Study Shows Turning off Car A/C Saves Fuel

ZURICH, Switzerland, June 24 (UPI) — Swiss researchers say they’ve found the use of car air conditioning systems can account for up to 30 percent of a vehicle’s fuel consumption in hot climates.

Even in Switzerland, with its temperate climate, the scientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research said the use of air conditioning systems is responsible for about 5 percent of total fuel usage, rising to about 10 percent in urban traffic.

The scientists said car air conditioning systems require energy to compress the cooling agent, and the greater the degree of cooling required the more fuel they use.

The researchers noted air conditioning systems in cars with automatic transmissions only turn themselves off when the external temperature drops below about 40 degrees, when the cooling system could ice up. That occurs because air conditioning systems not only cool the air before blowing it into the vehicle’s interior, but also dry it to avoid causing condensation on the windshield.

The study appeared in the June 8 early, online edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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Categorized | Cars, Consumption, Other
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