Can Air Conditioners Really Make You Sick?

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April 26, 2024

Can Air Conditioners Really Make You Sick?

Introduction

Have you ever felt uncomfortable after being around your air conditioners for a while? This could include feeling stuffy, congested or your head aching. If you have answered yes, you are not alone.  

Many believe that AC units can make you sick, but is there actually a link between air conditioners and illness? Read on to discover the facts from fiction in this hotly-debated topic.

Can you really get sick from the cold air?

Contrary to popular belief, air conditioners aren’t the direct cause of illness. Rather, they engage with our surroundings in several ways that can contribute to our health issues.

Poor air quality: Dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens can build up in air ducts and filters. When these contaminants are circulated throughout a room, they can cause a number of upper respiratory symptoms like coughing, congestion, breathing difficulties and fevers. The added factor of stagnant air within closed environments can exacerbate indoor air pollution, leading to further health complications.

Mould and bacteria: When air conditioners have moisture buildup, it creates a perfect place for mould and bacteria to grow. This typically occurs on cooling coils, ductwork, or drip pans. As air moves through the system, it can pick up these harmful particles and spread them into the indoor air. Inhaling these mould spores or bacteria can cause various health issues such as infections, allergies, and breathing difficulties.

Temperature fluctuations: While it is not the cold air itself that causes sickness, it can dry out mucous membranes, irritating our nose and throat. This makes us more vulnerable to pathogens and other airborne contaminants that gets us sick.

Rapid shifts in temperature between indoor and outdoor environments can further strain the body’s immune system. Abrupt transitions from cold to hot environments may trigger thermal shock, resulting in stress-related symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and muscle stiffness.

 

How can you prevent getting sick?

Prevention is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy indoor environment. Here are some tips to keep your home air conditioner in top shape and minimise the risk of illness:

  1. Regularly clean or replace air filters to prevent the buildup of dust and debris.
  2. Schedule professional maintenance checks to ensure optimal performance and cleanliness of your air conditioner.
  3. Keep humidity levels in check to discourage mould growth. Aim for a humidity level between 30-50%.
  4. Get a high-quality air purifier to improve indoor air quality, especially if you have allergies or respiratory problems.

 

Conclusion

So, can your air conditioners make you sick? The answer does not lie in the air conditioner itself, but in how people maintain and utilise it.

To stay healthy while using your air conditioners, make sure the air is clean and the temperature is comfortable. This will help you avoid getting sick. Remember, a little care goes a long way in keeping both you and your air conditioner healthy and happy.

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