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Does using your car's A/C use more gas? What you need to know

The Weather Network logo The Weather Network 2020-07-31 Digital Writers


Driving with the air conditioning on uses more gas.

Fact or myth?

We asked Charles Crispim, a senior officer at the Canadian Department for Natural Resources.

"It sure does," he says. "Turning on the air conditioning will increase the load on the engine. What it's doing is re-conditioning the air, and you need energy to do that."

According to Crispim, of all a car's systems, air conditioners are one of the highest consumers of energy.

Crispim says it could increase energy drain by up to 20 per cent, depending on several factors.

If the air conditioning is on at full blast for an entire work week, it could cost up to $10 more in gas (approx.).

a woman sitting in a car © Provided by The Weather Network File photo: Getty Images.

To save money:

  • Use your windows to keep the car cool when city driving.
  • Park in the shade whenever possible.
  • Use a windshield shade on your car when it's not in use.
  • Use your car's recirculation button.

Watch the video above to learn more.


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