Are you Considering Air Conditioning?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Canada, although not considered a hot country, does receive its fair share of warm temperatures.  Air conditioners can help reduce the uncomfortable hot or humid weather.  However, before equipping your home, office and vehicle with air conditioners there are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

There are positive aspects of air conditioners:

  • They create a pleasant atmosphere.

  • They can make unbearable heat and humidity bearable by drawing the heat and humidity out of the air.

  • They can provide a white noise for sleeping.

  • They can help cool you and your vehicle down if you are ever stuck in traffic in very high heat, reducing a heat stroke percentage.

Although there are positive aspects to air conditioning, there are some negative aspects to air conditioning as well:

  • Air conditioners can contribute to the growth of mold and microorganisms as water pools and drains from the air conditioner.   This can then spread through the air conditioner and disperse through the environment.  This can lead to respiratory illnesses (such as lung infections).

  • Air conditioners can also spread viruses, pollen, mildew and some forms of disease through the environment. 

  • Can aggravate certain health issues and contaminate the air with organic particles which can lead to symptoms such as headache, breathing difficulties and skin irritations and sinus infections.

  • They dry out skin, eyes and mouths/throats.  Can lead to nosebleeds.

  • Increase in utility bills.

  • Harmful to the environment.  Many air conditioners release hydro fluorocarbons that are damaging to the ozone layer.

  • Decrease one’s ability to tolerate heat when outside (as your body gets used to air conditioning, the body has a harder time adapting to heat outside).

  • Decrease the body’s ability to acclimatize to different temperature and continually self-regulate.  This in turn slows the body’s response to temperature down, and the body does not have to burn as many calories (some would even claim that air conditioners therefore can make you gain weight).

Air conditioners have both positive and negative effects.  Before purchasing or using air conditioners, you should understand the health implications that they may cause.  Make sure that the air conditioner that you are using is maintained often as to prevent the buildup of bacteria, mold and mildew that may be present.