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Old 2nd July 2021, 18:15   #31
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

Recently our Nissan Kicks whats app group had a discussion regarding the same and we shared some of the insights.
The seats of Nissan kicks can be converted into almost zero degree flat bedding. The inner measurement is about 5.5 feet in length combining the rear seats + boot space!

Rear seats tumbled down to make it flat.
How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car-20210619_230936.jpg

One of the owner showing us a demo by lying flat.
How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car-20210619_231117.jpg

The very next week a fellow owner had a real life use of this bedding when there was a power outage in his remote village and required to sleep in their makeshift bed!!
Their Nissan kicks Bedding with family! They used Odomos to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car-img20210701wa0067.jpg

However, I would strongly advise sleeping in car ONLY for a power-nap or for a short duration say 2 hours with engine running for AC .

Last edited by aah78 : 2nd July 2021 at 22:31. Reason: Spacing.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 18:48   #32
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

Assume you park at a safe place where safety is not an issue. Buy a plain bug net - 4 pieces and trap it while closing the door, will take care of ventilation. Of course you need to keep windows partially or fully open for this.

Buy USB charged electric fan which can run on car battery.

Last edited by silverado : 2nd July 2021 at 18:50.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 21:59   #33
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeganatu View Post
However, I would strongly advise sleeping in car ONLY for a power-nap or for a short duration say 2 hours with engine running for AC .
2 hours of sleep in the car is also really long and that too with aircon on and windows powered up. Chances of CO poisoning is really high. I suggest let that time be 30 mins max if at all time needs to be quantified. More than that, it is better to get to an hotel and stretch horizontally.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 22:15   #34
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

The carbon monoxide poisoning can only occur if a car is parked in an enclosed space with no ventilation whatsoever, a car parked outside in a fully open space cant have aircon pumping carbon monoxide inside the car.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 22:59   #35
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

How can carbon monoxide poisoning happen inside a car if the exhaust gases have no inlet in the cabin. If we can drive for 5/6/7 hours with the air-conditioning on, why canít the engine be running with the air-conditioning on while itís stationary in an open place. There is no need to crack/open the windows slightly either.

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Old 2nd July 2021, 23:00   #36
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

On hot summer nights this might be a big issue. I have a workaround. Park at a safe spot like a fuelling bunk. Keep the rear windows slightly open or one even lower if you like, Use the magnetic window screens for the rear windows as mosquito nets. Use the AC on recirculating mode.

I’ve done this on one of my trips in the polo when I left at night and was too drowsy to drive on.

The window screens meant there was no issues with mosquitoes. And I slept with the passenger seat down. Wasn’t too comfortable as a sleeping space but did me good for a few hours.
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Old 3rd July 2021, 00:37   #37
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
How can carbon monoxide poisoning happen inside a car if the exhaust gases have no inlet in the cabin. If we can drive for 5/6/7 hours with the air-conditioning on, why canít the engine be running with the air-conditioning on while itís stationary in an open place. There is no need to crack/open the windows slightly either.

Cheers
True carbon monoxide only pumped inside the cars cabin only when its parked in an enclosed space with no ventilation, as exhaust gases along with carbon monoxide is then picked up by the air von unit
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Old 5th July 2021, 15:03   #38
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macan View Post
The carbon monoxide poisoning can only occur if a car is parked in an enclosed space with no ventilation whatsoever, a car parked outside in a fully open space cant have aircon pumping carbon monoxide inside the car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
How can carbon monoxide poisoning happen inside a car if the exhaust gases have no inlet in the cabin. If we can drive for 5/6/7 hours with the air-conditioning on, why canít the engine be running with the air-conditioning on while itís stationary in an open place. There is no need to crack/open the windows slightly either.

Cheers
Yes, this misconception exists because most reported cases of carbon monoxide poisoning is from closed garages. However, there is a build up of CO levels even in a closed car parked in an open place. There are various studies but most of them are copyright protected.

One open source study from Chennai, available online here: https://www.eeer.org/journal/view.ph...20respectively.

showed that "The dilution rate of in-vehicle CO was in the order of AC-ON recirculation mode < AC-ON fresh air mode < windows open mode. The dilution rate of in-vehicle CO during A/C-ON fresh air mode was about 3.5 times higher than A/C-ON recirculation mode and about 3.5 times lesser than windows open mode."

Hence I prefer keeping the windows slightly down, while being asleep in a car for long.
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Old 5th July 2021, 15:53   #39
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

The air circulation in a moving car is different compared to the stationary car. There are venting flaps on the rear of the car, usually behind the bumper, which open up when doors are closed to vent the excess air pressure created. The same flaps also bleed the inside air to atmosphere when the car is travelling at a decent speed due to the low pressure area created outside the flaps. This happens due to the air flowing under the car. Hence the chances of CO levels increasing above safe limits when the car is doing decent speeds are minimal.

However, when the car is stationary, the air inside the cabin is not bled out at the expected rate if all the windows are closed and someone is sitting/sleeping inside the car. With no AC, one will feel the heat and the discomfort when will automatically lower the windows solving the problem. But with AC, the person inside can be eventually get a CO poisoning with all windows closed.

