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.
There are few routine chores that pay off in both comfort and money saved than cleaning your AC Unit.
The payoff? Comfort throughout the summer months and lower cooling bills. You are also lengthening the life of you air conditioner!
We’ve made a quick guide for you to learn all of the ventilation know-how that goes a long way towards keeping your cool and helping you save money.
So, we’re finally into September meaning summer is officially over.
Right now, you may be thinking about what you will need to do now that the temperature is dropping and former long summer days are shortening.
Below, are some tips from BMS – one of the well-known Industrial Air Conditioning Companies in Midlands, which should maneuver around an AC Unit repair.
If you have a window AC unit, your only required maintenance is to take the unit from the window, ensure that it is clean – if not, clean it, and continue to clean the filters if necessary.
Regarding central units, you will need to replace your filters. Spend time looking for new filters and swapping them out with your old ones – this will save you money on repairing your air con. If you leave a dirty filter in the system, this is likely to lead to clogging later on as dirt particles will cling to the filter and build grime.
Ensure that you inspect you system thoroughly and that nothing is damaged is broken. Be sure to clean the outdoor HVAC unit, also.
After you have switched off the central AC unit, make sure that you cover it. To do this, you can use plastic or vinyl to protect it from the coming harsh elements.
BMS Aircon offer air conditioning in Leicester as well as other service and installation services for your AC unit!
Central AC units are effective at cooling a home efficiently, providing that much-needed relief from that stuffy heat, come Spring/Summer time.
Although, your AC unit will only work well if the parts are kept clean and in a functional condition.
You will need to perform routine maintenance on your air conditioner so to keep the operating sufficiently.
Dirty filters will rob air flow and decrease the unit’s performance. Along with dirty filters, another energy waster is a dirty condenser coil.
If your AC unit is outside, it will likely collect the dirt the wind is blowing, thus the condenser coil becoming dirty which will not allow the sufficient airflow through the coil, therefore the refrigerant won’t be cooled as quickly, leading to a low efficiency.
Fan blades on the condenser fan or the squirrel cage fan inside that are damaged or unclean will eventually begin to vibrate and restrict the air flow.
Damaged or bent blades are what causes the vibration and will shorten the life of your motor. Build up of dirt and grime on the fan blades can also cause the vibration and restrict the air flow.
To see to these issues, your initial step would be to turn off the power to the AC unit and the outside condenser. You can then proceed to pick apart the condenser for a thorough clean.
To clean the coils, use a hose with a spray attachment and rinse.
When cleaning a blower fan, it is advised to call a professional to handle the job as they will be skilled in this area and have more expertise about the maintenance.
During the warmer months, many homes will have air conditioning. However, air conditioning can be a necessity as well as a luxury.
What is air conditioning?
The first functional air conditioning was made in 1908, it made a promise to:
– Maintain a suitable humidity in all parts of a building
– Release the air from excessive humidity during certain seasons
– Supply a constant and appropriate supply of ventilation
– Remove micro-organisms from the air, along with dust, soot and other foreign bodies
– Cool a room depending on certain seasons
– Heat up rooms in winter
How it works
What an air conditioner does; moves the heat from your home to the outside, thus cooling the home.
They actually blow cool air into the home by pulling out the heat from that air, the air is actually cooled by blowing it over a cold set of pipes that are called evaporator coils.
This process is powered by a motor that runs in the compressor of your AC unit.
Maintaining the system
Filters should be changed in your air conditioning unit regularly so to keep the filter clean and the air that is blown out clean also, this may prevent any illnesses that could be caused by owing dirt and dust into the air which would then be breathed in.
To clean the system, a brush can be used on the obstructions and coils, however depending on the system, this may have to be done by a professional.
If your AC unit isn’t producing as much cold air as it would regularly, there may be a problem with the airflow or could indicate a refrigerant charge – this would need servicing.
Increasing your energy efficiency
One fo the biggest improvements for energy efficiency is sealing leaky ducts, as well as replacing dirty filters, cleaning the coils and maintaining the right charge and airflow.
Check if your outdoor condenser is blocked by any foliage or leaves that may be affecting its performance inside of your house.
The former points have focused mainly on cooling, whereas ventilation is probably one of the most important things an air conditioning unit can do.
Ventilation is needed to remove all of the contaminants that are generated indoors and may possibly lead to health conditions.
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.
Like many mechanical systems, AC needs some TLC for it run smoothly and essentially last longer!
If the filter in your AC is dirty, the device will not be working as efficiently as it should be.
