WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy released its tips for getting better fuel economy during the sweltering summer months, and some of them may surprise you.
If you’ve spent the summer in the Mid-South you know using the air-conditioning to cool your car contributes to reduced fuel economy.
The solution: roll down your windows.
However, according to the Department of Energy’s website, this can also reduce your fuel economy.
Open windows allow air to get in your car and create drag or wind resistance, which forces your car to use more energy to push through.
At slow speeds, the resistance doesn’t have a profound effect but increases at highway speeds.
So what’s a Memphian to do?
Fueleconomy.gov offered the following tips:
- Roll the windows down at lower speeds and the air conditioning at highway speeds.
- Park in the shade or use a sunshade so keep the heat out of your car.
- Drive with the windows down for several minutes before you turn on the AC.
- Only turn the AC on when you are driving; it’ll cool the cabin down faster.
- For plug-in hybrids and electric cars, pre-cool your car while it’s connected to the charger.