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Old 08-13-2022, 08:27 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Fresh Air/Asphyxiation

Is there a concern for asphyxiation in a sealed off bedroom with a mini split?

In my particular case, it's a 8' long room at the rear, with two windows, and a wall/door separating it from the rest of the bus.

Is this even a concern? Would I need to establish some sort of fresh air inlet/circulation system for the bedroom?

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Old 08-13-2022, 09:34 PM   #2
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Dunno

Generally I would say, No.


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Old 08-14-2022, 12:20 AM   #3
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The interior portion of a mini split is the evaporator. High pressure liquid refrigerant is pumped from the outside unit to the inside unit where it passes through a restriction called an orifice. When the high pressure liquid passes through the orifice it expands. When gas expands it cools. The refrigerant is in a closed system so there are no emissions. The interior unit then uses a fan to pass interior air over the heat exchanger that is COLD and then into the space to be cooled.
There should be no asphyxiation risk from your mini split.
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Old 08-14-2022, 07:30 AM   #4
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Hey Good Morning Ham,

I should have clarified more gooder;

I’m not concerned about the refrigerant itself as it’s in a closed loop, that was more of an explanation of the specific situation.

I was more concerned with the available o2 in a small room. Similar to what you would check with o2 monitors in a Confined Space situation. As well as general fresh air situations people are using. There’s not exactly a massive fresh air inlet for the AC.
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Old 08-14-2022, 09:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pigeoneer View Post
Hey Good Morning Ham,

I should have clarified more gooder;

Im not concerned about the refrigerant itself as its in a closed loop, that was more of an explanation of the specific situation.

I was more concerned with the available o2 in a small room. Similar to what you would check with o2 monitors in a Confined Space situation. As well as general fresh air situations people are using. Theres not exactly a massive fresh air inlet for the AC.
If you're in a small, hermetically sealed, room and breathing...the 02 level will fall. The c02 level will rise and eventually you will lose consciousness and die.
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Old 08-14-2022, 12:12 PM   #6
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It's actually a concern for you, whether it is for anyone else, and should be addressed. You should feel comfortable in your own bus.

Modern cars are sealed well enough that the OEMs have a system built into the HVAC to allow a bit of fresh air to pass through the car. Even on recirc, you're getting outside air in. School buses on the other hand are normally sealed as well as a screen door so it's not a concern on them, but if you've put the effort in to seal the envelope then a source of fresh air would be a good idea. Many ways to do it, but just so you know, letting uncontrolled air into your bus will drop the efficiency of the HVAC. You can go simple by just putting a 3 inch hole with a computer fan to blow air in, with another 3 inch hole on the opposite side to let it out. You can also go complicated by ducting an inlet into the suction side of the split mini's inside system so that the split's fan draws outside air to blow across the evaporator with a similar sized opening elsewhere in the bedroom area to let air out. You'll want the inlets to be filtered, of course, and both inlets and outlets will need to be screened against insects.

I feel like I've had this conversation before. Weird, but got deja vu typing it in.
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Old 08-14-2022, 06:44 PM   #7
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I doubt it. Unless you sealed the place up air tight, really really tight, you will be fine.
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Old 08-14-2022, 07:34 PM   #8
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In short...the 02 level won't be affected by the mini-split, and it's highly unlikely that your room will be air tight. If you're still a little concerned about it, just crack open a window or block the door a smidgen.
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Old 08-16-2022, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigeoneer View Post
Is there a concern for asphyxiation in a sealed off bedroom with a mini split?

In my particular case, it's a 8' long room at the rear, with two windows, and a wall/door separating it from the rest of the bus.

Is this even a concern? Would I need to establish some sort of fresh air inlet/circulation system for the bedroom?
A specific risk of asphyxiation? Probably not. But as a general concern, if you are really well insulated and the door shuts tight, you are approaching a hermetic seal, and the environmental pollutants (or dangers) that normally are not a concern may become a larger risk factor-in indoor air quality, if not in terms of asphyxiation.

Your mini-split doesn't produce any exhaust, it just recirculates what's already in the air. Unless there's a significant and sudden refrigerant leak, which is probably very unlikely, there's little to worry about with that unit.

If you have a wood stove, I'd say the stakes go up. Add a carbon monoxide alarm back there if you haven't yet. If you decide to vent the room with a fan, remember that carbon monoxide is heavier than air an accumulates near ground level, so I probably wouldn't put the fan or vent down there. On the other hand, smoke rises...

If your bus is rear engine or if your exhaust system is old, you may have lingering air quality issues, especially if you drive long hours and someone hangs out in the back.

Related: emergency egress. Is one of those windows in your back room an emergency exit in the event a fire starts in the forward areas?

Also related: water vapor from breathing-contributes to mold without proper air circulation. A smaller space exacerbates this.
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Old 08-16-2022, 05:40 PM   #10
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While not to likely to be well enough sealed to be a problem there are oxygen level detectors you could buy, that would let you know if it became a problem.
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