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Posted 07/02/2019 in Category 1

Air Conditioners and Your Health

Air Conditioners and Your Health

Air conditioners are essential to withstand high temperatures during the summers. But if they are not maintained properly and air conditioning repair is not focused upon, they can cause health problems as severe as pharyngitis, bronchial processes, and other conditions in people with low immunity.

At Comfy Climate, we want to emphasize some basic rules to protect ourselves from the potentially harmful effects of damaged or dirty air conditioning units, ranging from minor irritations to serious infections.

1. Maintenance and cleaning

“The risks of air conditioning will always depend on whether the system is properly placed and maintained," said Dr. Carmen Diego, pulmonologist and Thoracic Surgeon.

It is essential that air conditioning repairs are done periodically, and maintenance activities are performed regularly.

The problem when a system is not properly maintained is that germs and other types of organic substances tend to accumulate in openings. These cause massive deterioration of the air quality and can cause serious health hazards.

These germs can cause problems, especially in people with weak immune systems and those who are suffering from diseases such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). People living in homes with poorly maintained air conditioning systems run the risk of aggravating these diseases.

We must not forget that Legionella Pneumonia was discovered precisely by the air conditioning circuit at a veterans' convention called the American Legion in a hotel in the United States. The outbreak took place in 1976 in Philadelphia and left more than 30 dead. One year later, a bacterium was identified as the cause of the infection. This is evidence enough for us to emphasize the importance of air conditioning repair and maintenance.

Legionellosis or Legionella is pneumonia that is caused by breathing water vapor that contains this bacterium. It comes from bathtubs, hot showers, and large refrigeration units.

2. The risks of cold air

Too cold of air can cause major problems in susceptible people and has devastating effects on their respiratory system.

"There may be oropharyngeal discomfort due to the irritating mechanism of the cold air, and although this causes discomfort, it is not dangerous, but there are people who are more sensitive than others," Diego explained.

Can cold air cause problems to the throat?

Usually, diseases such as pharyngitis are caused due to irritation caused by cold air on the airways in our respiratory system. This causes inflammation in the airways such as the pharynx or larynx or even at the level of bronchi and bronchioles.

Even in pneumology (widely known as pulmonology), cold air inhalation is used for provocation tests in asthma. It is a physical agent that in certain predisposed people can cause inflammation of the airways, which helps in treating certain diseases.

Theoretically, the air warms up when it enters the nostrils so that it has an adequate temperature that is usually the body temperature when it reaches the bronchi. The problem is when the air is too cold, and there is no time for the air to warm up, the whole functioning of the respiratory system gets disrupted. Simply put it is against the natural order, and anything that is against natural order tends to be harmful to us.

Does it work to put a mask or scarf on your nose?

"I cannot advise that as a doctor because I do not know if it is a very effective measure and certainly not proven scientifically," said Dr. Diego.

3. Temperature and humidity

There are also ideal temperatures and humidity levels, which vary according to the season of the year.

In the summers, the ideal temperature is a little bit higher, i.e. between 71 and 75 degrees. A temperature lower than this limit tends to cause discomfort and again, becomes unacceptable for the body.

The humidity level in the air that is recommended by some specialists is between 35 and 60%.

The air from air conditioners can also cause dryness of the nasal mucous membranes. This can cause serious discomfort, and doctors highly recommend to keep the body hydrated by increasing water intake if you have prolonged stays in air-conditioned rooms.

Sensitive or vulnerable people should also be careful with sudden changes in temperature. Although doctors point out that the change of temperature between inside and outside, in principle is not proven to be harmful to health, it is always smart to be careful about it. As they say, prevention is better than cure.

4. Sick building syndrome

Sick building syndrome is commonly defined in the following words:

If more than 20% of the workers complain about the air they breathe, headache, and / or throat pain; this is a sign of sick building syndrome. The air that these people are breathing is of inadequate quality and air conditioning repairs, and maintenance service should be hired immediately. Comfy Climate is one of the leaders in the HVAC repairs and maintenance industry. We serve both residential and commercial clients and have one of the large clienteles in Indianapolis.

The air conditioning systems collect the air from the outside and pass them through filters. And the air that passes through all those filters has germs and organic and inorganic matter. If the problem affects less than 20% of workers, it is usually explained not by the sick building syndrome but by individual variability.

The main advice, in short, is to pay attention: take care that the air conditioning is not at temperatures below 71 degrees

The Department of Energy of the United States, for example, recommends changing the filters of air conditioning systems in homes every two months. So, if it has been more than two months and you have not had a basic air conditioning repair and maintenance checkup done, we believe you are only risking the health of your family. Breathing problems can become chronic and can cause serious long-term damage to the health of your loved ones. Just give us a call or visit our website today to get a quote!

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