The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

No A/C, Windows Open for Summer Driving Doesn't Save Fuel

August 06, 2015

Conventional wisdom suggests that rolling down windows and turning off the A/C during summer driving can help improve fuel economy. However, a group of SAE International engineers hope to enlighten drivers about this misconception.

The members of the group's Interior Climate Control Standards Committee have authored a paper that acknowledges the heavy energy-consuming A/C system but reports that the increased drag created by the open windows counteracts the improved fuel economy of cutting off climate controls.

The impact of A/C use on a vehicle's fuel economy can be as much as 30 percent for full A/C use versus turning off the system, according to the report.

Read the full report here.

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