white car with the window down.
Jun21

Car Myth Debunked: Does Running the AC Use Gas?

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It’s summer, and it’s hot. Nothing feels better than cranking up the AC or rolling down your windows to let the breeze in while driving on a hot day. However, gas is expensive, and finding the right method to cool your car may save you money. So, which method is best to cool your car while still maintaining a high fuel efficiency? Does using AC consume more gas? Is rolling down the windows more fuel efficient than using AC?

Which is More Fuel Efficient?

There are multiple factors that affect your car’s fuel efficiency, but the answers to these questions might surprise you. Using the AC in your car does lower your car’s fuel efficiency by an average of 3 miles per gallon depending on the age and size of your car. AC lowers your fuel efficiency because it is diverting energy from the engine to power the car. The fuel to power the AC has to come from somewhere, and the engine is the most efficient way for the AC to get its energy.

If you’re driving at high speeds, leaving your windows down can actually lower your fuel efficiency more than using your AC would. Lowering your windows can lower your fuel efficiency because the wind entering your car creates a drag that forces your car to work harder to get to the same speed if the windows were rolled up.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of whether you choose to use the AC or roll the windows down, there’s no method to cool your car that doesn’t lower your car’s fuel efficiency. Choose the method that makes you the most comfortable while driving. A car that is too hot can lead to drowsy or distracted driving, which can eventually lead to a crash. Both options lower your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, but not by enough that you shouldn’t use either method to cool your car, especially during the summer.

We want you to be safe on the road. If you ever find yourself in a car accident, whether it was because of the heat or not, Unique Auto Body is here to help you. Schedule a free estimate with us today so we can erase the damage from your car!

Categories: Blogcar safety