Can Your Air Conditioner Be Making You Sick?
Many people dread moving into the colder months of the year knowing cold and flu season is on its tail. Because we’re inside more, in close proximity to the people around us, the chances of us catching something spikes.
But what about the summer months? Have you noticed that you’re getting sicker in the hottest months of the year too? Do you have the same symptoms: scratchy eyes, a cough that won’t go away, a runny nose that rages on day after day?
It might be your air conditioner.
When the temperatures and humidity rise, so too does our dependence on air conditioning. In many cases, homeowners leave their air conditioner running 24 hours of the day. And while overexposure to air conditioning itself is not a health risk, constant exposure can cause health effects in different ways.
Indoor Air Pollution
The most obvious is indoor air pollution. Studies show that the air you breathe indoors is often much more toxic than outdoors. Pollutants, dirt, dust, and biological growth can become trapped in your air conditioning equipment and ventilation and continue to circulate throughout your home over and over again. If pollutants are allowed to exist in your home for years, your symptoms can progress from headaches, dizziness, and difficulty breathing, to allergies, asthma, and other chronic respiratory diseases.
When your air conditioner continues to run hour after hour, it can dry out the air around you and cause health issues like dry skin and dry nasal passages. Because air conditioned air reduces the humidity levels, it contributes to causing things like flaky, itchy skin, fatigue, and other respiratory illnesses. The longer you’re exposed to drier conditions, the more these conditions can increase.
The more time you spend in a cooled home, the more at risk you become for heat related problems when you leave your home. When the temperature changes 20, 30, 40 degrees or more just by stepping through your door, your body moves into overtime to compensate for the difference. That can lead to headaches, difficulty breaking, dizziness, and heat stroke.
What are the causes?
If you’re not giving your air conditioning system a yearly check up, you may be putting your health at risk. Dirty air filters, uncleaned ductwork, dusty vents and registers, and poor maintenance on your equipment can allow everything from dust to biological growth to build on your equipment. And when your air conditioner runs, those problems circulate throughout your home.
Whether you’ve been feeling symptoms because of prolonged air conditioning use, or you’re simply unsure of when your equipment was last checked, make today the day you do something to clean up your air supply. Give us a call today.