I don't know about you, but I am constantly wondering what is the better way to keep myself cool while driving. Should I put the windows down or should I just run the air conditioner? Which way helps me save gas and thus money?

Gas is so costly per gallon again, so I have been trying to figure out if I should put the windows down or not. When I think about putting the windows down, I think back to my senior-year physics teacher, Mr. Depa.

I am ashamed to say I barely scratched by in physics when it was a class I should have paid more attention to! I did however ace the chapter on radio and radio waves.

Interstate-10 Henderson Exit
Google Street View

I do know that when you have your windows down while driving it makes your car less aerodynamic. Life Hacker says that it seems to be that when you are driving faster, like on the interstate, it's more efficient to just have the air conditioning on.

The Department of Energy is constantly looking into issues like these. Last year, they issued some opinions. The basic information is that if you are driving slower on a local road having the windows down is fine.

Everyone I know has a tight budget, and gas isn't cheap.

Car with Window Rolled Down
TSM Photo

No matter what you decide, the Department of Energy does recommend anytime you get into a hot car that you roll down all the windows for a few minutes while that collected heat can escape your car then you can turn on the air conditioning.

And here is another good tip from the Department of Energy about why you should drive the speed limit,

Following the speed limit can help retain your vehicle's available gas for longer, as average gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 miles per hour. Every 5 miles per hour over 50 is the same as paying an additional $0.34 per gallon for gas.

And if you're looking for more types on how to make your food dollar stretch, here is another story to help with that:

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