Air Conditioning VS Windows down: what is the most efficient way to cool down on very hot days?



As summer is approaching, we start to turn down the window. How cool is the breeze in the morning?

However, during peak heating time, it could be less pleasant, especially when driving on highways or countryside roads.

Neverthless, there’s an open debate since a lot of time, so much discussed that even car companies, researchers and TV’s MythBusters (video below) have all attempted to find an answer.

The Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) revealed in 2013 that ehicles consume more fuel with the a/c on than the windows down. However, Different cars have different air conditioning systems and the impact on consumption differs from: models, age of the car, aerodynamic and speed.

All in all, there’s a statistic which shows that at low speeds it is better to low down your windows rather than using your air conditioning system, this is because aerodynamic drag has less of an impact on fuel economy.

At higher speed, air conditioning could be a better solution to reduce fuel consumption.

Said so, there are some advices which will help you to drive without sweating too much:

  1. If the car is really hot, then the air conditioning has to work hard to cool it down which means a high fuel consumption. If you are lucky enough to find a parking spot, make sure you have some shadow to prevent the load on your air conditioning system.
  2. First thing to do when stepping in your car on a very hot day is to open all windows, turn on the air conditioning to full cold and full speed fan
  3. At the moment the temperature starts to cool down, close the windows and switch your air conditioning to “recirculate mode”
  4. When you first get in your car on a hot day, open all windows, turn on the a/c, set the temperature to full cold and the fan speed to maximum to purge the cabin of hot air as quickly as possible.

Make sure your windows lifter are perfectly functioning to follow these advices and enjoy the summer.

In doubt, at Hotbray we have just added new windows regulator to our catalogue, ready to order!

Contact Hotbray at or ask to our expert team at

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