Does using your car’s air conditioning waste gas? As a matter of fact, this is one of the many questions a lot of drivers have on their mind, and it’s one that doesn’t really get an answer. Mostly because they don’t ask about it in the open or they don’t get a proper answer from others.
As always, we have you covered with an answer to the question. But before we get to the question, let’s try to first understand how your car AC works in order to make sense of the answer down below.
How Your Car AC Operates
A majority of the components inside your car, like your AC and radio, are electrical in nature. Simply put, they need electricity to run. However, the electricity they use to run comes from the alternator which is powered by the engine. While you do have a battery somewhere under your hood, the car only needs it to start and nothing more.
Once the car engine is up and running, all electrical power comes from the car alternator. The belt that runs the alternator is the same one that runs the AC compressor which gives you that cold breeze from your AC. When you turn on your AC, it gets power from the alternator to run and it also shares mechanical energy (from the engine to the belt) to your AC compressor.
So Does My Air Conditioning Waste Gas?
A lot of groups have had the chance to test the mileage of various vehicles while running the AC and having the windows down. One of them, called the Society of Automotive Engineers, finally sought after the answer to the question in a scientific way.
According to their studies and multiple tests, they concluded that running your AC on your car can reduce the car mileage by 5-10%. Stanford University agreed with their findings and they both suggested you drive with your windows down when you are driving within the city. However, they also said that when you are going fast on the freeway, the drag caused by having your windows down offsets the reduced car mileage from your AC. So if you are driving at speeds of around 45mph and above, just close the windows and you’ll save more gas.
How To Keep Save Gas While Still Using Your AC
You can still end up wasting more gas on your car when your air conditioning system on your car is not clean or well maintained. When your AC is not clean or not well maintained, it requires more energy to work. If your AC is not clean, it’s not effectively cooling your car. As a result, you try to increase the temperature a bit more – causing your AC to eat up more energy.
When Should I Get My Car AC Serviced?
Normally, you’d want to have your AC serviced at least once a year. Think of it as a yearly checkup where the technicians ensure your AC is clean from dust, pollen, and gunk while making sure it is working as intended. If need be, expert AC technicians will check and clean every component of the AC system on your car.
However, if you feel like your AC is not as cold as before or you hear any weird noises when you power it on then you better rush to your favorite AC technician. Small problems can turn into big and costly issues when it comes to your car AC. There are also times when little critters get trapped or make nests in the vents of your AC which can lead to allergies or disease.
Fast and Friendly Air Conditioning Service in Atlanta
If you have concerns about your car’s air conditioning system or you just want to have an expert take a look at it, then look no further than T3 Atlanta. T3 Atlanta is the #1 name in car servicing for Infiniti, Lexus, Nissan, and Toyota cars in Atlanta. With over 18 years of experience, we can tell what’s wrong with your car the moment you enter the garage. Call us today and ask how we can help you with your car AC concerns.