As the weather gets warmer here, just like it is known to do, we start to utilize our air conditioners more. When this happens, a lot of people start to notice more allergy-like symptoms, even if they have not spent an increased amount of time indoors. Did you know that air conditioners, especially ones that are not regularly cleaned and maintained, can actually contribute to allergies and other similar physical reactions? Let’s check out why this happens.
Studies have shown that going from one extreme temperature to the opposite end of the spectrum can actually cause physical reactions. Simply walking into a cold, dry room can initiate a runny nose, for instance. It may not have anything to do with the quality of the air itself, but the drastic temperature difference from the air outdoors.
Air conditioners are built with filters. These are there to, as the name suggests, help filter out the air that is being cooled. This usually contributes to a higher quality air, however, these filters need to be regularly cleaned or changed out in order to maintain effectiveness. If this regular maintenance is not completed, particles can become trapped in the filters for extended periods of time, slowly releasing smaller pieces into the air that circulates through the house.
These particles can be any number of allergy-inducing triggers or other irritants such as pollen, mold spores, pollutants, dust and dust mites, and more. While many of these are caught within the filters, if they go without being changed for a while, the air pressure can eventually push them through. Some of the symptoms that result from these particles can be minor or temporary, while others can be long lasting and result in further issues, such as mold poisoning or asthma.
While air conditioners can certainly contribute to allergies and exacerbate them, when the units are properly and regularly maintained, they can actually help to prevent allergies from happening. During warmer months when you are running your air conditioner more often, you should also increase the frequency at which you are changing out your filters.
Doing minor cleaning of your unit yourself can also help to cut down on the number of irritants that are present in your inside air as well. Spraying off the exterior (NOT with a power washer, as that will cause damage), and checking to make sure there is no excess debris, are good ways to start.
Investing in a high quality air conditioner sure and using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) certified filters can actually improve the quality of your air inside as well. If you or another member of the household suffer from allergies, this investment will definitely be worth it.
Failure to properly maintain your air conditioner can certainly lead to issues with allergies. However, by simply completing a few regular maintenance duties, your unit can actually serve to prevent major allergy issues. Have questions about your AC, or want a professional to perform some maintenance? Contact our team of experts today.