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.