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Does Car Air Conditioning Use More Fuel?

Posted on 1st February 2016 by French Car Specialists

With the cost of fuel seemingly constantly on the rise, conscientious car owners are often finding ways to increase the fuel efficiency of their driving in an attempt to make their money last longer. With this in mind, the effects of air conditioning on fuel consumption is an issue of interest – does car air conditioning use more fuel or are we worrying over nothing?

The short answer…yes

Any car accessory you use, such as the radio or window demister, runs through battery power which is charged through fuel, so it comes as no surprise that switching on your car air con can lead to an increase in fuel consumption. When driving at lower speeds such as inner-city speed limits, using your air con will increase fuel consumption by between 8% and 10%, so if you’re looking to cut down your fuel consumption, you’d be better off opening your windows instead of resorting to your air con.

Don’t wind down those windows!

Air con isn’t always a drain on fuel, however. When travelling at higher speeds the effects of the air con on your fuel consumption is negligible, meaning that you can regulate your car’s temperature without fear of gobbling up your fuel. In fact, it can be argued that rolling down your windows when travelling at higher speeds can waste more fuel than operating your air con, as the open windows creates drag that requires the engine to work harder. Some industry experts cite 55mph as the cut off speed for driving with your windows rolled down, and after this speed you’d be making a much more economical decision to use your air con instead.

Use your air con at least once a week

No matter the speed in which you are travelling, you should aim to switch on your air conditioning at least once a week for five minutes at a time to ensure that the system remains in good condition and to reduce the risk of you having to fork out for maintenance or replacement costs.

If you’re having problems with your air conditioning, look no further than the expert team here at Citroen-Peugeot Specialists to ensure a quick and seamless service.

Citroen-Peugeot Specialists offer a friendly and efficient automotive service in the area of Finchley, North London. With fully qualified and highly trained mechanics and years of experience in our industry, Citroen-Peugeot Specialists can offer you a top-quality service, capable of dealing with any issue from faulty air conditioners to MOT testing. For more information on our services, contact us here and we’ll be happy to deal with your enquiry.

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