Debates over whether to roll down the windows or turn on the AC are as old as in-vehicle air conditioning itself. We won’t judge if you’re a fan of staying cool with fresh Kerrville air or the top-of-the-line tri-zone automatic climate control in your GMC Acadia or Yukon. We will, however, help you figure out which method may work best in certain situations.
High speed, AC on; low speed, windows down
According to a Society of Automotive Engineers study, driving at speeds of more than 55 mph with the windows down lowered fuel economy by 20 percent or more due to drag. Conversely, driving at the same speed with the AC on resulted in just a 10 percent loss in fuel economy. Translation: when you’re driving on the highway, favor the air conditioner over putting down the windows.
At lower speeds, however, air resistance is not as strong, making slower summertime driving with the windows down more efficient than using air conditioning. Based on the studies, your best bet may be to put the windows up anytime you’re travelling faster than 40 mph and put them down at city speeds.
Ultimately, these studies aren’t definitive, so you may just want to do what feels comfortable. The team at Cecil Atkission GM wants you to feel comfortable, too, which is why our service department has a low-pressure, no-hassle atmosphere. Whether it’s an AC tune-up or a coolant flush, we’ll make sure your car beats the heat in Kerrville, Texas.