Air conditioning is available in nearly every modern vehicle. This has evolved even further, with climate control systems that allow the driver and passenger to separately set the controls on their side to the desired temperature. Air conditioning does not only provide a comfortable ambience, but on particularly hot days, it is a safety feature, as the driver will be more alert and focused, especially on longer journeys. Air conditioners also serve to dehumidify the air; an important feature in humid climates.
Many motorists however, complain that car air conditioning and climate control systems in operation, result in loss of engine power and higher fuel consumption. There are arguments for and against.
Car air conditioning is powered by a compressor which uses a pump-like action to compress the refrigerant, allowing the desired temperature to be achieved. Vehicle air conditioning systems need mechanical power to work. The compressor is powered by the engine, so it stands to reason that the engine will burn more fuel if it needs to work the compressor, than if the air conditioning system was switched off. There is no question that your air conditioning system will consume some power. But then every device in your vehicle will consume power; and power is fuel.
When the air conditioning is on, 5-10 bhp is taken from the engine. This may be more noticeable in cars with a lower bhp, however, cars with a much higher bhp will hardly notice the difference. In fact, driving a speed of 70mph with the windows down and the air conditioning off will actually consume more fuel because of the strong wind resistance that the engine has to battle with. At high speeds the engine produces more power and therefore the load becomes lighter, so the extra bhp lost from having the car air conditioning on, becomes inconsequential.
If you are concerned with your power consumption, stick to a general rule: turn the air conditioning off and wind down the windows, in city and slow-moving traffic. Wind the windows up and turn the car air conditioning on when driving at higher speeds on the motorway. Even with power consumption concerns, air conditioning still remains an essential component for most motorists.
Cool Car Air Conditioning Specialists provide a full air conditioning service including recharging, servicing, fault diagnosis and repairs. We also offer a mobile service to help keep your costs down. For all your air conditioning needs, visit our website or call us directly.