Air conditioners help remove moisture (humidity) from your house and lower the indoor temperature to provide you with comfort in the warmer months. They also offer several other benefits, including reduced chances of heatstroke, cleaner air (by removing pollen, mold, and other airborne allergens), and lowered exposure to dust mites.
In essence, your air conditioning system is your lifesaver.
However, this so-called lifesaver can also have harmful health effects, especially when the system is not well-maintained. That’s why it is always better to call professional air conditioning services in Florida for an annual tune-up of your system.
So, how do you know if your air conditioning is causing more harm than good?
Here are a few signs of potential air-conditioning side-effects on your health that you should know about.
1. Respiratory(Breathing) Issues
Difficulty in breathing is one of the most common signs which indicate that an AC system has undergone little or no regular maintenance. Usually, breathing problems start as soon as you turn on the air conditioner. As your cooling system is responsible for filtering and circulating the cold air throughout your house, not cleaning your HVAC filters can lead to this issue.
Prolonged breathing problems often arise from unkept HVAC filters. The condenser coils and ducts of your air conditioner gather moisture as the cooled air passes through them, creating a hospitable environment for bacteria, fungi, and mold. When these microorganisms start circulating through your HVAC system into your house, they can cause respiratory problems.
The hardest hit will be the asthmatic and old members of your family. However, you can easily avoid this problem by replacing your AC filters every three months. You can also call professional AC repair services to clean your entire heating and cooling system at least once a year.
2. Frequent Headaches and Fatigue
If you are experiencing frequent headaches and dizziness even after a good night’s sleep or without any special reason, your air conditioner could be making you sick. These health issues often disappear or reduce when you step out of your house or turn off your AC.
Popularly known as Sick Building Syndrome, this problem is more common in buildings, both residential and commercial, with central HVAC systems. While hiring the best air conditioning services in Florida to clean your entire heating and cooling system can help, it often isn’t enough to address this problem.
You should also step out of the house or office every couple of hours to get some fresh air. Raising the temperature of your AC slightly to avoid shivering can also help reduce the symptoms.
3. Dry Skin
The air conditioner will not only cool the air inside your house, but also remove moisture. Although this will raise the comfort level inside your home, low moisture in your indoor air can lead to a few side effects, such as dry skin.
This, in turn, will result in the air pulling moisture from your skin and lips, making them drier. People with sensitive skin or skin-related health issues may find it challenging to keep the AC running for long hours.
You can use moisturizers and lip-care balms to keep your skin and lips moist. However, a better solution will be to install humidifiers. You can call your AC repair services company to install a humidifier in your house. You can also invest in a whole-home humidifier as a long-term solution to this problem.
4. Polluted Indoor Air
The fourth, and perhaps the most common problem, is the polluted or contaminated indoor air. Most people believe that the air conditioning system circulates fresh air inside your house. However, this couldn’t be any farther from the truth.
In reality, your AC will recirculate the indoor air after cooling it down. There is no fresh air coming from your HVAC system. So, if your house already has airborne pollutants like pollen, dust, mold, viruses, and bacteria, your central cooling system will most likely keep circulating them inside your home.
One way to counter this problem is to install filters capable of trapping small pollutants like these. You can Google “air conditioning service near me” to find a local HVAC contractor who can install high-grade HVAC filters. Replacing these filters every three months or 90 days can also help you improve the quality of indoor air.
You can also open your windows and doors for a few minutes to let fresh air in. Doing so can help flush out contaminants. You can do this once a week or twice a month to ensure good indoor air quality.
5. Increased Blood Pressure
Usually, blood pressure goes up in the cold weather as blood vessels contract during this season, requiring more pressure to circulate blood. That’s why your blood pressure is likely to increase at a high altitude, where the temperature is usually low.
Research has also found a link between cold indoor temperatures and blood pressure. Every 1°C decrease in indoor temperature was associated with rises of 0.48 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 0.45 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure. People suffering from hypertension are, therefore, more susceptible to the adverse effect of cold indoor air.
To avoid this problem, you can set your air conditioner use to a bare minimum. You can also raise the temperature by a few degrees to prevent shivering. Stepping out in the fresh air can also help.
While you can’t do away with air conditioning in a warm state like Florida, you need to know its potential side effects. If your cooling system is not well-maintained, it can lead to a variety of health issues. Hopefully, these health effects will help you understand how to use your air conditioner. You can also consult an AC repair services company to get a better understanding of your AC use.
Get the Best Air Conditioning Services in Florida!
From installation and replacements to AC repair services, Erica’s Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Restoration is your one-stop-shop for all your heating and cooling needs. Our skilled and experienced technicians will solve your problem as quickly as possible. You can reach us at (561) 245-7435 or schedule a service call via our website.