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AC power consumption question

1741 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  b1shmu63
I have a Civic hybrid and am curious if anyone knows how the AC draws power from the engine. Is it an electrically or mechanically driven compressor? In either case, does the temperature or fan setting affect the power draw from either the engine or battery?

I'm trying to optimize how I use the AC and generally when I need to use the AC, I just set it to the lowest temperature and cycle the AC on and off by pushing the button. I was assuming that increasing the temperature setting doesn't necessarily decrease the AC power consumption, but this could be a wrong assumption. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

I did a search in the forum and didn't come across anything relevant.


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Mechanically driven. By a belt.

What you are doing is probably the best way to minimize use, I think. It's just what I do, too. You know better than the climate control when it is too uncomfortable for you, and when to turn the compressor on briefly. If it is hot, I leave the fan on high, and recirculate.

Another option is to set a higher temp, and leave it there.
Yes, the lower the temp setting, the more the compressor is used. You are exchanging more heat, which will require more energy from the engine.

Another thing you can do better than the climate control: You can tell when you are going downhill (assuming you have hills wherever you are), and that is a great time to hit the button to turn the a/c on for a spell.
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