It is starting to get warm here in Phoenix, and with the onset of triple digits temps air conditioning is in high demand. On my to work this morning, with an outside temperature of 90 at 7:30 in the a. m. you can bet that I had my car a/c blowing.

But, as an Ecodriving Master trainer I know, just like almost everybody knows, that when you run the a/c in your car, you add load and work to the engine, and you end up decreasing your fuel mileage. It’s hardly rocket science.

So, if I’m such a proponent of saving fuel, then why run the a/c at all?

Because one of the main operating ideas in Ecodriving, is the thought of balance and applicability.

Ecodriving is about doing what makes the most sense for you as a driver. But it is also about knowing what really does make the most sense.

For example, while a lot of people do know that using the a/c uses fuel, many of those same people might not know that turning off the a/c compressor intermittently can reduce that load, and that by leaving the fan on, they can still get some residual cool air to blow into their car.  When that air starts to get warm again, they can just turn the compressor back on.

With that added knowledge the driver now can achieve a reasonable balance between saving some fuel and still being comfortable.

Here is another example.

Most people think that the main factor that determines how much time it takes to get your destination is always based on the speed you drive. As it turn out, this is not always true.

In fact, in city driving the number one factor that determines your time to destination is what we in Ecodriving theory refer to as environmental effects.  Things like traffic, stop lights and so forth.  While you can plan your trip around these things, once you are in them, they dictate time to distance more than anything else.

With that in mind, hammering the gas a green light only to have to brake hard for the next light might be a venting a process for you and might make you feel better, it won’t get you where you want to go any faster.

Try easing in to the throttle and easing up earlier when you see the next red.  Try to drive with a little more balance in mind.

You’ll get where you want to go and get there using less fuel and using a little less brake.

It’s about knowledgeable balance.

Ecodriving – it works.

About Mike Speck

Lead facilitator and Master Ecodriving trainer for Ecodriving Solutions.
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