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In the summer a car can feel like a hot box. You want to crank the A/C but hesitate since saving every penny counts with gas prices so high.   As temperatures rise, the question will be, air conditioning or windows down?

Both methods will keep the car cool while driving but both are also rumored to be gasoline wasters. So which method will keep your tank filled longer and will ensure you’re comfortable on your road trip?

And the winner is… well it depends on how you’re driving and what kind of car you’re driving.

Older cars air conditioning units put more pressure on the engine and are much less efficient than newer car’s air conditioning units. That being the case, an older car’s air conditioning unit will waste more gas then a newer model.

If you are driving through town or in stop and go traffic, keeping the windows down and the air conditioner off will save gas. If you are driving on a highway or at high speeds, keeping the windows up and the air conditioning on is the way to go.  Keeping the windows down when driving at high speeds will create more drag on the car, which will reduce fuel economy.  At these high speeds it is more practical to turn on the A/C unit. The car is the most aerodynamic when all of the windows are rolled up. Drivers don’t have to feel bad about trying to keep cool this summer, as long as they know their options.