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How to Avoid Side Effects of Air Conditioners
Air conditioners are indeed our savior in the months where there is absolutely no respite from the heat. Now, conditioners are not the innocent lambs you think they are! There are many side effects of air conditioners on health and on the environment. Most of the side effects are because people don’t know how to use or maintain them in the first place. So what are the side effects? Let’s discuss them.
Five Side Effects of Air Conditioners on Health:
According to Global News, these are the top five side effects of air conditioners on the human body:
- Constant Fatigue
Research shows that people who work in air-conditioned environments can experience chronic headaches and fatigue that leave them vulnerable to contracting colds, flu and other illnesses.
- Dry Skin
An air conditioner sucks moisture from the surroundings including the skin if you spend long hours in an air conditioned environment. If you don’t pamper your skin with the right moisturizers, your skin will soon start to feel dry.
- Exacerbates Effects of Chronic Illness
ACs are known to increase the symptoms of low blood pressure, arthritis and neuritis. So if you already suffer from an illness, an air conditioned environment will only exacerbate it making you more vulnerable.
- Inability to Handle Heat
Going suddenly from a cool environment to an outdoor hot environment can actually induce stress. This will make you intolerant to warm or hot temperatures during summer.
- Breathing Problems
This is one of the common side effects of cold air conditioning. Effects of air conditioning on lungs are fatal. Air conditioners can also circulate airborne diseases such as Legionnaires’ diseasea potentially fatal infectious disease that produces high fever and pneumonia.
There are many ways in which side effects of air conditioners can be avoided. Although we may not completely avoid it, but we can certainly reduce these side effects by taking necessary precautions. Some of the measures are mentioned below:
How to Avoid Side Effects of Air Conditioners
- Retention – ACs are not meant to run for hours and hours. It’s like having a hole in your wallet. As mentioned before, the temperature of the AC should be one or two degrees below the room temperature. So keep your AC at 22-21 degrees maximum, let it run for two hours and then switch it off. The use of air conditioners increased HCFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons) release by 20-30 percent, which slowed ozone layer recovery by a whopping 25 years.
- Clean the AC Filter regularly – Dirty filters can allow allergens, pesticides and other particulate matter to enter your home, posing threats to indoor air quality. Exposure to these pollutants can trigger many health problems, including allergies, asthma, and eye, nose, and throat irritation.
- Annual Maintenance Check – Most often, dust from the room and use of powders etc., can block the AC. This obviously poses respiratory concerns. Personally, I woke up in the middle of the night sneezing like a maniac! Therefore, having allergies during summer can be made worse if your AC is not properly maintained.
- Adequate Ventilation – Allowing fresh air in can help reduce indoor pollutants. Cold air is heavy and dense and can make breathing difficult. Having ventilated spaces allows for normal and better breathing. AC can be on for 2-3 hours and when not in use, be sure to open your windows to let in the fresh air. The body is better suited to fresh air outside than the air in a heavy air-conditioned room. .
- Air Purifier – Having air purification units can drastically reduce the germs and pollutants that come from outside.
- Water power – Drinking an adequate amount of water can help reduce the symptoms of flaky dry skin. I personally wake up in the morning with itchy eyes. Even the sides of the nostrils and bridge of the nose are prone to dryness. This is because the AC sucks moisture from your skin. it is recommended to use olive oil or moisturizer. Also, having a humidifier professionally installed can help solve this problem.
- Get Out, Breathe Fresh Air – Getting used to air conditioners makes the outside temperatures seem even hotter. We tend to eat calorie dense food when it is cold. The summer months are meant for a thinner diet. The AC may lull you into a beautiful sleep but it only makes you lethargic. Nowadays, even gyms are set up with 5-6 ACs, which completely defeats the purpose of sweating it out! Remember No Sweat, No Pain, No Gain. Spending some time allows the body to adjust to the temperatures and stay active.
- Check Your Car AC – The process of cooling hot air requires a lot of condensation and this can create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Researchers at the Louisiana State Medical Center found eight types of mold living inside 22 of 25 cars tested. Air fresheners can mask the bad smell but the mold still persists.
- Reduce Over Dependency on ACs – The only way to deal with rising temperatures is to adapt to it. Summer months are meant to be hot. But our bodies have the power of adaptability. Think about this, if farmers in the dry droughty deserts of Rajasthan can live without fans, is it really that difficult to go without air conditioning for just a few hours?
- Move to Cold Country – I’m kidding, but you could definitely go for a long vacation in a relatively cooler place that will not only give you a break from your hectic, boring daily life but will also do wonders for your body and mind. Temperatures are only going to rise and we can’t keep hiding in AC rooms for the rest of our lives.
The side effects of conditioners can be controlled by using it intelligently. It’s kind of crazy how far people go to not feel hot. Being too dependent on anything is never good for health. I would suggest, embrace the heat and all the sweat that comes with it. Stay hydrated; include plenty of yogurt, fruit juices and vegetables in your diet. There are easier ways to cool down honestly.
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