by Cheney Hines
It’s the changing of the seasons, and with that comes a whole host of sickly symptoms that most of us just dismiss as typical of the time. However, that wheezing, itchy skin, coughing, sneezing and even ear infections and stomach issues could be coming from your air conditioning system, of all things. It may be time to take stock of what is causing your symptoms and dial back that AC!
You could have the most immaculately clean home imaginable and still have air quality problems. There are uncountable invisible pollutants that can fly under the radar because the symptoms they cause are generally associated with other causes.
In truth, many common spring or summer ailments can sometimes be traced directly back to the AC unit. If you have frequent colds, stomach issues, headaches, allergies or flu-like symptoms, your AC may be the culprit.
Extreme Low Temperature
The two main causes of AC-related illnesses are low temperatures and mold. If you turn on your AC unit too high, resulting in very cold interior temperatures, this can make you sick. The shock of going into and out of the outdoor heat wreaks havoc on your immune system. In such cases, turning down the AC can often resolve the problem.
Mold is an invisible toxin that is a raging problem. Many homeowners have mold issues and do not even realize it. Since your AC circulates air throughout your home, it can pick up and spread spores that get into your lungs and cause all manner of health issues. This is especially true if the mold has grown inside your AC unit due to the moisture and temperatures therein.
There are more than 270 species of mold known, and each carries different health risks. If you find you are getting sick often, having an expert in to check for mold issues may reveal a problem you did not even know you had.
What to Do
There are a few things you can do to reduce AC-related illness in your home. The first is turn down the AC. If you have the temperature in your home set to ten degrees or more lower than the temperature outside, you likely have your AC working too hard.
The second is to occasionally open the windows instead of using the AC. Run some fans and circulate fresh air through your home. This will help remove invisible toxins. Finally, clean or replace your AC filter. This will make sure that your unit is most effectively removing toxins from the air.
Keeping your HVAC unit functioning properly and clean will help keep the air in your home not only cool and comfortable, but clean. Addressing temperature and mold issues as well as other foreign substances will reduce the prevalence of health symptoms from poor air quality. Have you had any experiences with air conditioning-related illness? If so, we would like to hear your story. Leave a comment below!