Does Car AC Use Gas?

Air Conditioning Button

Does the air conditioning in the car use gas? Will turning off the AC and rolling down the windows improve your gas mileage? That’s a genuine concern among many Turnersville drivers with gas prices being so high nowadays. Does car AC use gas? Yes, your car’s air conditioning does, in fact, use gas. But does AC burn car gas enough to make a difference? Does it always make sense to roll down the windows? Our service center wants to help you get the most fuel efficiency out of your vehicle, so let’s take a closer look at how this works.



How Does Car AC Use Gas?

Your car’s air conditioning is an electrical unit and is not fed gasoline directly. So, how does car AC use gas? It is powered by your car’s engine, which runs on gas. An air conditioning unit can cause an additional strain on the engine, causing your car to use more gas than it would otherwise on our Cherry Hill roads. Here are more details about how it works:

  • Compressor — compresses the refrigerant into a fluid, so the refrigerant flows through a line to the condenser.
  • Condenser — removes the heat from the refrigerant and pushes it along to the expansion valve or orifice tube.
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube — returns the refrigerant to its original gaseous state and moves it to the receiver/drier or accumulator.
  • Receiver/drier or accumulator — removes moisture from the refrigerant and transfers it to the evaporator.
  • Evaporator — pulls heat from the air passing through its core and transfers it into the refrigerant, resulting in cold air flowing beyond the evaporator.

Does AC Burn Car Gas Enough to Impact Gas Mileage?

Does air conditioning in a car use gas so much that you should never use it? Does AC burn car gas that much more than driving with the windows down? That all depends on how fast you are moving. It is actually more efficient at highway speeds to turn the air conditioning on, rather than to open the windows, which would produce more drag, which, in turn, would cause the engine to work harder. However, in stop and go Maple Shade traffic, it can be more fuel efficient to turn off the AC and open those windows.

Let Acura Turnersville Help With Your Automotive Needs

We’re here to help at Acura Turnersville. If you found this post to be useful, check out our other automotive tips, like how to check transmission fluid and how many miles tires last. And don’t hesitate to reach out to our service department for any of your automotive needs. We’re conveniently located near Medford, so drop by or contact us today.


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