The following tips can help you use the AC more efficiently and therefore improve fuel economy in the summer:
- Read the owner's manual for detailed information on how your vehicle's AC system works and how to use it efficiently.
- Park your vehicle in shady areas or use a sunshade to keep the interior from getting too hot.
- Do not use the AC more than needed. If you need to use the AC, avoid using the "max" setting for extended periods.
- If you are driving at high speeds, use the AC instead of rolling down the windows. If the vehicle is too hot, you may lower the car windows to expel hot air for the first few minutes. Once the hot air has left the vehicle, switch to using the AC.
- Avoid excessive idling. Idling can use a quarter to half a gallon of fuel per hour, and even more if the AC is on. Do not idle the vehicle to cool it down before a trip; most AC systems actually cool the vehicle faster while driving.
- PEV owners, pre-cool your vehicle with the AC while still plugged in. Since PEVs use battery power to provide AC, it can drain the vehicle's batteries and reduce the vehicle's overall range. If you need to use the AC to cool down your PEV, try to do so while the vehicle is still charging.