As with anything that impacts your health, air conditioning can be a source of good effects and some that bear taking a closer look at.
Benefits of Air Conditioning
For the most part, air conditioning has been a great boon to mankind (and those critters lucky enough to live indoors), in that it spares us the ravages of high heat and humidity, which can aggravate all sorts of problems, from high blood pressure to heart disease. Further, many elderly persons are particularly at risk during hot weather because they are on medications with dehydrating side effects that are exacerbated by the heat.
Air conditioning can also improve your indoor air quality, which is important for those with respiratory illnesses, including asthma, chronic bronchitis and allergies. A clean, good quality air filter can help trap harmful air pollutants and make your cleaner.
The air conditioner is also key in reducing humidity, which can promote the growth of mold — another pollutant that can make us sick.
Ill Effects of A/C on Health
Can air conditioning make you sick? Sometimes super-dry, conditioned air can aggravate respiratory conditions by drying out nasal passages and the throat. Furthermore, passing from the outdoor heat into a cool room can make us more susceptible to infection from viruses, if they are already present in the room. The cold air causes the blood vessels in the nose and throat to constrict, diminishing infection-fighting white blood cells in these regions, so that the virus has a greater opportunity of infecting a host.
But the greatest problem with air conditioning comes from those A/Cs that are not well maintained. Units that harbor moisture can become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and fungus — which can enter your airways through the air supply.
Keep your air filter changed, and have your air conditioner inspected annually. Your technician should always inspect the condensate drain to make sure it’s unplugged, and the coils to make sure they are clean.
For more on air conditioning effects on health, or to schedule an A/C inspection, repairs or installations, contact Detmer and Sons of Dayton.