The use of any commercial vehicle’s air conditioning system increases the load on a vehicle’s engine, which in turn consumes fuel.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) estimates that traditional air conditioning systems account for over 5% of a vehicle’s fuel usage each year in the United States*. Properly using the air conditioning controls can help reduce fuel consumption.
Here are some tips to using your trucks A/C more efficiently:
- Press the recirculation button to enable the recirculation of the passenger air back through the air conditioner. Use of the recirculation feature will significantly reduce the energy used by the air conditioning system.
- For a manual system, it is most efficient to keep the temperature control in the full cold position and use the blower fan setting to adjust the amount of cooling. The temperature control should be used to adjust the air only after the blower is at the lowest setting.
- If the A/C is not as cold as it used to be, an air conditioning specialist can evaluate and repair the system. If there is a leak in the system, it should be repaired and recharged with refrigerant. It is also normal for the A/C system to lose small amounts of refrigerant by permeation through hoses over years of use. This may require a recharge of refrigerant.
- A vehicle’s HVAC system may have an air filter which can catch debris and reduce air flow, thus making your system work harder. On newer vehicles, this air filter could be located behind the glove box or below the windshield wipers. Most often this is truck maintenance you can do yourself!
Other than what you can do inside your truck, try these tips as well!
- Park in a shady spot
- Use sun shades
- Leave windows cracked