Does AC in the Car Use Gas?

Air Conditioner Vent

Like most of your car’s features, air conditioning in your Honda also uses gas. Fuel– which is gas in most cases– powers your vehicle’s engine, which then in turn powers the alternator. And you guessed it: the alternator then supplies energy to the air conditioner! Now that you no longer have to wonder “Does car AC use gas?” you might find yourself worrying about something related. Does that mean I will have to use more gas in Fishers if I use the AC in the car? Not necessarily. In fact, there are some cases where using it is more efficient than not using it. Get all the details below from the service team at Penske Honda!



How Car AC Works 

Overall, air conditioning works pretty much the same for all cars. You’ll realize that all systems run on a high-pressure gas, which is known as the refrigerant. Regardless of the auto brand, the air conditioning system in a car 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. 

Is Using Car AC Fuel-Efficient? 

When it comes summertime, you’ll want to stay cool during your commutes around Carmel. While the car AC does use gas, using the AC doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need more gas. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (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, forcing the engine to work harder and burn more fuel. So the next time you’re driving at highway speeds and sweat is dripping from your forehead, you can turn on the AC without worrying about wasting gas! 

Discover More About Your Honda from Penske Honda 

Now that we’ve fully tackled the question “Does air conditioning in the car use gas?” feel free to ask us other questions related to the AC system or other parts of your Honda, such as the Honda Civic coolant! If you’re having issues with your car AC near Westfield, be sure to schedule an appointment and our experienced technicians can help you out.


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