Does my vehicle’s A/C system use more petrol?
by Jamie Ruf
There is an age-old debate about which one uses more petrol – the air conditioner on your vehicle, or driving around with the windows down. Some people swear that using the air conditioner uses more petrol, while others swear just the opposite. So which one is the correct answer? It may surprise you to find out!
This debate actually led researchers to test it out and see which one used more petrol. What they found when they conducted their tests is that there is a drop in fuel efficiency when both are used. When you drive around with the windows down and you are on the freeway, you have about a 20 percent drop in fuel efficiency. When you drive on the freeway with your windows up and your air conditioner on you have a 5-10 percent drop in fuel efficiency.
The drop in fuel efficiency when you have your windows down and are driving on the freeway is caused by the drag, or resistance, that the wind creates. Therefore it stands to reason that if you are driving around the city, at a much slower rate than freeway driving, you won’t lose as much fuel efficiency as you would during freeway driving.
Overall, you want to make sure that you are comfortable. Researchers advise that if you are going to be doing city driving it is not that big of a deal to opt for having the windows down. A lot of people prefer to take that route on a beautiful day. But if you are going to be doing some freeway or highway driving then you should opt for having the windows up and the air conditioner on, if you want to save on fuel efficiency.
The good news is that if you are not looking to save on petrol you can choose whichever route makes you the most comfortable!
At Keepin Cool, our fully qualified air conditioning technicians can give you a detailed report on the condition of your system and help you out with any necessary repairs and maintenance. We want to get your air-con working to its optimal performance, so make an appointment to see us today!