How to save fuel as gas prices and temperatures hit record highs
Hot temperatures are scorching much of the United States, breaking records before the official start of summer.
And while you might want to seek relief in the air conditioning, blowing it up in your car can consume gas just as much. prices at the pump are soaring.
“If you are try to save mileageyou give up comfort a bit,” Steve Reinarts, automotive instructor at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, told KARE.
Here’s what the experts say about conserving fuel while taking a break the heat.
How could air conditioning impact fills?
Use of air conditioning can impact your car’s fuel economy, which refers to how far you can go before you need to refuel, according to the US Department of Energy.
“Running your car’s air conditioning is the biggest contributor to reduced fuel economy in hot weather,” the department said on its website. “Its effect depends on a number of factors, such as the outside temperature, the humidity and the intensity of the sun. In very hot conditions, using AC power can reduce the fuel economy of a conventional vehicle by more than 25%, especially on short trips.
Although the topic has been debated, experts say driving with the windows open also has the potential to reduce fuel economy.
“Rolling down your windows instead of using AC causes aerodynamic drag,” AAA told McClatchy News in a June 15 email. “In many cases, this increase in drag at highway speeds negates any savings in engine load from not using AC.”
How can you save gas?
Turning down the air conditioning can help save gas, but it might not be the best option when you’re hitting the road on a hot day. This week, heat alerts and record high temperatures spread across the United States.
Experts urge drivers looking for cost cuts to recognize when it makes the most sense to open windows to relieve themselves.
“At low speed in town, lower the windows is the most efficient choice,” the Department of Energy wrote in a 2015 online article. “However, because having the windows down increases wind resistance, it is not very efficient at highway speed. When driving on the highway, it is best to turn on the air conditioning at a comfortable temperature, but not cold.
here are some more expert advice:
- Park your car in the shade or use a windshield to block the sun
- Drive with the windows down to let hot air escape before turning on the air conditioning
- Reduce the time you spend idling with the air conditioning on
- Consider buying a lighter colored car or one with tinted windows
While these fuel-saving suggestions focus on how to stay cool when temperatures soar, it’s possible to take steps toward efficiency all year round. Some tips include staying up to date on vehicle maintenance, using cruise control and mapping routes to avoid traffic, McClatchy News reported.
Drivers may be looking to save fuel as they face higher prices at the pump following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As of June 16, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline was $5,009, just below the all-time high of $5,016 reported two days earlier. Prices were up nearly $2 a gallon from the same time last year, according to AAA.