The lights are here, there’s a chill in the air and were digging out the wooly scarves…yes! It’s beginning to look a lot like a few of us are going to be out of pocket pretty soon with the Christmas isles already lighting up.
And of course, although we seem to spend more and more every year on more elaborate gifts and technologies, there are still a fair few thriftsters out there who are hell bent on saving themselves from complete bankruptcy this season.
So when it comes to winter driving, the question is, what is more cost efficient? Using your air conditioning system or having your window down?
Well before we go into that, there are actually some good reasons for you’ll need to keep your air conditioning running this winter. One of the main benefits is maintenance.
This in itself is one of the reasons that using your air conditioning throughout the winter months is a cost effective option: keeping your system flowing regularly will prevent moisture laying dormant inside your AC and therefor stop the build up of bacteria. The wear and tear that this can cause to the inner workings means you will need to fork out for more frequent re-gassing of your system.
Another great reason for using your Air Con in winter is to aid you when de-frosting icy windows. The air conditioning in your car works to de-humidify the air as you warm your frosty winter windows on a cold morning. This will help prevent ducking to get a clear view through that all-too-annoying steamy windscreen as you rush to get to work. In this case, opening a car window would only be as effective in causing a de-humidifying air-flow if the car were to be moving.
However, a moving car with the window down will also cause drag on your vehicle. Drag on your vehicle will cause you to be less aero-dynamic in turn making you less fuel-efficient.
And considering you would not have the need for cool air as you drive along in winter, opening up a window would not be necessary during these months. If you do find yourself in need of cool air to de-humidify your vehicle as you drive, your AC is again your best option: if we are to believe the reports of a particularly arctic winter here in the UK, the last thing you want is an icy sleet and snow blasting through your car as you cruise down the motorway.
So in the cold winter months the best option is to make use of your cars air conditioning to ensure that you are being as cost effective as possible. Not only will it prevent drag, save on fuel and provide you with quick, clean, de-humidified air to stop your windows steaming up, but it will keep your car air conditioning in great shape – ready for next summer!