Does spending too much time indoors cause you irritation or cold and flu-like symptoms? You may be suffering from air conditioning sickness. While the condition is uncommon, a lack of air conditioning maintenance can often cause asthma or allergies to flare up as a “sickness”. While your air conditioner isn’t directly to blame, the system can play a role spreading certain types of pollutants that may have an effect on your health. So, can air conditioning make you sick? In some cases it can, and we’re going to explore the symptoms as well as what you can do to get your health back on track.
Can Air Conditioning Make You Sick?
The short answer is yes, air conditioning can make you sick. The air conditioner itself isn’t to blame. Rather, build ups of dust, dirt and other particles are causing your symptoms. If the air quality in a room is already low, running your air conditioner can spread pollutants that cause irritation and other symptoms.
Mild sickness is an uncommon side effect of running your air conditioning. While a clean air conditioner won’t cause any health problems, you might start seeing symptoms if the air quality is low. This is because air conditioners don’t introduce any fresh air into your room. Instead, they circulate air that’s already inside the space. So, if the air in a room is full of dust, or if there is mould or bacterial growth on the air conditioner’s filter, you might start seeing the symptoms of air conditioning sickness.
Air Conditioning Sickness Symptoms
The symptoms of air conditioning sickness vary widely. Depending on the pollutants in the air and any allergies you have, your sickness can range from extremely mild to quite severe. In most cases, air conditioning sickness presents a lot like the common flu, and you may experience symptoms such as:
- Stuffy, runny or blocked nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry and irritated skin
- Sore throat
One of the big giveaways that you’re suffering from air conditioning sickness is the frequency of the symptoms. Most people only suffer from the sickness while they’re indoors using their air conditioner. Once they’re out of the house and away from home the symptoms quickly clear up. If you notice a pattern of sickness that only occurs when you’re at home or using your air conditioner, it’s time to look into air conditioning maintenance services.
How to Avoid Air Conditioning Sickness
Air conditioning sickness is caused by common pollutants. Dust, dirt, pet hair, mould, bacteria and other microorganisms can all play a role. If you’re experiencing symptoms you’ll need to check your home for allergens and the presence of mould or mildew. Once you’re sure there are no major irritants in your house, you can avoid air conditioning sickness by:
Keeping your spaces clean.
Air conditioners work by circulating and conditioning the air that’s already in a room. While the system includes a filter that deals with most pollutants, maintaining a clean home goes a long way to improving air quality. Make sure you’re regularly mopping floors, wiping down dusty surfaces and vacuuming carpets.
Managing humidity levels.
The presence of bacteria and mould are the main culprits of air conditioning sickness. These microorganisms thrive in humid environments. Likewise, air conditioners gradually remove moisture from the air, and low humidity levels are a common cause of dry skin which amplifies the symptoms of air conditioning sickness. Do your best to keep your home at a nice middle ground that won’t cause either of these issues.
Servicing your air conditioner regularly.
All ducted reverse cycle air conditioning and split system air conditioners contain an air filter. This filter does a great job of removing particles of dust from the air, so it needs to be cleaned frequently. As part of your regular maintenance schedule, your air conditioning technician will clean the filter and remove any built up pollutants.
Is it Time to Service Your Air Conditioning? Contact Air Conditioning Doctor Today!
Air conditioners don’t cause sickness. While they can contribute to spreading dust and bacteria, they aren’t directly responsible for the symptoms you’re experiencing. But, if you are struggling with cold or flu symptoms when you spend time indoors, it’s time to call the Air Conditioning Doctor. We’re a team of experienced technicians working across Adelaide. We offer a comprehensive range of air conditioning maintenance, repairs and servicing to suit all major brands. As part of our regular maintenance plans, we can keep your air conditioner sparkling clean and help look after your family’s health. Contact us online and make an appointment if you’re concerned about the air quality in your home – we’re always ready to help!