Fresh air can save you fuel and money

August 9, 2011

Roll down the window, turn off the air conditioner…

Air conditioners make cars bearable in the heat of summer, but they are HUGE energy users, increasing a vehicle’s fuel consumption by 20%.  That means a vehicle that normally goes 800 kilometres on a tank of fuel will only go about 675 kilometres with the air conditioner on – and many of us have it on by default all summer.

The best solution is to just turn your AC off.  When driving 60 KMH or less, roll down your window and enjoy a bit of fresh air.  (Wise dogs have known the pure joy of fresh air for years.)  At speeds above 60 KMH, keep a comfortable airflow moving by using the fan to bring in fresh air and keeping a window or sunroof open just a crack to let it out.

On really hot days when that’s not enough, alternate the AC on and off to get just the amount of cooling you need.  Just remember: it costs you every time you turn it on.

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