WITH news that the average tank of fuel has now broken through £100, drivers are desperate to save where they can.
However, most don’t know that an often-overlooked button in their car will help with exactly that.
A car’s air-conditioning system uses some of the engine’s power to function, or in electric cars, battery power.
By taking air from the outside and heating or cooling it to temperature, you’re using more energy than if you keep the air in the car moving through the system instead.
Handily, there’s a button for that: the one above with a picture of a car with an arrow inside it.
Almost every car has one and it’s called the air recirculation button, which stops outside air from getting in and draws interior air through vents instead.
This places less strain on the engine and in turn, will mean it uses less fuel because the air conditioning system isn’t having to work as hard.
It helps electric cars, too – the onboard heater will require less energy to function, thereby saving drivers precious miles of range.
Bradley Jando at Kwik Fit said in a blog post: “The compressor requires energy to run your vehicle’s air conditioning system and so will use a small amount of fuel whenever the system is running.
“It could increase your fuel usage by as much as 10%, and the effects are particularly noticeable on short journeys.
“When you initially set off, the air con has to work hard to bring the internal temperature down to a comfortable level.”
The RAC agrees and offers another tip to drivers who are looking to save cash on hot days.
It said: “Start driving, but keep the car windows open for a minute or two to let all the hot air escape, do this until the air from the vents feels cooler than the outside temperature.
“Once the air conditioning is blowing cold, close all the windows and switch to (pre-cooled) recirculated air.”