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What's the most efficient way to use a/c?

I had always assumed that it was bad to keep air conditioning on recirculation - gives rise to stale air and car misting up - but I read recently a suggestion that it should be kept on continuously as this was more efficient.

What do you think?



Philip Donegan (Ballina)

Jul 2016 Filed under: miscellaneous

Expert answer

Hi Philip,

Not quite. It's true to say that on a hot day, using the recirculation function can cool the cabin down a little faster as the system isn't pulling in fresh, hot air from outside. But, after a while, you'll notice that the air is becoming quite stale and you may find that the windows are starting to fog up as the oxygen content of the air falls a little.  So really the best thing is to use recirculation for the first few minutes until the cabin has cooled down nicely and then switch to bringing in fresh air from the outside.

Of course, if you're really bothered about efficiency, turn the air conditioning off altogether. 

Neil Briscoe - Complete Car Advisor

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