Protects Against Heatstroke and Dehydration
Excessive heat can cause heat strokes, where the body fails to regulate its temperature. If not treated immediately, it can damage the brain and other vital organs. Air conditioners can help prevent the occurrence of heat strokes by lowering the temperature of the air.
Dehydration is another problem associated with exposure to excessive heat. Profuse sweating due to high temperatures can cause dehydration, if the lost water is not replenished. Air conditioners can minimize the risk of dehydration by reducing sweating and the consequent loss of water.
Helps Reduce Asthma and Allergies
Air conditioners filter and disinfect the air we breathe. They can help reduce episodes of asthma and allergies by removing dust and pollen, and inhibiting the growth of mold and mildew. Exposure to mold is one of the most important factors that can increase the risk of allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory problems. While using air conditioners we keep our windows closed, which helps prevent the entry of dust, bacteria, and environmental allergens. This can be beneficial for people who are suffering from environmental allergies.
Risks Associated with Air Conditioners
Spending long hours in an air-conditioned environment can cause dryness and irritation of the mucous membrane. The skin can also lose its natural moisture in such an environment and become dry and sensitive.
Exacerbation of Respiratory Diseases
It has been observed that a sudden change in temperature and humidity can aggravate the symptoms of some respiratory diseases. This problem can be avoided to a great extent by setting your thermostat to a higher temperature and then gradually decreasing it to a comfortable level.
Allergies and Respiratory Tract Infections
Excessive exposure to cold air from air conditioners can cause sinus problems, a runny nose, a sore throat, and other flu-like symptoms. Some air conditioners cannot humidify the air, which can cause the air to become very dry. Such dry air can cause irritation of the lining of the mouth and nose.
Sometimes, the air filters can become dirty, if the air conditioners are not cleaned regularly. Such dirty air filters can harbor dust, pollen, and bacteria, and recirculate them in the building. This can increase the incidence of respiratory tract infections, besides creating problems for allergy and asthma patients.
‘Sick-building syndrome’ is more commonly observed in buildings that use air conditioning systems, but do not have proper ventilation. In such buildings, people often experience symptoms like breathing difficulties, irritation of the skin and mucous membrane, headache, and excessive tiredness or fatigue, which are collectively referred to as ‘sick-building syndrome’. It is believed that this peculiar syndrome may be caused by the mold and other harmful microorganisms that accumulate in the air conditioning systems and then circulate in the air we breathe.