Does Car AC Use Gas?

air conditioning button 

It feels like summers just keep getting hotter. Fortunately, new Audi models have premium air conditioning and advanced climate controls to keep you comfortable through every season. Have you ever wondered, "Does AC burn car gas?" It does use gas since the alternator sends power to the air conditioning, and the alternator draws its power from the engine. None of that would happen without fuel for the engine. 

Still, just because your air conditioning requires gas to function doesn't mean using it is always inefficient. Sometimes, using it is better than not using it, even though running the AC uses gas. Read on to learn more about how the air conditioning in your car works with the service team at Audi Traverse City! 

How Does Car AC Work? 

So, does air conditioning in the car use gas on your Garfield Township drives? By now, you know it does. But how does it work exactly? Your AC runs on refrigerant, a high-pressure gas, and all AC systems include the following components: 

  • Compressor - Its function is to compress the refrigerant into a fluid so that it can flow to the condenser. 
  • Condenser - It removes the heat from the refrigerant and sends it to the expansion valve or orifice tube. 
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube - It transforms the refrigerant back to a gaseous state and moves the gas to the receiver/drier or accumulator. 
  • Receiver/drier or accumulator - It eliminates moisture from the refrigerant and sends it to the evaporator. 
  • Evaporator - Removes the heat from the air passing through its core and sends it into the refrigerant. This results in cold air flowing past the evaporator. 

Can Using Car AC Be Fuel-Efficient? 

When you're driving fast on Interlochen highways, using your car's AC is more efficient than driving with your windows open. Why is that? Your open windows create more drag, which makes the engine work harder and consume more fuel. So, if you're cruising on the highway on a hot August night, go ahead and crank the AC without feeling guilty because you're reducing the aerodynamic drag. 

Other Tips for Improving Fuel Economy

Now that you know car AC uses gas, could you use other tips to boost fuel economy on your drives around Kalkaska? Check out some gas-saving tips below:

  • Reduce your speed and drive in a higher gear 
  • Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned 
  • Brake gradually 
  • Avoid idling at a stop for over 30 seconds 
  • Don't overload your car with unnecessary items
  • Buy the recommended oil for your car 
  • Use sun reflectors when parked in the sun 

Get More Helpful Service Tips from Audi Traverse City! 

Audi Traverse City is always at your service and happy to answer your questions. Our service tips and tricks section is a great resource to learn more about oil change frequency when to rotate your tires, and much more! Ask our service specials to save some money when you contact us today! Our team is here to help you get back on the Elmwood Charter Township streets in a vehicle you can trust.