Five Tricks to Save Fuel using Air Conditioning
Summer is approaching and we are already having the first days with overwhelming heat, with thermometers marking temperatures above 30 degrees. In addition to protecting your car from the sun and keeping an eye on problems with air conditioning, there are also tricks to make your air conditioner cool properly without it consuming more fuel, and to extend its life and get you started. To fail at the most inappropriate moment and finish off the cabin turned into an oven.
And is that air conditioning affects the consumption of the vehicle. While it is on, a compressor draws in the refrigerant gas and passes it to a condenser, where it returns to a liquid state in a radiator ... to the expansion valve, where it goes back to gas and cools down. After cooling the air, it passes through a fan through the vents of the dashboard ... and starts again.
This whole process of removing heat from the air through mechanical processes (sucking air from outside or recalculating air from the passenger compartment) uses energy, which comes from the car's engine, which must make more effort: in addition to moving the vehicle, the engine you must run the compressor. This extra effort translates into an increase in consumption between 5 and 20% (a few tenths in consumption, although it varies depending on the type of car).
And yes, benefits are lost, but you will only notice it in cars with small engines and demanding a lot of air conditioning. It is also true that some modern vehicles choose to turn off the air conditioning if the pedal is depressed fully, so as not to compromise safety by demanding maximum power.
It is obvious that the more we try to lower the cabin temperature, the more energy (fuel in this case) will cost, to reach it. So using tricks to quickly cool a car can save some fuel.
Do you get to the car and discover that it is like an oven? To help the air conditioning to work, the ideal thing is that during the first few minutes of driving you proceed to open the window a little. Yes, at the same time you turn on the climate control. Since hot air weighs less than cold air, it tends to go up. That way you help it to go away and be replaced by the cold more quickly. After a while, you can proceed to close them.
In our tips to spend less fuel, we already told you that lowering the car windows worsens the aerodynamics. That will make the car spend more ... but that aerodynamic loss is not too great if the speed is low. According to several studies, the critical moment is 80-90 km / h (from there, the air that enters “slows down” the car. Hence, on urban journeys at lower speeds, you spend less fuel with the windows down than using bottom the air conditioner to cool the car.
Sometimes, when the heat is high, lowering the windows is not enough to guarantee a comfortable temperature ... but opening them will renew the hot air in the car, lowering the cabin by a few degrees and making the compressor work less ... spending less fuel.
Have you Used it in Winter?
Like any component in the car, running regularly is a guarantee that it will work when needed. So do not hesitate to use it for actions such as demisting the windows in winter. In addition to gaining security (it is much faster to gain visibility), you make sure that it does not spoil due to a lack of use.
Don't Force It
To prevent air conditioning from breaking down, it is also vital to prevent it from working at maximum power. In this sense, remember the first two points to lower the temperature of the cabin before starting the road ... and once it is underway, be rational with its use. You also shouldn't freeze. The ideal temperature inside the car should be around 22 degrees. Anything that goes below that temperature is an unnecessary waste of fuel.