Rolling down the windows (Day 73)…

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?).

5 Responses to Rolling down the windows (Day 73)…

  1. reden says:

    I know this for a fact too! My car’s airconditioning broke down in the middle of summer and it is quite a punishment. But the car’s fuel efficiency seems to have increased. The environmentalist in me wants to ride this way but buckets of sweat are running down my eyes… what a choice!

  2. Kujalaklan says:

    Good work so far!

    I haven’t read your entire collection of comments, etc. yet but, since this one talks about your car, here’s a suggestion: When you NEED to use your car, please be sure to turn off the engine at red lights, traffic jams, drive-throughs, etc. – a great way to reduce emissions! If everyone did this, the emission reduction would be phenomenol AND we would be able to breathe with our windows down – bonus!

  3. anne Solomon says:

    But why drive a car anyway – riding a bike is often faster, way more environmental and you get exercise at the same time. I find that now that I dont have access to a car most of the time i dont even think about using it when I have the option.

  4. valliestarr says:

    lol the icecap link shows you an actual ice cap….not the coffee variety either

  5. Walter says:

    Of note the low setting or high setting makes no difference with your AC in the car, the pump still runs at the same setting, only thing different is the fan speed which in a minimal affect. Also if you have A/C Max all this does is recirculate the air, not bringing in fresh air.

    Either way once you turn your A/C on thats it, its on of off, no adjustments is made to the A/C only the air passing through it.

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