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I'd love to start a poll on this question.

Some of us live in areas like Arizona, Texas, southern California, etc., and need the air conditioner. Coming into work sweaty is not an option. Having said that, I try to find a way to use the A/C without it making too big a hit on my MPG.

I am constantly toggling the A/C switch. I turn off the A/C during acceleration, on during deceleration and down hills. In general, I use the A/C when the batteries are charging, off when the assist is on. In the afternoons, I leave it on at crusing speed since the outdoor temperature is 95 F (35 C) or more during Texas summers.

This is probably more wear-and-tear on the air conditioner and other parts, but I hope it reduces the milage penality.

Anyone else do this?
 

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I've done this on the last three cars I've used for commuting ('98 Dodge neon, 2002 Honda CR-V, 2001 Insight)! My family thinks I'm crazy but I really don't mind the heat and I know I'm saving gas. I have never had a problem with any of the A/C components in any or these cars.
 

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Delta Flyer said:
I'd love to start a poll on this question.


I am constantly toggling the A/C switch. I turn off the A/C during acceleration, on during deceleration and down hills. In general, I use the A/C when the batteries are charging, off when the assist is on. In the afternoons, I leave it on at crusing speed since the outdoor temperature is 95 F (35 C) or more during Texas summers.

Anyone else do this?
I do the same thing when I'm commuting with a co-worker who freezes me with his AC when he drives. When I'm by myself, I rarely use the AC, dispite the 90+ degree heat and humidity in Va and Wv. I love the heat, and the better mileage with the windows down. When I got the car in Ft. Worth last August, it was over 100, and I drove with the AC off.
 

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I toggle mine off and on during acceleration/deceleration too, except when in really heavy city traffic. Charlotte has terrible traffic, lots of people and not enough highways; so when I'm in the city I usually leave it on auto when the days are in the 90+ temps with high humidity. Using the a/c on auto really cuts into the lifetime mpg.
 

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Just out of curiosity, at 60-65mph or so, how much does the instant gas mileage go down when you turn the A/C on? I have a Civic HX, which was basically Honda's previous best attempt at a high gas mileage car before the Insight. It has no gas mileage indicator, and I've always wondered about how much I give up by having the A/C on. I usually see around a 3mpg difference in terms of total gas tank average in the winter as I do from the summer here in Phoenix.
 

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The best setting I've found for mileage is to set the temperature to 80 AC on Econ fan on full. While 80 may seem warm it blows plenty of cool air and if it is really hot outside it doesn't let up for a long time. Somtimes this is ok, but other times I find that that setting is not enough cooling to cool the batteries enough to prevent thermal cut back. Lately I've been using ac on econ 75 with the fan on full.

As far as the difference with air vs no air, the difference can easily be 10mpg or much more depending on many factors. It's generally only closer to maybe 5mpg on the highway.
 
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