The Great Car Debate: AC or Open Windows?

It’s debatable whether it uses more fuel to drive with your windows down on the highway or with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on. In tests by Consumer Reports and, it depended on the vehicle and speed. At 65 mph, using the air conditioner was slightly more draining. At higher speeds, it probably wouldn’t be.

In any case, the difference is small either way and one thing isn’t debatable. Driving with the windows down on the highway is noisy, distracting and possibly dangerous. Road debris can enter the car and the wind can catch items in the vehicle and blow them around. Given that, just roll up your windows and enjoy the cool air.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Mocha with Linda says:

    LOL, Down here in central Texas, it’s a no-brainer. My van thermometer read 105 when we drove home from lunch today after church! I know much of that was from the car being closed up while it was parked, but a/c is a must down here!

  2. Lily Ann says:

    I have a dear friend who is one of eight “kids”. I asked Bernie one time what one of her favorite memories of her childhood is. She told me about a road trip they ALL took where the windows were down. This was in the sixties. Her parents didn’t have very much money and Bernie didn’t have many clothes. She said she took a wack at her sister with her sweater and it flew out the window. The rest of the ride was silent. I’m sure Bernie’s mom would vote for the AC on!

  3. Mocha with Linda says:

    BTW, I have something for you on my blog today. I’m really glad I’ve gotten to “know” you!

  4. Mocha with Linda says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday!! Hope you do something really special to celebrate!

    I thought I commented on this one yesterday, but I may have x’d out before sending. . .

    Windows down isn’t an option here in Central Texas. After the car had been parked during lunch after church yesterday, the van thermometer read 105!!