The Health Effects of Air Conditioning
It’s the dog days of August and not only is the temperature high, but the humidity may also make it difficult to breathe outdoors. One of the saving graces that people have to combat the hot weather is air conditioning. Whether you are at work, in your home, at a shopping center or in your car, a cold air conditioner can be a very welcome relief. However, despite the fact that air conditioners can offer temporary relief from the hot and humid weather, it also can potentially be a source of health concerns to people of all ages.
Positives of Air Conditioning
On a hot, humid day, one of the most refreshing moments is when you step into an air conditioned room or auto. This blast of cold can be extremely useful for people in helping them to improve breathing. In fact, for many people that suffer from chronic illnesses with breathing problems, air conditioning can be critical for patients to continue to breathe properly. Also, by using air conditioning or air purifiers, you can improve the quality of the air in your home or office; however, to ensure that it is beneficial, the air systems need to be cleaned and checked on a regular basis.
- Cutting Premature Deaths - Washington Post article that lists a study showing that premature deaths are cut on hot days.
- Heat is Hard on the Heart - Harvard University Health publication which explains why the heat is bad for people's hearts.
- Climate Effects on Human Health - Useful page which looks at the various changes in climate can have on people.
- Keeping Cool in Hot Weather - Informative page which provides information on how you can keep cool in the hot weather.
- Reducing Indoor Health Risks (PDF) - Comprehensive publication which looks at a number of helpful was to reduce indoor air health risks.
- Indoor Air Quality - This Florida Health article looks at the overview of improving indoor quality of the air.
- Easy ways you can improve indoor air quality- Article from Harvard Medical School on easy ways to improve your indoor air.
Negatives of Air Conditioning
While air conditioning offers relief from oppressive heat and humidity, there are also some health concerns that people should be aware of. Unless systems are cleaned regularly, air conditioners can be a source of health issues. Air contamination can become a severe problem that contributes to respiratory ailments in people. Additionally, air conditioning at work and home can lead to problems, such as colds, fevers, headaches and fatigue.
- Indoor Pollutants - In this article you will learn about the various indoor pollutants and why they can be hazardous to your health.
- Indoor Air Quality Dangers - A useful page which looks at the various dangers that can be in the air of your home.
- Mold in the Workplace (PDF) - In this web page you will learn about the dangers of mold in air systems and how they can't be ignored.
- Indoor Air and Health - Medical information on how the air that we breathe can be dangerous.
- OSHA Indoor Air Guidelines - Informative government page which provides employers with needed information on indoor air quality.
- Preventing Illness and Injury in the Workplace (PDF) - This comprehensive guide for employers lists a wide range of potential danger areas in the workplace.
- Can Air Conditioning Make You Sick? - Article that looks at how colder air can make you sick.
- Sick Building Syndrome - In this page you will learn about the problem that can arise from faulty or dirty air conditioning systems.
Air conditioning has been a big part of our everyday life, especially during the summer months. There are both positives and negatives for regular usage. To determine whether air conditioning is useful for you, that decision is yours. We hope that this information has been useful in determining whether you should use air conditioning. Please feel free to share this information with others facing the same decision.