An air conditioning system can give you much needed relief during the hotter months of the year. Many people leave their AC systems on 24/7 to keep their homes as cool as possible. Despite this perceived relief, there are problems associated with running an AC system in this way aside from high energy bills. In this article, we will look at how overusing air conditioning could pose some health risks that you need to be aware of.
Are There Potential Health Risks?
It’s important to state that overexposure to AC systems has not been connected to any form of illness. That being said a constant exposure to air conditioning can create a number of uncomfortable conditions that could affect people in different ways. Let’s examine some of these potential health problems.
Indoor air pollution can be far worse than outdoor air pollution according to many studies. If the air in your home is constantly circulated without periodic ventilation, it could contain some nasty allergens. When poor air is breathed in regularly the milder health consequences, could include: itchy eyes, dizziness, headaches, nasal issues and difficulty breathing. In more extreme cases even pneumonia and asthma attacks could occur in more sensitive groups.
When a person is exposed to prolonged periods of exposure to central AC systems, their skin could dry out. It will be necessary to use moisturizers to prevent the skin from becoming itchy and flaky. Generally, air conditioned air is lower in humidity which will contribute to the levels of indoor comfort in summer. The downside to this is drier skin in both nasal and air passages.
Upper Respiratory Infections
Constant air conditioning exposure can also dry out mucous membranes leaving people vulnerable to upper respiratory infections. In these conditions, it would be easy to catch a common cold and even other illnesses. This can increase the feelings of fatigue, and a humidifier would be needed to balance the humidity levels.
Heat Intolerance Issues
When long periods are spent in an AC environment, there can be consequences when you venture outside. Some people can develop heat intolerance making them feel exhausted when they experience the heat outdoors. Some common health related issues, include headaches, dizziness, breathing difficulties and in extreme cases even heat stroke. The AC should ideally be set at a sensible temperature a few degrees lower than outdoors to avoid heat intolerance issues.
Some people that suffer from allergies during the summer may experience more severe symptoms under constant AC use. If the AC system is not properly maintained there could be mold in the air that can settle in ears causing dryness and even bleeding.
Some Final Thoughts
These issues are generally caused by ducts that need cleaning and air filters that need to be replaced or cleaned. Regularly scheduled maintenance from a local AC expert will ensure that the system is working effectively and efficiently. If you use your air conditioning system responsibly, you can enjoy great indoor air quality and have lower energy bills.