It’s almost summer, and that means that the temperature and humidity levels are increasing. Sometimes during the summer, especially in August, it’s hard to go outside because of the weather. Luckily, we have air conditioners that make our lives better. Almost anywhere we go, whether it is at home, work, or shopping malls, there’s an air conditioner that makes it possible to tolerate the weather.
However, you may sometimes start to sneeze or cough after turning on the AC, and in that case, you’re not alone. Many people have respiratory problems and allergies but they’re not aware that the air conditioner could be the reason for these problems. ACs are a relief during summer, but they could cause health problems if they are contaminated. Here are the most popular health consequences that happen because of contaminated air conditioners.
If you feel unwell every time you turn on the AC, then you could be allergic to it. It’s probably not the AC itself but the air inside the room. ACs circulate the air even if it’s contaminated, which causes allergies to some people, especially older people, children, and those who already have respiratory problems. Symptoms of allergies include sneezing, coughing, tiredness, dizziness, digestive issues, shortness of breath, fever, or watery eyes.
If you feel any of these symptoms once you turn on the air conditioner, then the air is polluted and the AC’s filters are not working as they should. You can find more information about how bad and unclean filters could cause you allergies from this resource where you’ll also find detailed information on how to deal with them. Learning about the pollens, dust mites, pet dander, mold and mildew, bacteria and viruses, and other pollutants that could be causing your allergies will allow you to determine the best course of action needed to get rid of them.
Many people are allergic to pollen, which causes seasonal allergy. Pollens come from the plants, you could have plants inside your house, or it could enter through open doors or windows. It can also get attached to someone’s clothes or shoes and spread in the room.
Dust mites are also a common cause of allergies. They feed on humans’ skin and could cause severe health problems. If you don’t regularly clean the AC’s filters, these tiny organisms could stay and breed inside your air conditioner and spread once you turn it on.
If you have pets at home, they could be causing you the allergy. Pet dander contains a protein that some people are allergic to. You might not feel it until you turn on your air conditioner, as it will circulate the pet dander, which can result in allergy problems.
Your uncleaned AC could be a great environment for mold and mildew to breed. They release toxins that are harmful to people and cause severe allergies.
Germs, bacteria, and fungus, can cause serious respiratory problems. People and animals could carry bacteria in their shoes or clothes. Some of them could be transmitted through air, and if your AC is not working properly, it will spread those bacteria throughout the house. Germs and fungus could cause skin infection along with other health problems. These organisms spread fast and could breed inside your AC, and few of these germs could cause breathing problems for some people.
People who suffer from breathing problems and respiratory diseases, in general, are often wary of using air conditioning or going into places that have it. It’s important to note that air conditioners generally don’t cause respiratory problems, but they can aggravate the symptoms for those who are already suffering from chronic diseases, such as asthma. The cold air that the AC provides enhances the effect of respiratory problems. So while the cold doesn’t specifically cause an issue, it can certainly aggravate the situation for those who already have existing breathing problems.
Spending most of your summertime in an air-conditioned space could reduce your body’s tolerance to heat. As this might not seem like an issue to many people, heat-intolerability will make you spend all your time in an air-conditioned room; and if the AC is contaminated, your health, especially lungs, is at risk.
Many people think that cold weather brings along with it the common cold and that if you stay in an air-conditioned room for too long, you may get sick; just like in the wintertime. However, cold weather doesn’t make a person sick, it’s mainly because during the winter, we stay indoors without proper ventilation, which spreads viruses faster. The same applies to air conditioners; if a sick person stays in a room that has an AC that hasn’t been cleaned for ages or if someone has visited the space that already has any given virus, the virus will be spread throughout the room, because the AC will not be able to filter out the virus and will spread it to other people.
Take a Look at Your Filters
This part of AC is oftentimes overlooked by people, which shouldn’t be the case. If you value your and your family’s health, then you should invest in high-quality filters. When it comes to filters, don’t be tempted to get the cheapest ones as those will not filter your air from any germs, or bacteria. Get a pre-filter, and a secondary filter to reduce the number of pollutants in the air.
There are two types of filters, disposable and reusable ones. Every couple of months get your filters out of the AC and check whether they’re clean or not. You can remove the filter and hold it up in the light if there’s no light coming through, this filter should be replaced. If you’re using a permanent reusable filter, check the manufacturer’s instructions to know how to clean it properly. Once you get reliable filters, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent more pollens or dust from coming inside the house.
Air conditioners are great, but they should be well maintained in order to ensure that we’re safe from any of these health problems. To do that, you can get an air purifier to ensure that your indoor air is not polluted, and also, change and clean your filters regularly.