The link between air conditioning and fuel economy appears to be straightforward. Reduce the distance per litre of fuel by turning on the air conditioning. If only it was that simple. In some circumstances, turning on the air conditioner is preferable to keeping the windows open. Didn’t see that coming, did you? There may be more things you don’t know about the relationship between mileage and automobile air conditioning that we’ll cover further down, so stay tuned and learn how simply pressing a small button on your dashboard may make the air you share the car with more comfortable to breathe.

How and where do they all fit in a car’s air conditioning system?

The AC compressor is the first component that gets the system up and running. It is close to the car’s engine and has a shaft that runs into it from the engine. This shaft rotates the engine’s pulley, allowing it to start up.

The next component is the AC condenser, which, like a radiator, is located in front of the vehicle.It is located in the lowest half of the automobile after the condenser. The Expansion valve is on top of it all because it needs to keep away from the following section, the evaporator, in order to receive accurate readings. As the final piece of the puzzle is a car’s air conditioning system, the evaporator is located closer to the passenger, sometimes as close as the dashboard.

The engine is an essential component of the car’s air conditioning system because it provides power to everything. The electricity supplied is used to start the AC compressor. 

When the windows are closed and the air conditioner is turned on, what happens to the fuel mileage?

Is it possible that if you’re attempting to save money on gas, leaving the windows closed and the air conditioner on is a better option? Yes, AC is aerodynamically efficient; nevertheless, it relies on the engine to power itself, which necessitates the use of gasoline. To have a better idea of what will require more gasoline, a comparison between those two scenarios must be made and the findings matched. 

One way is to compare the acceleration of a car with the windows open and closed with the AC on. The difference in acceleration timing will tell us which is drawing more power from the engine and, as a result, consuming more fuel. 

The difference in speed between closed and open windows in an air conditioner

Is it claimed that having open windows at higher speeds is harmful, and the more windows there are, the worse it gets? However, only at a specified high-speed range, which may be difficult to attain in regular circumstances. This scenario is only feasible on highways with such speeds. Nonetheless, it is possible. 

So, does the air conditioning in your car has an impact on your fuel mileage?

It certainly does. The air conditioner is powered by the engine, which adds to the burden on the engine and causes it to consume more fuel. However, in a low-speed environment, it will use less fuel than driving with the windows down. At higher speeds, a car with the windows down consumes more fuel than one with the windows closed and the AC on. 

When compared to a boxcar with no idea of air movement, this will be more pronounced in a car that is truly aerodynamic. So, what is the ideal setting for maximising fuel savings? With the windows down and the air conditioning turned off, you’ll be able to save the most amount fuel possible, which, as we all know, is not a good idea. 

Also, read: 10 reasons why your car AC is not cooling is not cooling enough