Once a luxury, the air conditioner has now become more of a necessity. From homes to offices and malls to cars, the air conditioner has now become ubiquitous. So much so that we tend not to even consider the fact that excessive use of the air conditioner could have adverse effects on our health.
A rational use of air conditioning is safe and produces more comfort than health risks. Its uncontrolled use will represent a greater risk for the health in the medium and long term due to problems caused to the environment, due to the excessive consumption of currently polluting energy that what can suppose at the individual level today. Do not put an excessively cold temperature that even forces us to use some warm clothes.
The harmful effects of air- conditioning become more prominent when combined with excessive exposure to pollution, severe weather changes, poor diet, and an unhealthy lifestyle disease. Thereby, making it extremely important to have a proper diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Poorly maintained air conditioners can critically affect your health. Remember, when was the last time you had your air conditioner serviced by a professional. Keeping your air conditioning unit clean and well maintained is critically important for your families’ health.
Health Problems and Sickness of Air Conditioning:
People in air conditioned environments are more susceptible to suffer from respiratory problems than those living in naturally ventilated houses. The most vulnerable are the very young – infants and children, pregnant women and the elderly. The latter are mainly those who are already suffering from some respiratory diseases and have weak immune systems. Frequent problems include:
• Common cold.
• Sore throat.
• There can be long term skin and hair damage because the AC absorbs all the moisture in the room leaving a dry atmosphere within.
• People using contact lenses need to take extra precautions as the drying effect of the AC exacerbates eye conditions.
• Severe heat waves are now taking a higher death toll and it is partly attributed to the effect of ACs. The observation being that those who spend an excessive amount of time in an air-conditioned environment are not able to readily cope with hot summer temperatures.
• Several health problems such as fatigue and nausea can be caused by the large variance between inside and outside temperatures.
• Major lifestyle changes where people have restricted their physical activity are also a case associated with excessive use to ACs. The phenomenon can especially be observed among children these days, and is one of the reasons leading to obesity and other health problems.
Measures To Limit Harmful Susceptibilities in AC Settings:
• Ventilate air-conditioned spaces regularly.
• Ensure proper and regular maintenance of air conditioners.
• Avoid very low temperatures. Keep the room temperature between 21 degree and 25 degree C.
• Try to maintain an average humidity. It can be between 60 per cent and 70 per cent.
• Try to minimize the use of an air conditioner at home, as it is difficult to do the same in offices and other public areas.
• Apply moisturizer on the skin to prevent drying and cracking
• Do not use soap in areas that are prone to dryness.
• Dehydration so drink water regularly to keep yourself hydrated.
• Keeping a bowl of water in an air-conditioned room reduces the drying effect.
• It is advisable to carry a light jacket in summer and put it on while entering an air- conditioned area to protect the body from extreme temperature changes.
• Try to come out often from air- conditioned spaces while in office or any other place. Where sitting in such an environment is unavoidable, ensure that the temperature difference is not very large.
• Do not expose your body to the wind cold for a long time. It can be harmful to health.
• Be sure to unplug the power cord if the air conditioning is not going to be used for a long time.
• Do not place the air conditioner near a gas stove. The air flow of the air conditioner can cause combustion incomplete fire of the kitchen.
• Adjust the proper temperature. Too cold can be harmful to health.
• Thoroughly clean the air filter and perform frequent equipment maintenance.
• Do not use the air conditioner for other purposes such as drying clothes, preserving food, etc.
However, it is increasingly widespread use of air conditioning in homes and in public places, work centers and in cars. These devices are designed to improve comfort, but this is not always the case, as some sometimes its use can involve discomfort and even health problems. The factors that can contribute to these health problems can be intrinsic to the facilities and devices themselves. They are the dryness of environment that provokes an excessively cold temperature, noises and poor maintenance of the facilities.
Also Read: The Harmful Effects of Lights on the Eye
You have to be careful to breathe correctly through your nose when you’re with air conditioning, since the nose will heat and humidity the air we inhale. Remember that cold and dryness are two factors that make the bronchial epithelium, which is especially important in people with chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD. There are regulations for the maintenance of large air conditioning that must be observed thoroughly.
You will find several useful suggestions on the correct use and maintenance of your air conditioner. Preventive measure will help you save time and money over the life of the equipment. Do not apply flammable insecticides or sprays. It can generate fires or deformations of the cabinet. You can also find several answers to common problems in the installation manual guide.