There’s nothing worse than sitting in a hot, stuffy car in the middle of summer. Actually, on second thought, there are plenty of things worse than that — but something about the smell of heated upholstery makes me feel sick. It also makes me want to reach for the air-conditioning switch rather than simply roll down the windows.
Of course, this only ends up using more gas, in turn creating more smog, which in turn depletes the ozone layer and makes the planet even hotter — in fact, in my city, we’ve already had our first smog and UV warnings and it’s not yet June.
Now, as this story points out, while using air conditioning can drag down a car’s fuel economy by 10 to 20%, driving with your windows down at 45 mph or faster creates wind drag, which also decreases fuel economy.
So my plan is to not use the a/c in the car if I’m tooting around the city, but to also make sure my windows are up if I’m on the highway (in which case I might turn the air-conditioning on, but keep it at the lowest setting). If it gets unbearably hot, I’m thinking maybe I should invest in one of those hand-held paper fans, or just up my ice cap intake to five per day (there’s only, what, 11 grams of fat in a small one, right?).