Fuel Economy Tip – Smart Use of AC

Today’s tip is a follow on to the driving with your windows up post and should be especially useful for all of those hot summer days coming up.

Use your air conditioning wisely.

In my previous post, I stated that you should drive with your windows up and use the vent because it is the best way to help you use your vehicle’s aerodynamics to help you get better gas mileage. That being said, there are going to be plenty of days this summer when it’s so hot outside that you have to use your air conditioning.

While using your AC is a drain on your fuel economy, there are several ways you can use it more efficiently so that it’s not so much of a drain.

  • When approaching and driving up long inclines, turn off the AC
  • Put the AC on “recycle” mode; this will cool the air that is already in the vehicle as opposed to cooling the outside air and then pumping it into the car
  • Park your car in the shade or in a covered area so you are able to drive a bit longer without having to turn on the air conditioning
  • Especially at higher speeds, using the air conditioning is much more fuel efficient than rolling down the windows

Again, the easiest way to make sure you’re getting the best gas mileage for your vehicle is to drive without the air conditioning on. However, when it’s necessary to use the AC, try some of the above recommendations and you should be able to get the best gas mileage possible.

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