Does Car AC Use Gas?

Car AC Vents

Does car AC use gas? It may not be obvious to some Oakville drivers, but your car’s air conditioning system does, in fact, use gas just like many of the other features. Your AC draws power from the alternator, which in turn is powered by the engine. Fuel will be used to power this process. However, in some situations using your AC can actually be the most efficient. Learn more about your car’s air conditioning system below and contact our service department to maintain your smooth Mehlville commute.


How Car AC Works

So, how does car AC use gas? All car air conditioning systems run on a high-pressure gas called refrigerant. Regardless of your car’s make, you will find these components in your AC system:

  • Compressor — compresses the refrigerant into a fluid, allowing the refrigerant to flow through the 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.

Can Using Car AC Be Fuel-Efficient?

Based on recommendations from the EPA, using your AC while driving at highway speeds is more fuel-efficient than leaving the windows down. While it can be refreshing to roll down the windows while cruising through Fenton, it also creates more drag. When this happens, your engine has to work harder and burns more fuel to maintain higher speeds. So if you are looking to maximize your fuel economy, using your AC while on the highway will not be wasteful.

Other Ways to Improve Fuel Economy

Along with keeping the windows up on the highway, there are a ton of ways to improve your fuel economy. Check out our service tips to keep your vehicle running smoothly and these suggestions for efficiency:

  • 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
Silver 2020 Kia Sorento Driving Through Field

Get AC Service Suntrup Kia South!

Still have lingering questions about your car’s AC system? Think your air conditioning may need service? Contact us today! Our expert technicians can handle any AC issues to keep you comfortable on every drive. We offer service specials year-round to help you stick to your budget. Visit us in St. Louis for all of your car care needs today!


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6263 S Lindbergh Blvd • St. Louis, MO 63123

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