Wondering how much fuel is consumed when AC is on? If yes. Then you have landed yourself on the right place!
One of the things that most people are curious to know before buying any car is its fuel economy. Many buyers take this thing quite seriously, and the fuel economy can either be a deal breaker or a deal maker.
In today’s scenario, when there is heavy traffic on roads, we usually spend a lot of time stuck in traffic jams. Traffic jams can cost you a lot of fuel, especially during summer, as the AC is constantly on while driving. Ever given a thought to the amount of how much fuel is consumed when AC is on?
Every accessory in your car, including the radio, consumes power from the battery that uses your engine fuel. To save fuel, try using the accessory only when required. Sometimes there are questions about what is economical – using car AC or rolling down your windows.
So, to bust the myth, It is considered more economical to roll down your windows to the speed of around 55mph, as using the AC at low engine speed results in increased fuel consumption.
Hence, if you are driving above 55mph, it is better to run the AC and not roll down your windows.
Even if you are experiencing a problem with your mileage then you should definitely go for car ac service from a professional mechanic near you to resolve issues.
Why Does Car AC Consume Fuel?
Now after taking a look at how much fuel is consumed when AC is on? Now let’s understand why does car AC consume fuel?
A car’s AC works by removing moisture from the air and making it comfortable for the passengers, thereby dehumidifying the car’s interior.
A car AC has the following parts: compressor, condenser, tube, evaporator, etc.
The working of an AC is directly affected by the engine, which would mean that there is a relationship between fuel economy and the engine powered by the AC compressor.
Since the engine directly affects how an AC system operates, there should be a significant link between fuel efficiency and AC run time since the engine powers the AC compressor. In such a case, more fuel is used when the AC compressor consumes energy. Therefore, it is 0.2 to 1 liter of gasoline every 100 kilometers.
Like the AC we use at home, a car’s AC also uses many parts to cool its surroundings. According to EPA, a car uses a lot of fuel when AC is on.
Hence, the consumption of fuel is less or more will depend on the temperature outside and the use of an air conditioner.
Vehicles utilize the heat from the engine to warm the interior air during the winter. The AC system might, however, also be activated automatically to prevent the windows from fogging up if you utilize the defrost setting.
To reduce the fuel that the vehicles use, manufacturers are creating more fuel-efficient a/c technologies, such as electric a/c systems.
Factors Affecting Fuel Consumption Due To AC
Fuel usage and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be significantly influenced by the decisions you make as a driver. Pick a car with the most advanced fuel-saving features.
Other factors affect fuel consumption that takes place due to car AC such as:
1. Driving Habits
If you drive very fast, there will be more fuel consumption. So, fuel consumption depends upon the speed of the vehicle. The smoother you drive, the less will be your fuel consumption. You will be shocked to know that if you drive wisely, you can save up to 25% on petrol.
Therefore, you may reduce emissions and fuel consumption by promoting safe driving habits among drivers.
The fuel consumption will worsen when it gets colder. More friction and rough road conditions contribute to increasing costs. A car can use up to 28% more fuel when the temperature drops from 24 to 7 degrees. During summers, the fuel consumption is more as the weather is hot and more cooling is required in the car.
Fuel consumption is lower in lightweight automobiles. Every 25 kilos of added weight cause a normal-sized car’s fuel efficiency to decrease by one percentage. According to the EPA, the car’s fuel efficiency improves by 1-2 percent for every 100 pounds removed. It equates to savings of between $0.03 and $0.05 a gallon based on the price of gasoline, which is $2.58 per gallon.
Aerodynamics is the study of airflow around your car. The better the airflow, the less fuel it will burn. Aerodynamics can be due to skin friction, turbulence, pressure differences, etc. That is why car makers develop aerodynamic cars because they can achieve better fuel efficiency and increase sales.
Also, it is one of the cheapest methods to improve fuel efficiency compared to other costly engine technologies.
