Which Is Better On Gas: Riding With The AC On Or Windows Down?
People have often argued whether driving with the windows down or with the air conditioning on during a warm summer day produces better fuel mileage, but two scientists actually put that question to the test, in order to find out what the truth really is.
Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, from the popular Discovery Channel TV show “MythBusters,” decided the best way to test this myth was to take two identical Ford Expedition XLT SUVs to Altamont Speedway in Northern California.
At the track, both scientists filled their SUVs with five gallons of fuel each. Hyneman got in the vehicle with the AC cranked up and Savage jumped into the Ford with the windows rolled down. Both men drove at identical speeds of 45 mph.
Some experts have suggested that driving with the AC on during a hot day would be more efficient because it would cause the vehicle’s drag to be reduced, but Hyneman countered with the point that air conditioning uses a significant amount of a vehicle’s power.
Ultimately, the conclusion was Hyneman’s SUV with the AC turned on and windows rolled up, ran out of fuel 15 miles before Savage’s SUV did with the windows rolled down.
The two scientists were able to show that driving with the windows down, on a warm summer day, was better on gas than driving with the AC on, at least when traveling at 45 mph in an SUV.
News Source: Discovery