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Does driving with your A/C on burn more gas?

Does driving with your A/C on burn more gas?

There’s a common myth out there that A/C tanks your fuel efficiency. But is it true?

Spring is here, which means the summer heat is just around the corner. Many of us will be cranking up the air conditioning in our cars to stay cool. With heatwaves on the horizon, you might ask yourself, “Does running my air conditioning in the hot weather reduce my fuel economy?”

Indeed, it does. Among your car’s non-essential features, air conditioning places the most load on your engine. But, driving with the windows down impacts your fuel economy too!

The reason? Wind resistance requires your car to use more energy to push through the air. This is especially true while driving at higher speeds on highways.

So what does this mean, and how can you save on fuel costs during the summer? There are lots of solutions!

  • When driving at faster speeds (above about 45 mph), roll up the windows and flip on the A/C. Roll down the windows and flip it off when driving at slower speeds.
  • If it’s bearable to drive without the A/C, do so.
  • Be mindful of parking your car in open areas, where sunlight can heat your car. Look for shaded spots.
  • Read your owner’s manual! This is huge. It will explain how the A/C works in your car, and how to use it efficiently.
  • Drive with your windows open for a bit before turning on your A/C. This will allow your cabin to cool off prior to turning on the air.

Follow these easy tips, and you’ll be on your way to an increased fuel economy all summer long. Stay cool!

Before you head out in the hot weather this summer, be sure to schedule an appointment at your local Sears Auto Center.

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