So here we are on day 2 of our 8 days of fuel economy myths being debunked.
Myth #2 - "Driving With the Air Conditioner Off on the Freeway Saves Fuel"
Conclusion - Part-Truth/Part Myth
Many of us have suffered through a hot summer day on the freeway while riding shotgun with a frugal driver who refuses to turn up the A/C for fear of sacrificing precious miles per gallon. Perhaps you are that driver. If so, we'll start with the good news: you're technically correct; turning up the air conditioning does burn more gas, particularly at low speeds or in city driving conditions. But, we still opted to include this as a myth, because as you approach freeway speeds, the drag created by rolling down the windows rather than rolling them up and cranking the A/C cancels out the extra fuel used to power the compressor, which is actually less at higher speeds when the engine is already pumping out more RPMs anyway. So for your next road trip through the Sun Belt, don't feel guilty about keeping it nice and frosty inside as you cruise down I-10.
Kind of a bummer since around town stop and go driving usually doesn't offer up much of a breeze...it's when you cruising down the interstate that it's tolerable to have the AC off....oh well...fall is right around the corner!