HOUSTON – It’s hot and gas prices remain high. That means your air-conditioner is working hard — even when you do use our handy-dandy trick of using the recirculate button in your vehicle. So how can you improve fuel economy even in hot weather? Here are a few more tricks with expert scientific knowledge from the Environmental Protection Agency that should help.
But before we get to those — did you know that hot weather can actually increase your fuel economy? It’s true, according to the EPA. Here’s the explanation: “Your engine warms up to an efficient temperature faster; summer grades of gasoline can have slightly more energy; and warm air causes less aerodynamic drag than cold air.”
However, as expected, keeping passengers comfortable in hot weather by rolling down the windows or using the air conditioning can reduce fuel economy.
Running your car’s air conditioning is the main contributor to reduced fuel economy in hot weather, the EPA said. Its effect depends on a number of factors, such as the outside temperature, humidity, and intensity of the sun. Under very hot conditions, the EPA noted AC use can reduce a conventional vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25%, particularly on short trips. The AC’s effect on hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles can be even larger on a percentage basis, the EPA said on its website.
Driving with your windows down can also reduce fuel economy. Open windows increase wind resistance, making your vehicle use more energy to push through the air. This effect is quite small at low speeds, but increases at highway speeds.
So what can you do? Here are their tips, and the expert sources behind the knowledge below.
What tricks do you use to improve fuel economy in your vehicle? Let us know in the comments.[ad_2]