With gas teetering near $4 a gallon across the country, times are tough for window cleaners. No one pays us to fill out tanks. No one realizes that our profit margins are falling. In fact, I remember one year in our business when gas got so high that we reduced our coverage area. It made sense and was long overdue. There was no reason to drive so far when there were plenty of dirty windows right down the street. Everyone from the particular area that was eliminated was very empathetic. They understood; they felt the pain at the pump, too. All but one. She was so angry that she called us “greedy b*st*rds”. Wow!
Just in case you are having some of the same problems arise this year, here are a few tips for saving on gas.
- Change your air filter. Yup, a nice, clean air filter can increase your fuel efficiency by 10%.
- Align your tires. Aside from being annoying and unsafe, tires that are misaligned force an engine to work harder and, in turn, use more gas.
- Use reward cards. Some grocery stores and credit cards off a cents off per gallon. Do your research and see if any of these programs will help you save money at the pump.
- Drive slower. We all know this one, but, seriously, it helps. Driving just 5mph faster consumes 7% more gas and, really, how much sooner are you going to get there?
- Turn off the AC. This one is a catch 22. The air conditioning can really suck down the gas, but opening the windows increases drag. If you don’t get too hot, consider driving with the windows closed and just using the vents.
- Drafting. Channel your inner race car driver and start drafting. Find a larger vehicle and use the principles of aero dynamics to save on gas.
- Tire pressure. Can you believe that the average American drives around on tires that are underinflated by 7.5 pounds. That’s just not smart, plus it increases your gas usage by 2.8%.
Good luck filling up. Here’s hoping that the gas companies will have a sudden change of heart and realize that they do not need to make a 13,908% profit. Don’t laugh. It could happen. I think I saw a pig fly earlier …