For light- and medium- duty vehicles, the primary idle reduction strategy is to turn the engine off when the vehicle is parked or stopped for long periods of time. Drivers can also reduce petroleum consumption by avoiding the use of a remote vehicle starter and obeying no-idle laws.
What to do instead of idling:
- Turn off your car
- Wait inside a building instead of in your car to keep warm or cool
- Don't use a remote starter to warm your vehicle
- Warm up your car by driving it
- Take transit, walk, or ride a bike
- NOACA offers a platform, Gohio Commute, which outlines all your transportation options
- Instead of using drive-through windows, go inside the building
School bus idling is particularly problematic because of the negative health impacts for children. School bus engines should be turned off when the engine is not needed, such as at loading and unloading areas, and should only be turned back on when the bus is ready to depart. Idle reduction technologies for school buses that operate in cold climates include small on-board diesel cabin heaters and electrical block heaters, which can provide warming for the passenger compartment and engine.
Everyone has a role in reducing emissions from school buses.
- Participate in the national idle reduction campaign to establish idle reduction policies
- Minimize the time that children spend outside when school buses are arriving or departing
- Deploy the cleanest buses on the longest routes
- Discourage drivers from following directly behind large vehicles or school buses, especially if they are emitting visible smoke
- Post no-idling signs on school grounds
- Provide a space inside the school where drivers can wait on cold days
- Limit idling of delivery vehicles on school grounds
- Develop education programs for students about air pollution
- Encourage parents to turn off their engines when picking up and dropping off students
- Create a Schoolpool program to reduce the number of vehicles around school zones
- Follow guidelines established by school officials and/or bus owners
- When standing, turn off the school bus engine
- Avoid driving directly behind large vehicles or other buses, especially if they are emitting visible smoke
- Talk with school officials and transportation providers about establishing idle reduction programs
- Talk with school officials about starting a Schoolpool program at your school or create an informal arrangement with neighbors
- Do not idle your personal vehicle
- Talk with school officials about reducing school bus idling
- Talk with bus drivers about idle reduction
- Help school officials make and post no-idling signs
- Talk with parents about idle reduction
- If you drive, don't idle your vehicle
Fleets may implement policies to set minimum fuel-efficiency targets or require the use of idle reduction practices. In addition, fleet managers can train their drivers on the benefits of reduced idling and how to use idle reduction strategies. For vehicles that must stop often or for extended periods of time, such as cabs, limousines, and utility trucks, the following idle reduction technologies can be implemented:
- Air heaters
- Coolant heaters
- Waste-recovery systems
- Auxiliary power systems
- Automatic power management systems
Truck stop electrification and onboard equipment can help reduce idling at truck stops, roadsides, and delivery sites.
Truck Stop Electrification provides power from an external source for important systems such as air conditioning, heating, and appliances, without needing to idle the engine during required stops at rest areas.
Auxiliary Power Units are portable units that are mounted to the vehicle and provide power for climate control and electrical devices in trucks, locomotives, and marine vehicles, without idling the primary vehicle engine.
Engine Recovery Systems use the vehicle's heat-transfer system to keep the truck's heater operating after the engine is turned off, using heat that would otherwise dissipate.
Automatic Engine Stop-Start Controls sense the temperature in the sleeper cabin and automatically turn the engine on if the sleeper is too hot or cold.
Cab or Bunk Heaters supply warm air to the cab or bunk compartment using small diesel heaters. Heaters can be coupled with air conditioners if needed.