This week, let's talk about 5 ways to use less gas, which helps save you money and helps the environment by reducing carbon output. Here we go:
1. Carpool (or walk or ride a bike). Yeah, it's the obvious answer, but it's a great choice. You save money on gas and maintenance and help reduce carbon emissions. The more people you carpool with, the better. But even if you can only share a ride with 1 person, 1 day a week (or ride your bike or walk) - it can still make a difference.
2. Slow down! By now if you haven't heard that slowing down can help you save gas, you must be living under a rock. But do you know the full details? The facts: for every 10 miles per hour (mph) over 60 mph that you drive on the highway, you lose about 4 miles per gallon (mpg) of efficiency. So if your car is rated for 30 mpg on the highway and you drive 70 mph, you're only going to get about 26 mpg. That can really add up on frequent or long highway drives. I commute about 40 miles roundtrip up and down I-91 every day and since reducing my speed, I've been able to go an extra day between fill-ups. And the further you can drive on a gallon of gas, the less carbon you'll be putting into the atmosphere in the long run.
3. Replace your air filter. I know, I know - you think the guys at Jiffy Lube are trying to con you by selling you a $20 air filter. But it really can save you money in the long run. (As can buying your own air filter at an auto parts store. They're cheap and generally easy to replace.) By replacing a clogged air filter, you can increase your mpg by up to 10%.
4. Be a calm, smooth driver. Accelerating or braking quickly (or frequently) wastes gas. So tune into some smooth jazz or relaxing classical music, ease your way on and off the highway and improve your fuel efficiency by up to 30%!
5. Check the air in your tires regularly. Keeping the right amount of air in your tires ensures your car gets the best mpg rating it can. You lose about 1% of fuel efficiency for every 3 psi your tires are under-inflated. And yes, even good tires lose pressure, so check your tires every month or so. (Check your car owner's manual to find out the proper tire pressure for both your front and rear tires. Keep in mind it can be different.)