By installing a new filter once each month during the cooling season for the central units and window units, or wash them if they can be washed.
Another way of checking if the filter is working at its best is by checking the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which ranges from one to twelve for home AC units – the higher the number, the better the filtration.
Fixing air leaks
It is possible for ducts to lose up to 30% of airflow through leaks, and in regards to a window AC, these are quite difficult to seal.
A way of discovering where the leaks are is by using the old ‘smoke trick’.
For window units, you could light a stick of incense and hold it alongside where the unit and the window frame meet, for a central AC, hold it near the duct connections, and if the smoke blows around – you have a leak.
To repair ductwork, an option is using foil tape to seal the smaller gaps, and for the larger gaps, duct mastic.
In regards to a window AC unit, foam should be stuffed between the device and window frame, then proceeded with a seal of tape.
Ducts that are situated in warm attics or crawl spaces must be wrapped in order to keep the air inside cool.
Spray foam, batt insulation or rigid foam insulation can all be used.
Batt and rigid insulation should be sealed with foil tape, and for tight spaces, a wrap similar to Reflectix will offer some degree of insulation.
Help it out
You can extend the life of your AC by helping it out a little as well!
Keep blinds and shades down during the day, and maybe consider running the AC in conjunction with floor or ceiling fans in order to circulate cool air effectively.
Don’t close rooms
Refrain from closing off interior doors as this can cause the central AC systems to wobble off balance, resulting in less airflow in the entire house.
Try and keep the doors slightly ajar instead.
Air conditioning is one of the most necessary parts of your home that you want to keep using in the hot summer months, but what about when winter slowly approaches? What should you do to keep you air conditioning unit safe in the cold months?
Find out what to do and how to manage your unit in winter!
First things first…
Your air conditioning has served you well all summer. It’s kept you cool when the sun outside blares, so how can you take of it in winter?
The first thing to do is to cut the power going into the unit. There should be the power circuit close to the unit, so open and flip the switch from on to off. Doing this will prevent the unit from turn on in a somewhat warm winters day, so water can’t flow into the unit and potentially freeze it!
Keeping it fresh…
Just like all things, your air conditioning unit is bound to get dirty in the months it’s being used. The days of hot weather bring out all kind of bugs and dirt, so be sure to give it a good clean when you’re heading into the winter months! You can use a hose to do this part, removing bird droppings, bugs, dust and dirt from inside your unit. You should have an access panel to the inside of the air con, so be sure to remove any leaves and other debris that could potentially block up your system.
Did you know that you can actually keep your unit warm in the cold! Covering any exposed pipes with foam covers can protect them against the potentially freezing temperatures! You can use duct tape to keep them covers in place.
Check it regularly…
Remember to give you air conditioning unit the once over on occasion, just to make sure that any covers you’ve placed over the unit are still secure. This will keep snow, ice and other debris off your unit, making it ready for reuse when needed!
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What health benefits can air conditioning give to your employees?
As a business owner and employer, it’s your responsibility to provide a clean, comfortable (and most importantly) health environment for your employees to work. Having ineffective air conditioning in your office can cause illness in your employees simply by the chemicals and germs getting circulated around the office.
All of these are avoidable by simply installing or upgrading your existing office air conditioning unit. Doing this could improve the health of your workforce, which will results in fewer sick days, happier staff and potential increase productivity in employees.
When a person feels too hot or too cold, their body uses energy trying to regulate their temperature. This takes energy away from other tasks, such as cognitive functions. If the office air conditioning is too hot or too cold, employees don’t function at optimal capacity and are at greater risk of developing colds, flu, headaches, allergies and other health problems.
When someone feels either too hot or too cold, their body uses up energy in order to regulate the overall temperature of their body. This energy is taken away from other parts of the body, so the person is left feeling tired from the extra energy burn. Given that the air conditioning in the office is too hot or cold, employees won’t function at an optimal level. This increases the amount of risk of employees developing the following:
As well as boosting employee health, a good air conditioning system has a number of benefits:
Office air conditioning regulates the temperature so it’s at a comfortable level. Employees in the office will no longer need to wrap up in summer and sweat in the wintertime.
In environments that use pollutants such as chemicals, office air conditioning units can actually remove the harmful air particles, boosting employee health.
An increase in productivity and a decrease in sick days means happier employees as they benefit from healthier, cleaner air.
Air conditioning in the office can prevent the spread of germs and bugs, resulting in boosts for your employees.