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Can Air Conditioning Make You Sick? And What You Can Do About It

Air conditioners can make you more comfortable on a hot day and can help you avoid overheating. However, in some cases, they can make you feel sick due to a condition sometimes known as “air conditioning sickness.” Homes and businesses with cooling systems can also have a higher risk of occupants experiencing sick building syndrome (SBS).

Can You Get Sick From Air Conditioning?

Air conditioning sickness is not a serious or dangerous condition for most people. In most cases, you will start to feel better if you get fresh air. This condition, which can cause feelings of being “stuffed up” as well as a feeling of weakness or cold, is usually caused by mold, mildew, fungi, or bacteria.

Sick building syndrome has been linked to poor indoor air quality. It can be caused by HVAC systems that blow around allergens or by inadequate ventilation. Symptoms can include headaches, itchy eyes, sneezing or wheezing, sore throat, gastrointestinal issues, and other problems.

Why Can It Make You Sick?

When your air conditioner is on, any mold, mildew, bacteria, and other allergens in the home get airborne. You can end up breathing this airborne matter in, and since the air conditioner can also dry out the air, it can irritate your nose and throat as well. If you’re indoors all day, eventually this can make you feel ill.

How to Avoid Getting Sick From Your Air Conditioning

When you spend a lot of time in an air-conditioned space, you can often prevent feeling unwell with these tips:

  • Clean your home: Vacuum often, wipe down surfaces and keep your home free of allergens that can become airborne. Consider removing your shoes at the door as well to avoid tracking mold spores, bacteria, and debris inside.
  • Get serious about mold and mildew: Tackle excess moisture and any signs of mold or fungi in your home. Eliminate the root cause of mold and mildew.
  • Have your air conditioner maintained properly: Make sure your air conditioner is properly cleaned and has a new filter every few months. Professional maintenance can also help uncover any mold or mildew in the unit or around the coils.
  • Take care of your health: Drink plenty of water to counteract the drying effect of the air conditioner. If it’s not too hot or polluted outside, you may also want to enjoy some fresh air each day, even if only for a short while.
  • Don’t lower the temperature too much: Keeping the air indoors too cold can cause excessive dryness in your home and irritation to your throat and nose. Turn the air conditioner to a comfortable temperature below the outdoor temperature.

If you have any symptoms that are severe or seem to last, see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

If you need to have maintenance conducted on your air conditioning system to help improve your home’s indoor air quality, contact Shipley Energy to speak to a professional. We can help you keep your air conditioner safe and healthy for your home.

Get in Touch to Breathe Your Best Air Today!

Get in Touch to Breathe Your Best Air Today!