Does Car AC Use Gas?

2023 Mazda CX-50 View of Front Cabin


Sometimes the service team at Whitten Brothers Mazda gets asked the question, “Does AC use gas?” The answer is yes; the air conditioning system in your new Mazda CX-30 requires gas to run. Your car’s alternator draws its power from the engine and powers the AC. But, just because the AC uses gasoline, though, doesn’t necessarily mean that using AC is inefficient. There are certain situations where using AC is better than not using it when driving around Richmond. Keep reading to learn more about your car’s air conditioner works, and contact us if you have any questions. 

How Car AC Works 

The air conditioning system works the same in all vehicles, regardless of the brand. The AC operates on refrigerant, a high-pressure gas. All AC systems contain the following major components: 

  • Condenser — removes the heat from the refrigerant and transfers it to the expansion valve or orifice tube.
  • Compressor — compresses the refrigerant into a fluid. It then flows down the line to the condenser. 
  • Evaporator — removes the heat from the air passing through its core and sends it into the refrigerant, which causes cold air to flow beyond the evaporator. 
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube — changes the refrigerant back to its original gaseous state, then transfers the gas to the receiver/drier or accumulator. 
  • Receiver/drier or accumulator — removes the moisture from the refrigerant and directs it to the evaporator. 

Can Using Car AC Be Fuel-Efficient? 

When driving at highway speeds in Ashland, using your car’s AC is more efficient than opening the windows. That’s because open windows create drag. So you may as well crank the AC without guilt because you’re reducing aerodynamic drag by leaving the windows rolled up. 

Other Tips for Enhance Fuel Efficiency

In addition to using the AC when you’re driving on Fredericksburg highways, there are some other ways to iomprove your car’s fuel economy, such as: 

  • Avoid idling for longer than 30 seconds 
  • Brake slowly when possible instead of slamming down on the brake
  • Keep the tires properly inflated, aligned, and rotated 
  • Buy the recommended motor oil for your car 
  • Avoid overloading your vehicle because the more weight, the less MPG
  • If you parked in the sun, use sun reflectors
  • Try to reduce your speed so you can drive in a higher gear 

Whitten Brothers Mazda is Always at Your Service! 

If you have additional questions about your car or need service, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can schedule service online and save money with our regular service specials. We’re happy to help with anything from a Mazda premium oil change to tire rotation or helping you find the right new car for your lifestyle. We are conveniently located near Chester and ready to help!

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