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Welcome to Subaru News, Suburb Service’s monthly blog! Subaru News is meant to educate, entertain, and engage you in monthly musings on such topics as auto mechanics, Subarus, travel, auto repair, and driving and living in the Lake Forest Park and Shoreline area. Our blogs are released on the first day of each month!

Windows or A/C: Which Cools My Car Faster?

Photo by Paul Hermann on Unsplash

Windows or A/C: Which Cools My Car Faster?

When it comes to beating the summer heat while driving, we often ponder whether rolling down the windows or cranking up the air conditioning (A/C) is the more efficient option.


It’s a myth that A/C is worse for fuel economy than opening the windows, and if your A/C is working as it should, it’ll likely cool your car much faster than having your windows open.


This blog will delve into the topic and dispel some common myths surrounding this debate. At Suburb Service in Lake Forest Park, Washington, we understand the importance of having a properly functioning A/C system, and we'll discuss why it's crucial for your comfort and overall driving experience.

The Myth: Opening Windows Is More Efficient than Using A/C

One popular misconception is that rolling down the windows is a more fuel-efficient way to cool your car than running the A/C. While it's true that opening the windows allows outside air to circulate, providing temporary relief, this method isn't as effective as you might think. Here are a few reasons why:

Aerodynamic Drag Affects Fuel Efficiency

Driving with open windows creates aerodynamic drag, increasing the resistance your car encounters. This drag can affect your car's fuel efficiency, especially at higher speeds. The added resistance makes your engine work harder, consuming more fuel than the A/C.

Temperature Increases

When you open your car windows, you invite hot air from outside into the cabin, counteracting the cooling effect. The hot air mixes with the cooler air from the moving vehicle, making it harder for the A/C to reach and maintain a comfortable temperature. This results in a longer cooling time.

The Importance of a Functioning A/C System

Now that we've debunked the myth, let's highlight why having a well-maintained A/C system is essential for your vehicle.


A properly functioning A/C system helps you maintain a comfortable temperature inside your car, regardless of the scorching heat outside. This is particularly important for long drives or when stuck in traffic.


A functioning A/C system not only cools the air but also reduces humidity and filters out pollutants, pollen, and dust particles. This is crucial for individuals with respiratory issues or allergies and helps maintain good air quality in the cabin, promoting a healthy driving environment.


Using the A/C also helps keep your windows clear of condensation and fog, improving visibility during humid or rainy weather conditions. This is especially important for safe driving and reduces the risk of accidents.

Tips for Efficient A/C Use

Subaru vehicles are designed with efficiency in mind, and the A/C system is no exception. When your Subaru's A/C system is in top condition, it works seamlessly to provide optimal cooling performance. It ensures that the cabin temperature remains comfortable, allowing you to enjoy your drives even in hot weather conditions.


If you want to be more conscious of how you use your car's A/C, you can do a few things. To ensure optimal cooling performance and prolong the life of your A/C system, follow these tips:


Regular Maintenance. Schedule regular A/C maintenance, including refrigerant checks, cleaning or replacing the cabin air filter, and inspecting the system for leaks. This will help keep your A/C running efficiently.


Park in Shaded Areas. Whenever possible, park your car in shaded areas or use sunshades to reduce the heat that builds up inside your vehicle. This will make it easier for your A/C to cool the cabin faster.


Pre-Cool Your Vehicle. If you know you'll be driving in hot conditions, start your A/C a few minutes before you begin your journey. This allows the system to cool down the cabin before you enter, making your driving experience more comfortable.

A/C Not Running Right? Bring It To Suburb Service!

When it comes to cooling your car faster, running the A/C is more efficient and effective than opening the windows. While myths suggest otherwise, a properly functioning A/C system is crucial for comfort, health, and safety.


At Suburb Service in Lake Forest Park, Washington, we understand the importance of a well-maintained A/C system and offer expert services to keep your vehicle cool and comfortable. Trust us with your automotive needs! Please make an appointment with us for anything your Subaru needs. And remember to “Like” our Facebook page for the latest news! Suburb Service is at 15017 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155. We’re open Monday to Friday, 7 AM to 4 PM. All We Do Is Subaru!