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Is Your Air Conditioner Making You Sick?

There is no question that having an effective air conditioning system is a necessity in Austin, Texas. We experience heat on a scale and consistency that others only have bad dreams about, so you never want to be caught mid-summer without! However, were you aware that your system can potentially be a source for a wide range of discomforts and illnesses?

It’s unfortunate, but it’s also quite true! The good news is that all of the potential problems are avoidable—as long as you know how to identify them and defend against them. Follow along while our team here at Intelligent Air Services walk you through the basics.

The Ways an Air Conditioner Can Cause Health Troubles

If you’re clenching against some dastardly revelation (or rolling your eyes for the same reason) you can rest easy. There is no proof that an air conditioning system could bring on or carry a flu virus, and they’re not likely to harbor any kind of horrible, life-threatening pathogen, either.

The ways a cooling system might be able to complicate health are on a somewhat smaller scale, though in many ways these are no less aggravating. The problems consist of issues on two fronts: allergies and illness brought on by poor air quality, and complications brought on by excessively low humidity levels. Let’s talk about both.

Poor Indoor Air Quality & Allergies

A well-maintained air conditioning system can actually work to mitigate both of these issues, as a healthy filter acts as a fairly powerful catch for allergens and small particles present in indoor air. However, when an air conditioning system is poorly maintained, these particles build up fast and can result in mold growth and allergen-heavy air cycling into our living areas.

This can result in symptoms like headaches, dizziness, sneezing, coughing, fatigue, among others. But there are a few ways to avoid these problems:

  • Replacing air filters frequently. For maximum effectiveness, an air filter should be changed every two months—one month if you suffer from allergies commonly, or if the area you live in is prone to high pollen counts or dust.
  • Installing air quality systems. Sometimes keeping your home clean just isn’t enough. If you struggle against the air quality in Austin, it may be time to talk to your local IAQ expert about air filtration or air purification systems.
  • Staying up to date with AC maintenance. Keeping filters clean can go a long way in helping, but nothing short of professional service is going to get the particles and allergens out of your system on a larger scale. Plus maintenance is a vital part of keeping your system efficient and effective!

Potential Low-Humidity Issues

Whether we’re in the middle of one of our humid spells or not, your air conditioner actually works to dehumidify your home as part of its refrigeration cycle. That means a constantly running cooling unit can reduce your home of moisture to an extreme degree, leaving the air in your living space excessively dry. This can lead to complications like dry skin, nosebleeds and cracked nasal passages, stuffiness, allergy flares, and more.

The answer is a whole-home humidifier! Humidifiers are a cost-efficient and easy way to restore natural humidity ranges in your home (35-50% relative humidity), helping to mitigate the drying aspects of an AC system and keeping your home comfortable.

Indoor Air Quality with Intelligent Air Services in Austin, TX

Contact us today to take advantage of our AC maintenance services, indoor air quality products, or to find out more about the ways to counteract unhealthy air brought on by poorly-maintained air conditioner systems!

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Categories: Indoor Air Quality

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