What Is The Amount Of Gas Used By A/C?

A closeup of a car fuel gauge. 3d render

Particularly during summer, it can get crazy hot inside your vehicle! Whether you’re a passenger or the driver, you want to feel cool, nonetheless. Best case scenario, you flip on your A/C, and that does the trick. However, will that mean you’re going to use more gas? Particularly with fuel prices at their current level, saving gas is something people are trying to do more and more.

The question becomes, is the gas used by A/C systems excessive? Does your car actually use more gas when you run your air conditioning system? Is that an old wive’s tale?

There may be other options in order to stay cool. Rather than turning to your A/C right away, what else can you do? Obviously, the windows can go down. But if there is just hot air blowing in those windows, you’re not going to cool off very much. What if it’s raining? Turning on the vents without the A/C just means blowing more hot air.

Let’s figure out if your gas is going to be used up just because you want to stay cool, and if it’s worth it.

Air Conditioning Gas Usage

Yes, more gas will be consumed when you use your air-conditioning system. But there are many other factors including your driving habits, your car brand, and how the compressor in your A/C system works. Driving in a hot climate, approximately 10% to 25% of your gas will be used if you constantly run your A/C.

Here are some facts that may surprise you:

  • It will also matter whether you’re running your A/C at maximum or a considerably lower setting while your car is running. Surprisingly, less fuel is consumed at the maximum setting.
  • More fuel will be consumed (by the A/C) if you’re driving slowly with the A/C on versus moving faster.
  • Naturally, the more you drive, and the more you use your A/C, the more gas you’ll use.

Why Is More Gas Used?

Okay, we’ve established that your car does use more gas when you run your air conditioning system. But why? Fuel is, obviously, used when your engine is running. The engine’s load increases when you turn on the A/C. After all, something needs to power the A/C – and that’s the vehicle’s engine. The engine now has to work more than it had to before because extra stress has been put on it. So, it consumes more fuel, the harder it works.

For the record, you may be using 10% extra gas if, while you are parked and idling, you run your A/C.

Make Sure Your A/C Is Running in Top Condition

When you need to make sure your car A/C system is running at its best, service it with quality parts from R&Y A/C Compressors. Before you purchase automotive A/C parts and components anywhere else, check out the following on our website:

To reach our customer service department, Monday through Friday, please call 305-919-8864. On Saturdays, we are available from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM. You may also choose to send us an email at [email protected].

If you’d rather, you can fill out our convenient online form, send it in, and we’ll respond. We look forward to working with you.