Does Air Conditioning Affect Your Health?
With so many Americans at home to help curb the spread of COVID-19, homeowners are paying more attention than ever to their HVAC systems and other household projects. Anxiety is at an all-time high, but we here at Desert Air Conditioning want to ease your mind when it comes to your air conditioning. Summer is on its way here to the Coachella Valley, and many people may be stuck indoors. We’ve put together a list of some of the most commonly asked questions concerning air conditioning and health.
Can Air Conditioning Give You a Cough?
No, air conditioning by itself doesn’t cause coughs. Many people assume that cold air causes sickness, including the common cold. The correlation between winter weather and sickness, however, is not quite what it seems. While colds are more common in the winter, it’s not due to the cold air. Instead, the reason why colds are more common in the winter is due to how much more often people stay indoors close to other people, allowing viruses and other germs to move more freely between people.
However, some people may be more sensitive to dry air than others. Dry, cold air can cause blood vessels in a person’s nose and throat constrict, lessening the amount of available white blood cells. To stay comfortable without irritating your respiratory tracts, run a humidifier if you find that the air conditioning causes dry throat and coughing.
Can HVAC Systems Make You Sick?
No, HVAC systems help keep the air in your home clean. However, if homeowners don’t keep up with regular HVAC maintenance, there’s a possibility that the HVAC system could aggravate their family’s respiratory systems. If you find that your throat is dry while the HVAC system is running, try the following simple fixes:
1. Run a Humidifier
Humidifiers work by adding moisture to the air. When you run your HVAC system extensively, the air becomes drier to maintain a cooler temperature. Running a humidifier can make the air more comfortable to breathe during the summer when it’s necessary to keep the air conditioning on.
2. Change the Air Filter
Most air filters need changing at least once every one to three months. It’s possible that if you feel like you’re getting sick after running your air conditioner, you may be suffering from allergies. Your HVAC system works to clean your indoor air by running it through a filter before it circulates throughout your home. However, if the filter is dirty or clogged, this function is compromised. Make sure to replace the air filter according to manufacturer recommendations. However, if you believe that the air filter isn’t working properly, it’d be best to call a professional HVAC contractor to take a look at the system and make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible.
3. Schedule HVAC Maintenance
If you suspect that the air in your home is too dry or full of pollutants, it may be time for your HVAC system to undergo routine maintenance. If maintenance is ignored, homeowners face the risk of high repair or replacement costs. An annual inspection goes a long way toward preventing major HVAC repairs.
HVAC Systems Clean Indoor Air
While an improperly maintained HVAC system may circulate indoor pollutants, a correctly working HVAC system works to help rid the indoor air of pollutants. Common indoor pollutants include:
Dust and pollen can contaminate the air in your home. With an efficient HVAC system, you can help keep your home allergen-free.
Formaldehyde is a common preservative and adhesive found in furniture, particleboard, plywood paneling, drapes, and carpets. Breathing in formaldehyde fumes has adverse health effects such as coughing, rashes, headaches, dizziness, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
3. Household Cleaning Products
Household cleaning products can contribute to polluted air inside of your home. In addition to cleaners, solvents, and chemicals, other personal care products, and pesticides can give off harmful fumes as well. Make sure never to mix chlorine bleach and ammonia, as it releases a poisonous gas. Ensuring that the air in your home is well-circulated and that there is plenty of ventilation does a lot to remove harmful chemicals from the air.
4. Asbestos and Lead in Older Homes
Lead-based paint was common in homes built before 1978. Additionally, older buildings may contain asbestos. Asbestos is only harmful if it is disturbed or if it deteriorates with age. When that process occurs, asbestos fibers are small enough to be inhaled, which causes lung tissue scarring and lung cancer.
Signs of Trouble With Your Indoor Air
The following are signs that you may need to take another look at your current HVAC system and its ability to handle the number of pollutants in your home:
- Abnormal or noticeable odors.
- Stale or stuffy air.
- Clear lack of air movement.
- Damaged flue pipes or chimneys.
- High humidity.
- Mold and mildew.
How Can Desert Air Conditioning Help You?
To ensure your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible, call a team member at Desert Air Conditioning today! Desert Air Conditioning has been serving the Coachella Valley since 1954. With decades of experience, you can trust that the HVAC contractors at Desert Air Conditioning will provide high-quality maintenance and repair services. Call today to get started.