Fuel Consumption of your Car AC

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Does using Air Conditioner in car really affects fuel consumption in your car?

  • Yes, and perhaps the only auxiliary feature in your car that uses the most fuel.

  • Car Air conditioning systems put extra load on the car engines, and increase your fuel consumption upto 20%.

  • The exact consumption depends on type of car (sedan, truck,suv), the outdoor temperature and several other factors.

Is it worth avoiding the usage of car AC to save gas?

  • For a period of 10 years, if you drive 14,000 Kms per year and the price of the petrol is 1$ per Litre, you will consume about 140 L to 280 L more fuel every year.

  • You will also spend about $14,00 to $2,800 extra in fuel consumption over 10 years. [Source]

How and Why to reduce the usage of Car AC?

  • You would also produce about 3200 Kg to 6400 Kgs of CO2 over a period of 10 years. That is a lot of carbon. So apart from the obvious monetary reasons, you would do your bit to reduce your carbon footprint if you limit your Car AC usage.

  • When you are cruising below 40 MPH, get those windows down and enjoy the outside air.

  • Air Conditioning is to remove the heat and moisture from an interior closed space and replace it with cool air for the comfort of people. Blasting the AC high up at freezing temperatures would not be appropriate. Adjust the thermostat at the temperature that makes the air comfortable to be in.

  • Do not start your Air Conditioning right after you start your car. Your engine just started and is not producing enough power while the car A/C puts extra load onto your engine. Get the windows down for 5 minutes and let the trapped hot air escape from the car interiors.

How does a Car Air Conditioning system make use of petrol?

  • Car Air Conditioning system is run through a belt attached to the motor.

  • Car ACs consumes the energy provided by the alternator.
  • This alternator gets its energy from the engine, so the engine needs to be switched on in order for the car AC is work. This is how AC uses fuel from your gas tanks.
  • Car companies have been improving the air conditioning technology with the introduction of electric air conditioning systems to increase the fuel efficiency of their cars.
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