Air Conditioning And Your Health

Does Air Conditioning really affect your health?Find out how you can enjoy the benifets of air conditioning without the problems.

Who would be without air conditioning. In hot, humid climates it is more than a modern comfort - it is an essential element in getting through those sweltering, sticky days. But, like most modern conveniences, air conditioning has its down-sides. Are they sufficient to make you think twice about having an air conditioner at your place? Many researchers believe they are. Let's find out why.

The problems associated with air conditioners arise out of overuse. With the ease of fingertip control many people assume that the more they use their unit the better it will be. This, however, is not the case. Air conditioning aggravates the effects of arthritis and neuritis. It also causes trouble for those with sinus trouble, causing their heads to become blocked. In addition to these obvious reactions to an air conditioned environment there are many far more subtle reactions that can adversely affect a person's health. Studies between those who have worked for prolonged periods in air conditioned offices and those who work outdoors, have consistently shown that the people exposed to air conditioning are more susceptible to colds, flu and other minor ailments. It has also been proven that the body undergoes a certain amount of stress when it is forced to go from a boiling hot environment into an air conditioned one. Over time this, too can cause problems.

It is also apparent that those who spend an inordinate amount of time in an air conditioned environment are not able to readily cope with hot summer temperatures. As a result, severe heat waves are now taking a higher death toll. In addition to this many people have been made sick by extreme variances between outside and inside temperatures. Going from an outside temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit to an inside one of less than 78 degrees is, for example, bound to play havoc with one's health.

Air conditioners in cars also have their problems. Micro-organisms have been found within the units that may cause breathing problems. Researchers at Louisiana State Medical Center identified eight different types of mould living inside of 22 of 25 cars tested. Air conditioning units can also circulate air-borne diseases, most famously Legionairre's Disease. If the unit has cheap filters or is not properly maintained it will simply recirculate pollutants.

Cutting back on air conditioning is also a way to conserve energy. It takes 60 % more energy to cool a home to 72 % than it does to 78 %. In fact, as an energy saving measure, the United States Government issued a directive in 1980 making it illegal to cool public buildings below 78 %.

Of course there are also positives to air conditioning. It creates a pleasant atmosphere inside, regardless of what is going on outside. It may eliminate heat rash and help hay fever sufferers by removing pollens from the air. The removal of dirty and dry air is also accomplished by air conditioning.

The decision to use air conditioning is, of course, yours. Having weighed up the pros and cons, you may decide that the best option is to use it, but do so sparingly, not going below 78 degrees, and not becoming reliant on it. Then, you'll get the benefits while, hopefully, avoiding the detriments of air conditioning.

© High Speed Ventures 2011