Which is more fuel-efficient: AC or windows down?

Published On: Jul 23 2014 11:30:09 AM EDT   Updated On: Jul 23 2014 11:37:17 AM EDT

When the weather outside is toasty hot we need to find a way to cool down while driving in our cars. Our options are usually either to turn on the air conditioning or to roll down the windows. Which of these options is the most fuel efficient?

Using the air conditioner does use some gas. The air conditioner draws its power from the engine, which runs on gas. In newer cars, this gas usage is tiny. To save on gas while running your air conditioner, consider turning it off while stopped in traffic or with your car in idle.

Driving with your windows down can actually use more gas than running your AC. Having the windows down can increase your car’s drag, which means your car has to work harder to keep going. To save on gas you could roll down the windows while stopped or sitting in traffic, but it’s a good idea to roll them up and turn on the AC when you start moving.



The views expressed below are not those of Click On Detroit, WDIV, or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus