Summer is approaching and we are already having the first days with an overwhelming heat, with thermometers marking temperatures above 30 degrees. In addition to protecting your car from the sun and monitoring the problems with air conditioning, there are also tricks for the air conditioning to cool properly without involving a greater expenditure of fuel, as well as to extend its life and start to give failures at the most inappropriate moment and finish with the cabin turned into a furnace.
And is that air conditioning affects the consumption of the vehicle. While it is on, a compressor sucks the refrigerant gas and passes it to a condenser, where it returns to liquid state in a radiator… until the expansion valve, where it goes back to gas and cools down. After cooling the air, it passes thanks to a fan through the grilles of the dashboard aerators … and back to start.
All this process of removing heat from the air by mechanical processes (drawing air from the outside or recalculating the passenger compartment) spends energy, which comes from the car engine, which must make more effort : in addition to moving the vehicle, the engine You must operate the compressor. This extra effort translates into an increase in consumption between 5 and 20% (a few tenths in consumption, although it varies depending on the type of car).
And yes, benefits are lost, but you will only notice it in cars with small engines and demanding a lot of air conditioning. It is also true that some modern vehicles choose to disconnect the air conditioner if the pedal is pressed fully, so as not to compromise safety by demanding maximum power.
It is obvious that the more we try to lower the interior temperature, it will cost more energy (fuel in this case), to reach it. Therefore, using tricks to cool a car quickly can save some fuel.
Do you get to the car and discover that it is like an oven? To help the air conditioning to work, it is ideal that during the first minutes circulating proceed to open the window a little. Yes, at the same time you turn on the air conditioner. As hot air weighs less than cold, it tends to go up. That way you help it to go away and be replaced by the cold more quickly. After a while, you can proceed to close them.
In our tips to spend less fuel we already tell you that lowering the windows of the car worsens aerodynamics. That will make the car spend more … but that aerodynamic loss is not too big if the speed is low. According to several studies, the critical moment is at 80-90 km / h (from there, the air that enters “slows down” the car.) Hence, in urban journeys at a lower speed, you spend less fuel with the down windows that use background air conditioning to cool the car.
Sometimes, when the heat is a lot, lowering the windows is not enough to guarantee a comfortable temperature … but opening them will renew the hot air of the car, lowering a few degrees to the passenger compartment and making the compressor work less … spending less fuel.
Have you used it in winter?
Like any component in the car, getting it to work regularly is a guarantee that it will work when needed. So do not hesitate to use it for actions like demisting the crystals in winter. In addition to gaining security (it is much faster to gain visibility), you ensure that it is not damaged by lack of use.
Do not force it
To prevent the air conditioning from spoiling, it is also vital to avoid working at maximum power. In this sense, remember the first two points to lower the temperature of the passenger compartment before starting the road … and once underway, be rational with its use. Nor do you have to freeze. The ideal temperature inside the car should be around 22 degrees. Anything lower than that temperature is an unnecessary expense of fuel.