Earth Day Green Tips – Saving Money at the Gas Pump

More Earth Day Green Tips from Ideal Bite. This one is for all of you living somewhere where Spring has really begun. Here in Seattle we finally got some Spring weather last weekend (70 degrees and sunny), but now they’re calling for snow this weekend!

Looking to save an extra buck at the gas pump? Be cool AND smart.

If you feel a little warm in your car this spring, roll your windows down while driving around town, but kick on the AC if you are going more than 45 mph. We all know that air conditioners drag down our vehicle’s fuel efficiency. But once over 45 mph, your car windows provide wind resistance and actually decrease your engine’s efficiencies at higher speeds.

The Benefits

  • Save money. Being smart about your cooling system can save 10-20% on fuel consumption, and with today’s gas prices, who isn’t looking for a break?
  • For extra savings, use the recirculation feature in your ventilation system when the AC is on – it cools the already cool air in your car down, lowering the temps faster.
  • Reduce nasty emissions that are harming the environment and decreasing our air quality.
  • Keep your hairdo. We used to arrive at places looking like we were trying to recreate the 80s (before it was a retro move). Feel free to roll them up now when going faster, and keep your ‘do.

Personally Speaking

Like most of you, we’re both kind of missing the days when we worried about fuel prices in the $2 range.

Wanna Try?

Well, just roll down your windows around town. Some additional tips for saving fuel as prices keep climbing:

  • Keep all 4 windows down to reduce wind drag. With the back windows open, air can escape from the car easily.
  • Use cruise control whenever possible to keep the car at a steady speed and avoid haphazard starts and stops.
  • Remove extra weight from your trunk – which sort of wrecks our tendency to use the car to store stuff we are planning to take to Goodwill.
  • For more tips on increasing your gas mileage, visit Green Car Club.

Ideal Bite offers light green living tips for real people who lead busy lives and want to make small changes that add up to big results. (In other words it’s for all of us who don’t have the time or the energy to reduce their carbon footprint to zero.) Their Daily Tips cover everything from energy saving gadgets to eco-pet products to saving money at the gas pump. In addition to their general Daily Tips newsletter, they also offer newsletters for eco-living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

9 thoughts on “Earth Day Green Tips – Saving Money at the Gas Pump”

  1. Good tips.. few things I hadnt thought of. Wind resistance with windows down after 45MPH and what not. I’ll have to test these.

  2. I remember there was a tip about fueling up at night.

    I can’t remember why getting gas at night is better, but I guess it settles better at night because it’s cooler and therefore your car burns less gas right afterwards.

  3. I remember hearing about the AC thing on Mythbusters. I would use the recirculation more often, but I breathe a lot. I can tell that there is less oxygen for me to use. It is very useful when you pass a dead skunk or get stuck behind a smoker though.

    The way I save hundreds of dollars is that I don’t drive. I take my bike or the bus everywhere. Most days of the year, the weather is great. Riding a bike is also very cheap, and it is a workout. I think the best way to get exercise is by traveling somewhere that you need to go.

  4. Wow. From 70 degree’s to snow. what a leap lol. Today (April 19) in the NorthEast we are having very nice weather and we wont be having snow for many months. Its currently Sunny With Clear skies and a very comfortable 72 degrees F.

  5. Hmm. Interesting, I have one to add and one to refute. I have seen many tests where keeping the windows down on a car while at highway speeds GREATLY increases drag. At 72MPH it becomes more efficient to drive with the AC on low than to drive with the windows down. The drag coefficient is the key factor (Wiki it).

    For those of you with manual cars, keep the car in gear as you approach a stop sign of set of lights. It uses no gas at all when in gear and off the gas, in neutral or with the clutch in, it needs a small amount to keep the car running. Saves money, gas and emissions if you do it regularly.

  6. I completely did not read. I got excited for nothing. PLEASE, discard my useless dribble, namely the first paragraph. However, after reading more than the quick tips, I will add that the most efficient speed is 55MPH, or 90km/h.

    One more thing: be careful with the recirculate feature. Many times I have read of people dying of exhaust (carbon monoxide) poisoning from forgetting to turn it off.

  7. Wow. I completely did not read. PLEASE, excuse my useless dribble, namely the first paragraph.

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