Contrary to popular belief, air conditioning is not a major source of illness. In fact, researchers have found increased respiratory infection rates among homes without air conditioning, as compared to dwellings with central AC systems installed. Other research has suggested that people who don’t have air conditioning are at higher risk for adverse health effects from airborne particles due to their lack of air filtration and outside air exchange.

Therefore, these findings suggest that, rather than air conditioning leading to sickness, it could actually improve overall health by helping to keep the interior environment’s temperature and humidity levels down and by filtering dust and other particles out of the atmosphere.

With that said, there are people who swear that air conditioners can make people sick. We wanted to explore this subject a little further to see if we could discover why this is when research says otherwise. Need air conditioning repair or service? Count on us – we’re just a click or phone away.

What Are the Negative Effects of Air Conditioning (If Any)?

It looks like there can be some health risks associated with air conditioning use:

  • Air conditioning can dry out your skin and eyes, leading to irritation, and even infection if left unresolved.
  • Allergy and asthma sufferers may find their symptoms aggravated thanks to air conditioners which are constantly pulling in and circulating air, potentially spreading allergens throughout the building.
  • Air-conditioned areas tend to have a lower level of humidity than the outside environment, further affecting skin and eye comfort while also adding potential issues with increased static electricity.

While these issues tend to be minor inconveniences for many people, they may be more threatening for those with existing sensitivities or other health conditions.

a white heating/cooling vent against a white wall

What can I do to mitigate the negative effects of air conditioning?

You can minimize these negative effects by making sure to use a humidifier or set your air conditioner at a slightly higher temperature than usual in order to increase the relative humidity in the environment – this will help keep your skin moisturized and reduce inflammation of your eyes. Additionally, regularly cleaning filters on air conditioning units will help reduce concentrations of allergens, such as dust particles and mold spores, which could trigger allergy flare-ups or wheezing. Using a better filter might also help you clear up some of these issues, as well.

Are There Any Myths or Misconceptions About Air Conditioners?

One of the most common myths about air conditioners is that they can cause the common cold – but this simply isn’t true! Our immune systems determine if we get sick or not, and an air conditioner doesn’t possess any magical powers to make us ill. Generally speaking, air conditioning units are a great way to help prevent airborne illnesses, since they keep out the pollen grains and pollutants that can come through open spaces or be brought in by humans and pets.

That being said, it is possible that certain people might find air conditioning uncomfortable if their system isn’t properly managed. As we stated above, dry skin, allergies, and a drop in indoor humidity levels can all occur. Setting your unit to the correct temperature (too cold or warm will also be unpleasant) should help create an environment where everyone is comfortable.

What Are Some Tips for Staying Healthy While Using AC?

Staying healthy while you keep your air conditioning running is essential during the long summer months. A few steps you can take to achieve this include:

  • regularly cleaning and changing the filters in your air conditioning system, as this will help to rid the air of dust and other particles that may lead to allergic reactions or respiratory problems
  • finding the right temperature and humidity level for your home’s needs
  • seeking advice from a local HVAC professional in order to pick appropriate settings, since too low of a humidity level might lead to dry skin and cause any existing sinus conditions to worsen
  • properly cleaning and maintaining of your air conditioning system with the help of a professional
  • finding the optimal settings for your needs
a long skinny house plant with big leaves in a black pot on a white dresser with leaves next to it

However, we also believe that good old-fashioned fresh air is important to your health as well – as long as your doctor says it’s so. Your environment is what you make of it and as long as you are doing everything to keep pollutants and other contaminants out of your home you should be good.

Concerns? Give Us a Call

If you feel there is something about your air conditioner that needs to be looked at you can always call on Petitt Heating & Cooling. We are your premier provider of HVAC products and services in the Northern part of Middle TN.

Call us at 615-654-0814 or reach out online now.