Can I Sleep in My Car With The AC Running?

When you are on a long road, you do get tired and the first thing that comes to mind is to stop somewhere and get some rest, right? Well, it is more than normal because driving while sleepy can be extremely dangerous!

Still, when the weather is too hot, another thing that comes to mind is the AC system of your car, and everybody wants to have the right temperature while sleeping in a car.

Anyways, in this article today, we’ll be talking about whether you can sleep in a car with the AC running or not, so let’s get started.

Key Takeaways


  • You should avoid sleeping with your car’s AC turned on!
  • The main and most serious danger it can cause is poisoning from carbon monoxide!
  • In order to avoid using the AC, you can use a portable battery-powered AC.
  • Cleaning the filters, using the defrost mode, and going to a professional mechanic are some of the ways on maintaining the AC system.
  • One of the things that your running AC can cause to your vehicle is burning fuel.

Can I Sleep In My Car With The AC Running?

Even though you want to have the right temperature for you when you want to sleep in your car, leaving the air conditioning (AC) running is one of the worst things to do! So, no! You shouldn’t sleep in your car when the AC is running.

Also Read: Why Is Your Car Vibrating Between 30 And 40 MPH

Why You Shouldn’t Sleep While the AC is Running in the Car? – Main Risks

The AC system of the car is indeed one of the best inventions that we deal with daily, but still, it can cause different dangerous things to you, especially when you sleep!

As said, you shouldn’t sleep when the AC is running in your car, and there is an extremely important reason why shouldn’t do so, and I am here to mention what it can cause you!

Suffocation and Poisoning

One of the most important things or most serious damages that the AC running while sleeping can cause is poisoning!

The air conditioning system in your car works with fuel, as it is completely related to the engine of your vehicle, and the gas it creates is carbon monoxide, which should be taken out with the help of the exhaust system.

Basically, if you just turned off your car in order to sleep, the AC is running, and your car’s exhaust system isn’t in perfect condition the fuel consumption doesn’t stop and it leads to the creation of gas in your car’s inner space which is carbon monoxide.

Sleeping in that ambient can cause carbon monoxide poisoning without any notice, as it is a gas that doesn’t have smell, taste, or anything else.

The symptoms that a person poisoned with carbon monoxide can feel include headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, and vomiting.

Carbon monoxide poisoning I mentioned is definitely a serious deal and it is something you should strictly consider, but you should have in mind that it doesn’t happen always, and you may be an exception. Still, it doesn’t mean that sleeping in a car with the AC on is safe!

What to Do Instead of Turning On AC?

Mentioning that quite frightening fact will surely make some of you doubt using AC ever again while sleeping in a car.

Still, something important to know stands on some other things you can do in order to prevent using the air conditioning system while sleeping during the hot days of summer and they include some DIY things you can do! Those things include:

  • Use portable air conditioners that work with batteries
  • Use windshield shades when your car is parked
  • Use window tints to prevent the sun
  • Don’t shut the car windows to the end
  • Stop the car at a safe and shady place

Maintaining Your Car’s AC System

Being one of the most important systems in a vehicle, air conditioning (AC) is completely related to the engine of the vehicle. Of course, just like many other systems, the AC takes the power from the engine.

Anyways, sometimes the AC is dangerous and sometimes it isn’t, but still, something to know which will lead to a perfect AC system is proper maintenance.

Cleaning the AC Filters

Whenever you do a deep clean in your car, don’t forget to clean the smallest filter that relates to the AC system of the vehicle.

When the filters of the AC system are cleaned and they have proper cleaning once in a while, there is no chance that the gas can gather within!

Running It on Defrost Mode

As you know, the AC in a car has different modes, and interestingly enough using the defrost mode in it is one of the ways that shows proper maintenance in the air conditioning system.

Basically, when you use the defrost mode during winter it doesn’t only defog the windows or windshields, but it also defogs the inner parts of the whole system.

Go to a Professional

If you have bigger doubts about the well-being of your car’s AC system, make sure to go to a professional mechanic in order to check out even the smallest parts that make this system.

Also Read: Are Ventilated Seats Worth It and The Benefits

Will AC Turned-On for a Long Time Cause Something to My Vehicle?

The question of whether the long-time running AC can cause anything to your vehicle is a long topic to talk about, but I want to share with you one of the first things it can cause, in terms of one of the main damages you should be concerned about.

The main and most important thing your AC running can cause to your car is burning fuel in faster way.

As mentioned above, having in mind that the AC works with the power of the engine, it makes the engine work stronger and there is burning fuel.

Also Read: Most Reliable Audi Models

Final Words

So, even though the AC running may feel too good during the hot days, you should definitely turn it off if you plan to sleep in your car.

As mentioned in this article, the main concern you should have relates to the poisoning it may cause, with the carbon monoxide that gets released in the car.

I hope this article helped you find everything you needed to know about sleeping in your car while the AC is running! Good luck!