Does Car AC Use Gas?

Air Conditioning

On a hot day in Laurel, you may be wondering, does car AC use gas? Yes – like many of your car’s other features, the AC uses gas. Drawing energy from the alternator, the AC is one of the components fueled by engine power. Since gas is used to start this chain of energy, your air conditioner does use gas. However, in some cases, using the AC can be more efficient than if you left it off. Learn more about the intricacies of your Hyundai AC system below!

How Car AC Works 

Does car AC use gas? Yes, but how does it work? Generally, your AC system will run on a high-pressure gas called refrigerant. Regardless of make or model, your car’s air conditioning will rely on the following components:

  • Compressor — converts the refrigerant into a liquid through compression, allowing the refrigerant to flow through the line to the condenser. 
  • Condenser — pulls heat from the refrigerant and moves it along to the expansion valve or orifice tube. 
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube — returns the liquid refrigerant to a gaseous state and moves it to the receiver/drier or accumulator. 
  • Receiver/drier or accumulator — removes the moisture from the refrigerant and transfers it along to the evaporator. 
  • Evaporator — pulls the heat from the air passing through its core and transfers it to the refrigerant. This results in cold air flowing beyond the evaporator. 

If you believe any of these components are in disrepair, you can schedule service with us for a quick check. Our team can diagnose the issue in a timely manner and offer cost-effective solutions. 

When Is Using Car AC Fuel-Efficient? 

You may be surprised to find out that based on EPA findings, when traveling at highway speeds, it can be more efficient to use your AC than to travel with the windows down. This is due to the added aerodynamic drag that is added when the windows are open. This causes your engine to work harder and burn more fuel. This can be fantastic news for Big Timber drivers who enjoy the comfort that AC can provide, but still want to retain fuel efficiency. 

Tips to Improve Fuel Economy

Along with rolling up your windows when traveling at highway speeds, there are a number of ways to actively work towards improving your fuel efficiency during your Livingston commute. A few suggestions include:

  • Brake gradually 
  • Make sure your car’s tires are properly inflated and aligned 
  • Don’t idle for more than 30 seconds 
  • Pack light 
  • Use sun reflectors if you’re parking in a sunny spot 
  • Don’t use cheap engine oil 
  • Reduce your speed and drive in a higher gear 

Turn to Underriner Hyundai in Billings for Car Care 

If your AC isn’t running the way you would like or you are experiencing other maintenance concerns, turn to the Underriner Hyundai service center. Our team of trained technicians can make sure your AC system is up to snuff to keep you cool on every ride. What’s more, you can save big when you utilize our service coupons for all your car care needs. Contact us if you have any questions about the services we provide. Ready to learn more about automotive efficiency? Explore the pros and cons of hybrid cars with us today.

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