Air Conditioning vs. Fuel Efficiency

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Air conditioning is great, but it can cause your fuel efficiency to go down. Learn about air conditioning versus fuel efficiency with help from an expert in the automotive industry in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Car Maintenance Tips & Tricks
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Bob Holcomb from Apex Automotive in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Today, we're going to talk about fuel efficiency while using your air conditioning. The air conditioning pump in this car will be turned on by the computer. When it's turned on it pumps a refrigerant. In this case, our R134A. It pumps the refrigerant through an orifice and it takes the heat out of the cabin where we sit and it puts it her into the condenser in front of the radiator. This heat is dissipated in to the atmosphere. It takes energy to do that process. The energy that we use to do that process is the gasoline in your gas tank. With this particular car or any car, the use of gasoline to turn its engine, you're going to take extra horse power to turn your air conditioning. It's going to use more fuel, around town especially. Although if you're on the highway, traveling at 55 miles an hour or more, it may be more efficient to run your air conditioning system than to have your windows rolled down, as the car is more efficient with the windows rolled up, for aerodynamics, and the air conditioning only uses one an a half to two horse power to move the compressor. If you roll your windows down and the engine takes more horse power to move the car through the air with the windows down, the advantage is using the air conditioning. In any event, at the end of the day it costs energy. It costs money and it costs gasoline to run your air conditioning. I'm Bob from Apex Automotive in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

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