5. Plan your route and avoid congestion
According to research, planning your route can lower fuel expenses by 20%. Another study discovered that route optimization is more crucial when there is congestion on the road, causing more fuel to be consumed in your car’s AC. In other words, you require optimization of the route to keep your costs low. When you try to be fuel efficient, it is not about how you drive but also where you drive.
6. Bad condition of tires
Older tires spin harder to maintain a certain pace because they have less traction on the road. When the tire is in good condition, it will also improve your car’s handling. It increases fuel intake more than necessary. When there is low pressure on the tire, it can lead to more fuel consumption.
7. The engine’s efficiency
If the engine in your car is efficient, fuel savings will occur immediately. This indicates that it will use less gasoline while still producing higher power, resulting in lower fuel usage for running the AC.
8. Compressor power rating
Compressors typically range in power from 3 to 5 kW, though this might change depending on the automobile model. That’s a crucial element that also influences how much fuel air conditioning uses. The most recent hybrid vehicles and air conditioning systems can further reduce fuel usage.
How To Save Fuel With Air Conditioning?
Use the AC cutoff feature: We all know how a car air conditioner works. We set AC to the desired temperature, and when the temperature is set, the sensor cuts off from the engine. It relieves the engine from the AC’s load and reduces fuel usage. The best way to use an AC is to set a lower temperature at starting and then increase it or set it to a temperature that best suits you.
1. Replace cabin filter
Your AC compressor may experience more stress due to a clogged cabin filter. It will use more fuel and create less chilly air. So, replace your dirty cabin filter to conserve fuel.
2. Park your vehicle in the shade
When you park during day time, try to park your vehicle in the shade. Anything that protects your vehicle from the sun and heat will improve its mileage. It will make AC work more efficiently. You can park your car in a garage or under a tree to save fuel. If that is not possible, then any shelter will help.
3. Use a sun film
If the traffic laws allow, use a sun film on the windows to block the heat from coming inside. The best way to use less fuel is to use sun film to reduce the heat inside the car. So, when there is low heat in the car, the usage of AC will be less, and thus, fuel consumption will also reduce.
4. Colour of the car
The car’s color plays a vital role in heat absorption. That means dark shades absorb more heat while lighter shades absorb less heat. So, if you have a black/ red or any other dark-colored car, it will absorb more heat, and hence, AC usage will increase. At the same time, a lighter-colored car absorbs less heat in direct sunlight. So, if you haven’t purchased a car, go for a lighter shade to get a fuel-efficient car.
5. Use air re-circulation
Use your air conditioner’s “re-circulating” function. This saves energy since you’re only chilling the air that’s already in your vehicle rather than bringing in warmer outside air to cool.
6. Turn off AC after windows have defrosted
To prevent window fogging in more recent automobiles, the defrost setting immediately activates the air conditioning system. Once the windows are clear, switch off the air conditioning and adjust the heater settings.
Read the owner’s manual first- Before using your car’s AC, read the manual, as it specifically mentions the AC control system, how it works, and how to put it to best use. Sometimes, cars have different features related to their air conditioning systems. Using their features might help you increase your fuel efficiency.
In this blog, we have discussed how much fuel is consumed when AC is on, factors affecting fuel consumption due to AC, and how to save fuel with air conditioning.
People who worry about the budget can use their windows too. You can roll down your windows and let the air cool your car, decreasing fuel economy. Remember to operate your car’s air conditioning for at least five minutes every two weeks, even if you don’t need it, to maintain the system lubricated and leak-free. You should also utilize an air conditioning repair business to complete your air conditioning service.
Undoubtedly, AC uses a lot of fuel, but there are many ways by which you can save fuel, even when driving with the air conditioner on.
According to reports, one of the cheapest ways to stay cool is by getting a portable fan that you can install so that you don’t need an AC when the weather is good.
With the ever-increasing fuel prices, one must choose their car wisely before buying.
Also, Read – How to Improve the Performance of Your Car’s Air Conditioner