Air Conditioners and Your Health: One Important Thing Everyone Must Know
Despite its many virtues, air-conditioning can have certain harmful effects on health.
Air conditioner mold can spread throughout the house every time you turn your air conditioner on and exposure to mold can lead to numerous health problems, including respiratory disorders and allergic reactions. Air conditioning mold needs to be removed as soon as possible, to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.
Illnesses Related to AC Mold
Mold in your air conditioning system can lead to a wide range of illnesses. All types of mold can trigger allergic reactions in people sensitive to those substances, but some types of mold produce toxic compounds known as mycotoxins which can lead to serious conditions like pneumonia and bleeding in the lungs. Mold found anywhere in the home can lead to health problems, but when mold is in the air conditioning system, it can be particularly problematic. Microscopic mold spores become airborne when air blows through the ducts and are dispersed throughout the home, where they are easily inhaled. Babies and elderly people are most susceptible to mold-related illnesses, but even healthy young adults can get sick.
It is possible for an air-conditioner to house germs, including viruses, bacteria, and fungus (or mould). This can promote respiratory infections that are more or less serious, ranging from a simple cold to legionellosis, for example.
Legionellosis is a rare, but serious lung infection that is potentially deadly. The Legionella bacteria, which is responsible for the infection, sometimes takes up residence in air-conditioning systems. This can be explained by the fact that it spreads more easily in the presence of warm and stagnant water. Some air-conditioning systems use circuits cooled with water. Bacteria multiplies and is then released into the air. Legionellosis is contracted by breathing droplets of contaminated water.
Other Health Issues
We know that the respiratory system struggles when changing temperature too quickly and air conditioning can contribute to more associated problems. Those who spend a lot of time in air-conditioned rooms can often contract summer colds.
Air-conditioning that is set too cold can lead to or worsen other health symptoms and problems. Here are some examples:
dry and irritated eyes, mouth, throat or nasal passages headaches sore throat loss of voice Raynaud’s disease arthritis
What you should do
Use air-conditioning with moderation. Avoid significant differences between indoor and outdoor temperatures. A maximum range of 8°C is advisable. Ensure that all air-conditioning systems are well maintained to reduce the risk of microbial contamination. Check for any stagnant water in the installations. If your system uses water, ensure that it is changed regularly. Read the air-conditioning user’s manual and follow its instructions. Regularly replace or clean the filters. When possible, choose an air-conditioning system equipped with an air purification system.