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Mission of the York Energy Efficiency Committee

Our mission is to respond to the global warming crisis by promoting energy efficiency, alternative energy, and environmental initiatives throughout the town of York, Maine.

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[Source: The US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)]

CO2 Now

Current CO2 Level in the Atmosphere


To idle or not to idle

Frigid weather vs. high gas prices. How do you balance the two when it comes to warming up your car?

How long do I need to let my car warm up on frigid mornings before I start driving? And is it eco-friendly to let it idle and stay warm while I’m parked and waiting for someone?

A. With today’s fuel injectors, you don’t have to let your car warm up for more than a minute and a half before taking off, most experts say. The best way to warm up your engine is to start driving it gently.

You should, however, always let the car get warm enough for the windshields to be clear of frost — something that goes faster, of course, if you get out and scrape rather than waiting for the defrosting mechanisms to do it for you.

As for idling in a parked car, modern cars require more fuel to idle for 10 seconds than to restart the engine, and idling creates more emissions than driving. If you need to keep kids or other vulnerable people warm in the car, that is one thing. “But remember that you are getting zero miles per gallon when you are idling,” said author and automotive expert Lauren Fix. “And if you have to wait for someone in the car for a long time, maybe you should just go inside.”

One tip Fix offers for conserving your car’s winter heat: Turn the air blower to the recirculate position (arrows going around in a C pattern) to keep reusing warm air instead of taking in cold air from the outside.

Source: Chicago Tribune.

Another source adds:

Should the temperature outside dip below freezing, allow a maximum of four to five minutes of idle time before driving away. This should be just enough time to clean off any snow or ice that may have accumulated on the windows. While you may not be warm as toast on the way into work or school, you will benefit by saving money at the pump and garage and by driving a vehicle that runs cleaner and more efficient for many years to come.

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