Plenoil gasolineras

How to save money with the air conditioning on?

In the midst of a heatwave, it’s inevitable to turn on the air conditioning to cool off. This simple action can lead to high fuel consumption and therefore, an increase in monthly expenses. But, how does this mechanism work? Will we save money by turning it on or is it advisable to open the window? Is it possible to save with the air conditioning on?

Operation of the air conditioning

The air conditioning aims to extract hot air from the outside and transform it into cold air, thanks to its mechanism that filters and dehumidifies the extracted air, it is able to achieve this, as stated by Motorpasión.

“An air conditioner works by mechanically compressing a substance that changes state, from gas to liquid, and from liquid to gas. That substance is the refrigerant gas in the circuit, which performs a cycle that is repeated continuously when the air conditioner is activated,” they point out in the article.


Does consumption increase with the window open?

Although the common belief is that consumption increases with the window open, this will depend on the speed at which the car is moving. With the air conditioning on, consumption will be practically the same regardless of the speed, however, if we drive with the windows down, the aerodynamics of the car worsens, and this slows down the vehicle.

This effort translates into greater consumption by the vehicle when moving the wheels.

Also, it’s important to consider the speed at which you’re driving, as aerodynamics won’t be the same when driving at lower speeds. It’s advisable, from 80/90 kilometers per hour onwards, to turn on the air conditioning and close the windows to consume less.

To achieve lower consumption, it’s advisable to follow some tips, as mentioned below:

Tips for saving with the air conditioning on

  • Park the car in the shade whenever possible.
  • Use a sunshade to prevent overheating.
  • Set the air conditioning between 22 and 24 degrees.
  • Don’t close the windows completely.
  • Clean air filters.
  • Open windows during the first moments of the trip to expel hot air.
  • Direct the vents upwards.
  • Recirculate the air.
  • Allow outside air to enter to reduce consumption.
  • When exceeding 100 kilometers per hour, turn on the air conditioning to save fuel.