23 Oct, 19

Does A Car Heater Consume Fuel?

Car Heater - Does It Consume Fuel?In the world we live in today, we are always looking for ways we can spend less money, and save it instead! As a society, saving money is the key to success, and preparing for a rainy day is something we all do (or would like to try and do!). So, if you are looking for ways to save money and reduce your fuel consumption, you might have pondered on whether your car heater consumes fuel or not and whether you should use it as much as you do! This article will clear up this argument, as many people still don’t know the true answer to this question.

To put it simply, your car heater does actually use some fuel. However, the heater utilises excess heat formed during engine operation, so the amount used is negligible.

When the internal combustion engine is running, the heater in your vehicle obtains heat from the car cooling system. Essentially, when you start the engine, let it warm up for a few minutes and you start to drive, the hot liquid coolant travels through the heater core, which is located in the cabin of the vehicle. Here, it acts as a heat exchanger and transfers the heat from the hot coolant into the cabin. That’s why when you first get in your car and try to turn the heaters on they will blow out cold air because the engine is cold.

As the heater needs electricity to function, this is where the use of petrol comes in. A signal is sent from the heating system to the internal fan which starts to spin. This, in turn, allows hot air to be sucked in from the engine to the cabin area. The cabin will heat up when the engine is at operating temperature, enough to get the heating system working.

Understandably, the car heating system is needed in much colder weather climates, especially if you live somewhere with cold winters. It’s natural to think that if you’re using the heater a lot, it will increase fuel consumption, however, this is not the case.

Does Turning The Heater Off Reduce Fuel Consumption?

If you are looking to save fuel, turning off your heating system in your car won’t make much of a difference, or one that you will notice. You won’t burn more fuel than usual if you choose to drive in warmth and comfort, rather than freezing to death.

What WIll Improve Fuel Consumption?

There are, however, other things that you can do to save on fuel consumption. Some of these include:
  • Regularly getting your car serviced to make sure that your vehicle is running at the best condition.
  • Making sure your tyres are not under or over-inflated.
  • You can also try to accelerate gently, avoid revving up your engine and braking too quickly to save on excessive fuel consumption.
  • Sometimes, it is hard to avoid congestion, but your vehicle will have to work harder when it has to start up, so continuously, starting, slowing down and stopping will burn more fuel. If you know any routes where you can avoid peak traffic times, it’s a good idea to take them. You can save on some fuel and also avoid the horror of waiting in endless traffic!
  • The air conditioning system does use a lot of fuel, unlike the heating system that does not. Try to avoid using it if you are driving at slower speeds because it is more efficient to drive with your windows open.
For more tips on how to increase your fuel economy, check our article – Fuel Efficiency – How To Cut Your Fuel Consumption.

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