Does Car AC Use Gas?

Air Conditioning Button


Similar to how many of your car’s features rely on gas, the air conditioning system is also powered by gas. More specifically, the AC runs on energy that’s coming directly from the alternator, which is powered by the engine and the engine – as you can guess – is powered by gas. If you’re concerned about using too much gas on your Mclean drives and you’re instantly thinking about cutting back on the AC usage, think again. It might be actually more fuel-efficient to use your AC than not! Learn more below about how your car’s AC operates and how it affects your car’s fuel consumption from the service technicians at Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner.



How Car AC Works

Air conditioning works pretty much the same across the board for all cars. All systems run on a high-pressure gas known as refrigerant. Regardless of the make, the air conditioning system uses the following parts:

  • Compressor – compresses the refrigerant into a fluid, so the refrigerant flows through a line to the condenser.
  • Condenser – removes the heat from the refrigerant and pushes it along to the expansion valve or orifice tube.
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube – returns the refrigerant to its original gaseous state and moves it to the receiver/drier or accumulator.
  • Receiver/drier or accumulator – removes moisture from the refrigerant and transfers it to the evaporator.
  • Evaporator – pulls heat from the air passing through its core and transfers it into the refrigerant, resulting in cold air flowing beyond the evaporator.

So If I Use My Car AC, Am I Using More Gas Then?

Not necessarily. Actually, according to the EPA, using your car’s AC can be more efficient while driving at highway speeds than leaving the windows open. This is mainly because open windows elevate aerodynamic drag, causing the engine to work harder and in turn, burn more fuel. So when it is hot out in Great Falls, don’t hold back on using your car AC since it won’t always mean you’re saving gas or money!

Other Ways to Improve Fuel Economy

If you were wondering “Does the air conditioning in the car use gas?” you were probably curious cause you care about how much fuel you’re using on your Chantilly drives. Since rolling down the windows and not using your AC isn’t the wisest strategy to boost fuel efficiency, here are some strategies that you should consider doing on your commutes to make the most out of the fuel:

  • 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

Learn More About Your Mercedes-Benz from Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner!

Now that you know the answer to “Does car air conditioning use gas?” discover more about your Mercedes-Benz vehicle with Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner! We can break down the differences between Service A and B, so you know how to care properly for your car in Vienna. If you ever have any questions, you are one click away from help!


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