The simple answer is no. There may be a link between air conditioning and getting a sore throat but it isn’t a causation. Air conditioning can be a breeding ground for bacteria and for infestation but with these clever ideas on how to maintain the system, it should not be an issue.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems or HVAC systems are essential to allowing comfortable living and work environments.
There are some HVAC units that are small and relatively simple in design, such as those found in houses and apartments. Others are large, complex machines that heat up and cool down large factories, buildings, schools, and hospitals. Your regular HVAC maintenance is essential to make sure that the units don’t break down and that they operate at maximum efficiency.
A speculation about air conditioning and the health risks it may propose has been circulating the scene.
Depending on cases, these speculations can be true, however, this all relies on the type of AC unit you have and how it is being maintained.
Is it being regularly cleaned?
Is it suitable for the room/area it is occupying?
Questions have arisen regarding the effect air conditioning can cause on a person’s health and whether anything can be done about it…
Is air conditioning really bad for your health?
Health problems have had a direct link to air conditioning and ventilation units in the past, however these problems have yet to be a cause of the systems themselves.
The most common problem can be ignored is the maintenance of the AC which will lead to health problems. If the unit is not cleaned frequently, you will be growing mould and other micro-organisms, from this, allergies, irritation and asthma can occur.
These health risks can be prevented is there is a little maintenance done to ensure your system is free of mould. In a clean environment, maintenance should only need to be carried out every six to twelve months.
Can air conditioning cause ‘sick building syndrome’?
It’s commonplace for air conditioning to be blamed for causing ‘sick building syndrome’ (SBS).
Although, there is little agreement that SBS is a valid condition as there is no cause that supposedly prompts the illness.
The syndrome has, in the past, been linked to computer monitors, arrangement of seating, and even the lighting in an office.
Listed symptoms include ears, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, struggling to concentrate and fatigue.
SBS has been linked with air conditioning because AC unit’s dry out the air, thus irritating the eyes and sinuses.
The cooling of the air has proven to have a drying effect, which is why it is important to review the humidity in an office environment, if this is where the problems are being experienced.
Bear in mind that a well-designed AC should maintain adequate humidity levels, if not, there could be an issue.
Another factor that could play a part in affecting a person’s health is the frequent change of temperature.
Recommendations by the NHS have been provided on the prevention of SBS, regardless of its legitimacy:
– Windows should be opened if it’s too hot, but not when an air conditioner is being used
– Organise the workload to prevent stress
– Take a regular screen break for 5 – 10 minutes per time
– Eat healthily and generally improve fitness
Employers have also been recommended to:
– Survey their employees to find common issues
– Check the office cleanliness
– Check the condition of filters
– Monitor the operation of fresh air systems
– Stick to plans
Is there a possibility air conditioning can be good for you?
The information above is all well informed, following through with the maintenance of your AC unit can prove to have benefits for your health.
Air conditioning increases the comfort level in activities and ventilation will be the provider of clean air.
It’s often said that fresh air is the best air, which isn’t an untrue statement as fresh air does have its benefits, but consider this, working in a largely populated city with air pollutants circling the outside air, opening a window can’t be all that good for a person’s health. It also increases the risk of irritating people with allergies as dust and airborne spores will enter the room/building.
Air conditioners can come with a selection of filters already fitted, some may filter bacteria and pollen, others catching and reducing dust particles in the air or reducing odours etc.
Whichever type, the air quality should improve rather than cause illness.
Air conditioning may be a factor in causing some health risks however it is highly unlikely.
What can you do to ensure the health of your AC unit in Autumn?
As the cooler weather comes to great us, it’s no surprise that the AC unit in your home, office or work place will get a well deserved break. After you’re done using your AC unit for some time, it’s a good idea to prepare for winter in order to minimise any potential damages. By doing regular maintenance of your air con, you’ll be doing yourself a favour: regular fixes of the unit will extend its life and boost its efficiency output. Not treating your AC the right way can cause considerable costs to your pocket, so in this blog, we’ll give some priceless tips on how you can prepare your air conditioning unit for winter.
Maintaining the AC filters
The most important part of your air conditioning is one of the most simple; the cleaning and replacement of filters. Doing this will ensure that the unit is running at 100% efficiency, as it allows the unit to operate in a clean, clear state. Having a dirty filters that’s causing blockages in your AC unit prevents sufficient airflow through the system, which will decrease the system’s overall level of efficiency. Like many things, if normal airflow becomes blocked, air that passes through the filter can carry dirt with it, which can cause damages the heat-absorbing ability of the unit. You should look to clean or replace (if necessary) the filters on your AC unit every couple of months throughout the cold weather.
Keeping the AC coils clear
It’s not unusual for both the condenser and evaporator coils on the AC to gather a considerable amount of dirt in the time they’re used. Using a clean filter will prevent your evaporator coil from getting dirty too quickly. Overtime, it’s normal for the coil to pick up dirt and this will insulate the coil, reducing airflow and minimising its ability to absorb heat in a proper manner. You can avoid this issue by checking your evaporator coil at least once a year.
Cleaning away the debris
In order to keep the AC unit flowing in a proper manner, you should attempt to keep dirt and debris away from your condenser unit. Potenital sources of blockages can be falling leaves, lawn mower debris and dryer vents. Try to keep the area around of the coil clean, simply by removing all debris and overgrown foliage.
Prepare for the winter
During the autumn months, you should try to completely remove and store away your portable AC unit or securely cover your AC unit in order to minimise damage. If you have an AC unit outside, you should try to cover it, as this will protect it from any debris and weathering perils that winter brings.
Use all of these handy tips to maintain and ensure the continued health of your air conditioning unit!
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