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One of the key missions of UrbanMeisters.com is to make this website a collaborative platform.

U + Me joining hands to re-write the story of urban lifestyle with bold green strokes! We have always maintained that the real UrbanMeisters are you readers, coping with pollution and unhealthy lifestyles in your own big and small ways. And we want to partake of that knowledge and practical experience because that for us is an inspiration.

When you write back to us saying our posts motivated you to take up the fight against any green topic close to your heart or affecting you, then we’ve done our job and done it well! And this adulation was in store for us this week as one of our readers wrote back to us saying that our post on indoor air pollution in offices really inspired her to write a piece on one of the other major indoor pollutants that we ignore- Air Conditioning!

We’re thrilled to welcome our first Guest Writer as she takes us through how air conditioning causes major respiratory illnesses & tips on how to minimise damage from it. It’s a real gem because air conditioning is something we CANNOT live without especially true for our friends in the United States, where 87&  of households are equipped with an AC (Source). Also Asia & India, where with 7-8 month long summers the ACs are on full blast in homes, cars, offices & social venues! So how to exercise caution and manage this indoor air pollutant- our guest writer tells us all:

 


 

[GUEST WRITER] Is Your Air Conditioner Making You Sick?

How could an air conditioner possibly contribute to respiratory illness? Can being in a building with a running air conditioner really give you a cold? Does exposure to cold air make you more susceptible to a respiratory infection?

The answers to those questions are more complex than just a simple yes or no.

Let’s learn more about the link between air conditioners and illness.

 

Is There A Connection Between Air Conditioning & Sickness?

beautiful girl catching a cold

Air conditioners have been linked to an increase in respiratory illnesses, such as colds. According to one 2004 study, women who worked in an office with air conditioning had more absences due to sickness and more frequent visits to ear, nose and throat doctors. Another study found that most employees who worked in air-conditioned offices suffered more illnesses than those who worked in offices with natural ventilation systems. Numerous studies have linked air conditioners to respiratory illness, but what is the connection?

 

What’s the Connection Between air conditioning & respiratory problems ?

The overwhelming conclusion of the studies that have been conducted is that the answer lies in germs. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Air conditioners circulate air continuously and with that air comes the germs it contains. Air conditioners are essentially circulating germs, mold and bacteria all day long. It is no wonder that a continuous exposure to airborne microbes would lead to an increase in respiratory illnesses.

Air conditioner panel with dirty dusting

Air conditioner panel with dirty dusting

This re-circulation of air not only exposes you to constant microorganisms, it also extracts moisture from the air and essentially dries out your nasal passages. A certain level of moisture is necessary for your respiratory system to effectively fight off viruses, and when your nasal passages become excessively dry, your immune system can become more susceptible to illness.

 

How Can You Avoid Illness caused by air conditioning?

There might not be much that you can do about the air conditioner in your office, but you can certainly prevent some of these negative effects in your home. While your air conditioner is always going to circulate air (and with it some germs), you can take steps to keep your air conditioner—and your air—as clean as possible.

  1. Consult an HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning) specialist and have them clean your air conditioner, removing any mold or bacteria that may exist.
  2. Have a professional tune-up your AC unit annually.
  3. If any water damage occurs, clean it up immediately to prevent the growth of mold or mildew.
  4. Use your bathroom ventilation when showering to reduce moisture.
  5. Consider buying an air purifier system or for a more effective solution, contact a licensed heating and cooling company regarding IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) services for your home.

There are many steps you can take to keep your household healthy and prevent your air conditioner from increasing your chances of illness. UrbanMeisters readers in the United States can contact the team of experts at Cool Blew, Inc.

 


 

We would love to have more of our readers to co-author with us or publish their own articles on this forum!  We welcome all contributions with a wide green smile! Share your knowledge, tips, opinions and join us in making this ongoing conversation greener, richer & more vibrant. Let others benefit form your experience and awareness.

To co-author or publish an article or a video about the field you “meister” or feel passionately about, send us a quick description of what you would like to write about on contactus@urbanmeisters.com and we will contact you. You can also fill in a short form here and submit directly to us.

Come let us together write the story of a greener lifestyle!

 

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