Are air conditioners bad for your health?

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If not correctly maintained, Air conditioning poses a significant threat to your health and well-being.

Dry air caused by air conditioning units can lead to dry or itchy skin, and dehydration can cause headaches, decreased concentration, increased irritation, dry lips, and tiredness.

Poorly maintained air conditioning units can lead to the accumulation of moisture, resulting in the distribution of mould spores and allergens and triggering asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

To avoid these health issues, having air conditioning filters cleaned regularly and units adequately maintained. Additionally, it is advisable to hydrate regularly when spending extended periods in air-conditioned environments.

Can air conditioners damage our health?

In recent years air conditioners have started replacing gas as a popular method to heat homes in Australia and New Zealand. We spend more and more time in these artificially controlled environments, supplementing natural air with air that travels via the air conditioner. Many people question the air conditioner health effects.

Dry air could cause itchy skin

You might be aware that air conditioning units can dry out the air. The air in the room is cooled as it travels over the condenser.

The water vapour in the air cools and creates water droplets as it cools. This water collects on the condenser and is then permitted to exit the system. This is ideal if you reside in a high-humidity climate and wish to lessen the amount of moisture in the air.

However, an air conditioner can make the air drier in a dry climate. This is because we continually lose moisture to the world around us as part of our natural physiological operations.

The first impact of dry air from an air conditioner on some people over time is that the drier air could cause dry or itchy skin. This frequently occurs to individuals who spend extended periods in air-conditioned spaces and neglect to apply lotion to their skin.

These individuals may experience dryness and discomfort because of the lack of moisture in the air. Regularly moisturising their skin is important for them to prevent dryness and irritation. If you are sensitive to this issue, using moisturiser on your skin regularly can help reduce these symptoms.

Other reasons for dry skin could be any contaminants within the property circulated through the air conditioning. For this reason, it is vital to have the filters on air conditioning system cleaned regularly.

Dehydration is something to watch out for

In cool, comfy air-conditioned places, we might not notice a sneaky problem – not drinking enough water. The air conditioner makes the air dry, and we can lose more water than we think. Dehydration, or not having enough water in our body, can lead to headaches, trouble focusing, feeling annoyed, dry lips, and being utterly exhausted.

It gets tricky because the air conditioner makes us feel relaxed, and we might forget to drink water and we don’t feel sweaty or too hot, so we don’t think about being thirsty.

To fix this, we need to make sure we drink water regularly, simple things like setting reminders, keeping a water bottle close, and eating fruits with lots of water can help. By making sure we drink enough water, we can stay healthy and enjoy the cool air without feeling yucky.

person cleaning air conditioner so there are no health issues
Cleaning your air conditioning unit regularly assists in reducing health risks

Make sure you clean the air conditioner filters before pollen season

People who are sensitive to pollens and spores should insist on regular maintenance of their workplace air conditioning units. Air conditioning units cannot do the same job as HEPA air filters.

Clean filters can help decrease the spread of pollen and allergens in the air. This means that while air conditioning units are useful, they are not as effective as HEPA filters. Keeping filters clean is important for reducing allergens and pollen in the air.

On the other hand, poorly maintained air conditioning units can see moisture accumulation in the team, which can lead to mould spores in the air. For many people, this can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

One of the worst contenders for this problem is car air conditioning units. So if you have never had yours cleaned or inspected, ensure you do so soon.

Many of us would have heard the term Legionnaires disease, the usual trigger being air droplets with the legionella bacteria originating from poorly maintained air conditioning units.

The important lesson is to clean your home air filters and maintain your business air conditioning unit regularly. If you experience that your workplace is leaving air conditioning maintenance in the too-hard basket. Please emphasise to them the health problems associated with filters full of allergens. Being in a safe workplace is a fundamental right.

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