Air conditioners are indeed our savior in the months when there is absolutely no respite from the heat. Now, air conditioners aren't the innocent lambs you think they are! There are many side effects of air conditioners on health as well as 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 may experience chronic headaches and fatigue which leaves them vulnerable to contracting cold, flu, and other illnesses.
Dry Skin Air conditioner sucks out moisture from the surroundings including the skin if you are spending long hours in an air-conditioned environment. If you are not pampering your skin with the right moisturizers, your skin will soon start feeling dry.
Exacerbates Effects of Chronic Illness ACS are known for increasing the symptoms of low blood pressure, arthritis, and neuritis. So if you are already suffering from illness, an air-conditioned environment will only enhance it making you more vulnerable.
Inability to Deal With Heat Going suddenly from a cool environment to an outdoor hot environment can actually indu
ce stress. This will make you intolerant to heat or hot temperatures during summer.
Breathing Problems This is one of the common side effects of cold air conditioning. The effects of air conditioning on the lungs are fatal. Air conditioners are also known to circulate air-borne diseases such as Legionnaires' disease, a potentially fatal infectious disease that produces high fever and pneumonia.
There are many ways in which one can avoid the side effects of air conditioners. Even though we may not fully avoid it, we can definitely reduce these side effects by taking the necessary precautions. Some of the measures are mentioned below: How to Avoid Side Effects of Air Conditioners
Restraint - ACs are not meant to run for hours and hours. It is like having a hole in your wallet. As mentioned earlier, the temperature of the AC should be a degree or two below the room temperature. So keep your AC at 22-21 degrees max, let it run for two hours and then switch it off. The use of air conditioners has increased HCFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons) release by 20-30 percent which has set back 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 the indoor air quality. Exposure to those pollutants can trigger a host of health problems, including allergies, asthma, and eye, nose, and, throat irritation.
Yearly Maintenance Check - Most of the time, dust from the room and the use of powders, etc., can jam up the AC. This obviously poses respiratory concerns. Personally, I have woken up in the middle of the night sneezing like a maniac! Therefore having allergies during summer can be worsened if your AC is not maintained properly.
Adequate Ventilation - Allowing fresh air to come in can help reduce indoor contaminants. Cold air is heavy and dense and can make breathing difficult. Having ventilated spaces allows normal and better breathing. An AC can be kept on for 2-3 hours and when not in use, make sure to open your windows to let the fresh air come in. The body is more suited to the fresh air outside than the air in a heavily air-conditioned room.
Air Cleanser - Having air cleaning 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 nose bridge are prone to drying out. This is because the AC sucks out moisture from your skin. applying olive oil or a moisturizer is recommended. Also, having a humidifier installed professionally can help solve this problem.
Go Out, Inhale Fresh Air - Getting accustomed 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 leaner diet. The AC can lull you into a beautiful sleep but it just makes you lethargic. Nowadays, even gyms are installed with 5-6 ACs which completely defeats the purpose of sweating it out! Remember No Sweat, No Pain, No Gain. Spending some time out allows the body to adjust to the temperatures and remain active.
Get Your Car AC Checked - 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 out of 25 cars tested. Air fresheners can mask the bad odor but the mold still persists.
Reduce Over Dependence on ACs - The only way to deal with rising temperatures is to adapt to them. Summer months are meant to be hot. But our bodies have the power of adaptability. Think about this, if farmers in the dry drought-ridden deserts of Rajasthan can live without fans, is it really difficult to stay without an air conditioner just for a few hours?