When it’s hot, air conditioning is very much appreciated. This allows us to enjoy a pleasant ride with fresh air and to avoid air and noise pollution. Yes, but there is a negative point, and not the least, since it is the fuel consumption. Its use would increase fuel consumption.
Let’s see what air conditioning is?
The air conditioning of a vehicle will cool the air in the passenger compartment. This system contains different elements, notably the compressor, the condenser, the evaporator, the dehydrator, the expansion valve… These elements ensure the correct operation of the air conditioning. The adjustment of the temperature is done between the air mixture of the heating and the air conditioning.
How does it work?
It is important to know that in order to operate an air conditioning system, a physical principle is used, that of the compression and decompression of a gas.
When we compress this gas the temperature rises, when we decompress it the temperature drops. For air conditioning we will use this principle.
The elements mentioned above (compressor, evaporator…) will have an important role in the process of cooling the air.
What is the impact on fuel consumption?
It would seem that an air conditioning setting of five degrees difference with the outside temperature results in a consumption of 0.3l/100km, a temperature difference of ten degrees increases it, the consumption of 0.8l/100km.
When the air conditioning is operating, it will cause resistance on the engine, which will result in a significant increase in fuel consumption.
Is it necessary to drive with the windows open?
Not really, driving with the windows open on the motorway, for example, will be much more energy consuming than turning on the air conditioning. However, in the city, it might be better to open the windows. This depends on the context of use.
However, there are several tips to limit fuel consumption by using air conditioning. First of all, the ideal setting for the air conditioning should be five degrees, and should not be more than ten degrees different from the outside temperature. Beyond that, the car will consume much more, not to mention the risk of catching cold.
You should also remember, when your car has been in the sun for a long time, to open the windows for a few minutes rather than running the air conditioning at full speed.
Then, remember to have the air conditioning serviced for optimal operation.
It will have been understood that excess fuel consumption due to the use of air conditioning is not a myth. However, we know that there are solutions to limit over-consumption. The most important of all is of course to have the air conditioning serviced by a professional. It is recommended to have it serviced at least every 2 years, in order to repair or change the necessary parts. Also think about having it recharged when necessary.
It is also important to carry out a good adjustment, as seen previously, there should not be a difference of more than ten degrees with the outside temperature.
All these little tricks will help limit fuel consumption.