BTW, I do not understand what is the problem with opening 1/2 inch on front or back windows. It will also create a cross ventilation if two opposite windows are open. If mosquitoes are an issue then the magnetic window blinds should do a good enough job.
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Old 27th July 2021, 12:16   #40
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

I do identify with the original poster. On occasion, I have had to use my car as a sleeping arrangement but not on a regular basis. When posted in Punjab, there were too many power cuts and not enough backup. So when the emergency occurred, my WagonR was a good place to be. Of course, I didn't bother with the fuel consumption then. All I wanted was an air conditioned environment.

Then there have been days when on long drives, I got tired. So I used to pull into a rest stop or even just by the side of the highway, and sleep off for an hour or two. Like they say, better late than never.

Now my current predicament on the lines of the OP. In these days of COVID, combined with some respiratory problems, I have my lunch in my car. Now, running the AC for the entire time in a Verna Petrol Auto didn't seem like very pricey but the monthly fuel bill tells a different story. So AC without the engine is interesting as is. The electric car idea is good. Can anyone confirm what would be the cost impact? Say an hour of running the AC without engine switched on in an electric car, how much range would be depleted?
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Old 27th July 2021, 13:08   #41
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

I was forced into this situation for one night. Mom was hospital in Dec 2020 and the hospital would not allow me to be in their premises. Had no choice but to spend the night in the car. Fortunately, I had my EV along which can run the AC off its batteries. Enough space to lie nearly flat.

Hope it helps someone who's looking to make the move to an EV.
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Old 27th July 2021, 15:05   #42
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

Have you considered sleeping in the car without the AC?

I recently had to sleep in the car for 18 days straight while my mom was hospitalised due to Covid infection.

I used to keep all the windows of my Safari Storme about 3-4 inches down (the hospital's parking was relatively safe/ there were always other patient's relatives nearby/ I was rarely in a deep sleep and carried a legal firearm). Even though this was during the second half of April and at the onset of summer in Nagpur region, it used to get comfortable at night and I never felt the need to turn on the AC or even the blower. Odomos helped with mosquitoes.

I used to go and check on her every 2-3 hrs and wanted to be as close as possible in case of any critical situation, so checking into a hotel (3-4 kms away) was not an option. And since I was myself recovering from Covid, staying with relatives was also ruled out (a bunch of them lived within a 0.5 km radius of the hospital). During the day when nurses would be more alert and attentive, I used to drive back home 35kms to take a bath and feed my dogs.

I would do it again if I have to since I prefer driving at night on long drives. It is important to park in a safe location (near petrol pumps, dhabas). I have done this in the past while living in the US as well at large gas stations and rest areas when I needed my forty winks on long drives. Also, this might sound odd to some of you, but I just can't relax enough to fall asleep with the engine running.
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Old 28th July 2021, 13:29   #43
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

Quote:
Originally Posted by vox_alienus View Post
Because of Covid and also cost issues, I have been thinking of sleeping in my Polo during my travels. For several months of the year, this will be impossible without the aircon running..
During our road trips we slept in the car for a night or 2. Windows slightly rolled down, no AC.

BTW, bhpean Rahul Rao who is into automotive A/C manufacturing may have some suggestions, he has something for truck cabs I think.
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Old 29th July 2021, 11:53   #44
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

You can't run the air conditioner from a solar panel or battery because it consists of two components:
1) The blower fan = This is electric, and can be run even when the engine is off.
2) The compressor = This is powered via a belt from the engine crankshaft. So only operates when the engine is running.

A typical car AC compressor - it gets bolted to the engine block and driven by a belt:
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However, for the sake of discussion, there is a (complicated) workaround.

You could switch your engine-driven compressor to one that is electric.

The same way as hydraulic / engine-driven power steering pumps got replaced by electrical units, there are some options for electrically driven compressors, albeit for electric cars.

Take the Mahindra Reva e2o for example. Being electric, it has to have an electric compressor for the functioning of the AC.

Hidden away on the e2o:
How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car-02-img_1011.jpg

Much more visible on the e2o Plus (the purple unit):
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The compressor unit:
How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car-img_1019.jpg

Part number, in case you actually want to do this!:
How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car-img_1020.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 29th July 2021 at 11:55.
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Old 30th July 2021, 16:00   #45
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

I am a 60 plus old female and sleeping in the car is not an issue for me at all. I have been doing it since the 1980s in my Mark 4 petrol Ambassador and now in my 2017 petrol 1.6 Creta (1st gen). Earlier when I had the Amby, it did not have an AC and since I was in the North-East of India, I never needed an AC. Now I stay in Kolkata and an AC is a must-have. The issue with running the AC with the engine on while the car is parked is primarily carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide poisoning. Fuel consumption is less of an issue since while idling my Creta consumes approximately around 800-900 ml of petrol per hour and I measured this with an OBD2 device.

However, I have figured out a way of keeping cool while sleeping in the car. I use 1-1.5 litre ice-bottles wrapped in towels as cuddle toys while sleeping. The ice does not melt completely for approximately around 8 hours which is more than enough for a good night's sleep. I use a compressor driven 12v 45w fridge/freezer to make the ice in my car. I use the ice bottles together with some portable fans and those are more than adequate for sleeping. I keep the windows open by 1-2 cm for the oxygen and use magnetic net-type sunshades to keep out mosquitos and other bugs. In other words, I am all set

As an alternative, you can also check out the Zero Breeze Mark 2 portable AC with a lithium power bank like the ones made by brands like Jackery, Goal Zero, etc


Last edited by Chhanda Das : 30th July 2021 at 16:09.
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