With fuel prices still high and an average tank of fuel costing around £75, motorists are looking for ways to save money.
What some motorists don’t know is that there’s a little-known button in their car that helps with just that.
The air conditioning in your car requires power from the engine or, in the case of electric vehicles, directly from the battery to operate.
If you’re constantly sucking in air from the outside and either heating or cooling, the car will use more electricity than if you instead recirculate the air already flowing through the system.
Conveniently, there’s a button for that: the one above with a picture of a car with an arrow in it.
Almost every car has what is called a recirculation button, which prevents outside air from entering and instead draws in interior air through the vents.
This puts less strain on the engine and reduces fuel consumption because the air conditioning system is under less stress.
This also benefits electric cars: the on-board heating requires less energy to operate and thus saves valuable kilometers in range.
Bradley Jando of Kwik Fit said in a blog post, “The compressor needs energy to run your vehicle’s air conditioning system, so it uses a small amount of fuel whenever the system is running.”
“It could increase your fuel economy by up to 10% and the effects are particularly noticeable on short trips.”
“When you first drive off, the air conditioning has to work hard to bring the inside temperature down to a comfortable level.”
The RAC agrees, offering another tip for riders looking to save money on hot days.
It said: “Go ahead, but leave the car’s windows open for a minute or two to allow all the hot air to escape. Do this until the air coming out of the vents feels cooler than the outside temperature.”
“As soon as the air conditioning blows cold, close all windows and switch to (pre-cooled) recirculation.”