Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Gas $$ Saving Tip #9

Wow, it is ever hot! Here in Alabama, we are expected to be in the mid-90s every day this week and there is about a negative-10% chance of rain. (Okay, so it's a bit better than that, but not much.) So today's tip may seem like one that comes straight from the torture chamber, but it will help.

Use the A/C Sparingly.

We often run the air-conditioner at full blast nearly year-round, only turning it off when it is extremely cold. We need to learn to use the A/C only when it is absolutely necessary. Depending on who you read, the A/C can reduce your miles per gallon by 3-10%. Even if it is just 3% that can be a significant amount, especially on a long trip.

So, how can you avoid using the A/C all the time? Here are a couple of ways:

1. On short trips (to the store, to work, etc.) when you will be going more slowly (in-town driving), roll down the windows. If you are driving at highway speed, this also reduced your miles per gallon, but at speeds lower than 45 mph, it is better than running the A/C.

2. If you must have the A/C (like I do this week!), run it until the car is comfortable, then turn it off. Yes, the car will get hotter, but not in just a few seconds. You can usually stand it for a few minutes. If you must have it blowing, turn it on "vent."

This tip is easier to follow in the Spring and Fall, of course, but can be used year-round to save a few dollars on gas.