In the high temperatures and heat waves of the Las Vegas summer, air conditioners are a modern miracle. So with that being said, let’s talk about them!
Time and time again, air conditioners have been an essential part of climate control for homes and businesses. However, while these can bring comfort and convenience, we can’t deny that they may also have unapparent side effects. This can hamper one’s lifestyle and bring health problems if not used properly.
There is a lot of talk about the implications of having an air conditioner in your home.
- What are the health effects of air conditioners when used irresponsibly?
- What respiratory risks and problems do they bring?
- Is it safe to use air-conditioners in intense seasons like the summer?
- What are the pros and cons when buying an air conditioner?
- How can you avoid poor indoor air quality?
First, you must identify which part of your home you would like to install your air conditioning unit. It also helps to consider how strong its emissions will be.
In this blog, let’s learn more about air-conditioners, their adverse effects, and some of the life hacks you can use to make them function more effectively.
What Is An Air Conditioner?
An air conditioner is an appliance or a mechanical system that controls your indoor environment temperature. It aims to bring the right temperature to your space for added comfort.
It’s positioned in the external wall and circulates the outside air into the ventilation ducts.
The use of an air conditioner removes excess moisture from the air through evaporation and releases humidity to bring cool air.
The most commonly used air conditioning units are window-type and central cooling systems.
Signs Your AC Might Be Affecting Your Health.
Air conditioner maintenance is a huge deal. If you fail to fix the minor issues in your air conditioning unit as time goes by, you might be in for some next-level stress.
Say, for example, you ignore the strange sounds your unit makes while it releases cold air. You may not know it, but this could be a sign that your air conditioner unit has a busted compressor or a refrigerant leak.
Aside from adding stress to your everyday routine, troubles with the air conditioner may also lead to various health concerns and respiratory infections. Thus, you need to pay attention to the minor negative signs your unit is showing.
When you notice black spots or odd smells in your room or office when using your air conditioner, you’ll know you’re having mold and mildew problems.
Do not ignore these alarming signs of that something is wrong. Mold and mildew lead to poor indoor air quality. And when left unchecked, they can result in breathing difficulties, chest congestion, and even allergies.
Poorly maintained AC causes bacteria and other contaminants to circulate in the air, which can irritate your mucous membrane and put your blood vessels at risk.
When this happens, your nasal passages become inflamed, and you’re prone to experiencing sinusitis and sore throat.
Air conditioning units can stir up allergens that cause issues like nasal congestion. People who are allergic to mold and pollen, among other things, must stay cautious as they may be at risk to chronic diseases.
Allergic rhinitis is one of the potential effects of allergens in the air. Its symptoms are sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and postnasal drip.
Another problem that can cause an allergic reaction are dust mites. These are microscopic insects that thrive in warm conditions — like those associated with your central air unit.
Shortness Of Breath Or Wheezing
These might be due to asthma or another respiratory disease. But sometimes, this is not the case.
A doctor should always check out symptoms like these because your environment could cause them. If you’re constantly unwell or experiencing respiratory problems, it can start to impact your immune system.
Dry Eyes & Skin
Experts say that exposure to the air conditioner that’s been running a long time can cause dry eyes, face, and skin irritation. The cold temperature makes it hard for your body to absorb moisture.
Adverse Effects Of The Summer Heat
While we’ve discussed the adverse effects of too much exposure to air conditioners on your health, we can’t deny the risks brought by the summer heatwaves as well.
Constant exposure to the heat during the summer months for long hours can negatively impact your health. On average, studies show that the number of heat-related deaths in the U.S. is over 600. And this generally happens during the summer.
We’ve all experienced rushing inside office buildings, car, or even our house with air conditioning for some relief from the heat on a hot day. Prolonged exposure to sweltering heat can cause fainting, heatstroke, and other heat-related illnesses.
The best thing to do is to reduce your exposure to the sun during the summer and be mindful of the following health risks brought by the summer heat:
Low Blood Sugar levels Due To Type 1 Diabetes
Excessive thirst and secretion of urine brought by summer heat can lead to dehydration. This results in a drop in your blood sugar.
If you are a diabetic patient, you need to be cautious during the hot season. You might risk your sugar level dropping due to elevated temperatures. This may have adverse effects on your health.
Heat exhaustion is one of the most common problems caused by hot weather and high humidity. It can slow down cognitive function as well as lead to dehydration, low blood pressure, headache, and even heart disease. In the case of extreme heatwaves, you should remain indoors at lower temperatures.
Aside from that, it is also helpful to stay away from drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of salt. It’s best to go for cool liquids and wear loose-fitting clothes to avoid heatstroke.
If you experience any unusual health issues, immediately contact local emergency services, lie down in a cool area, and drink plenty of water.
Lack Of Sleep
Sudden rise in temperature can cause a rise in your body temperature too. This is one of the main reasons you stay awake and uncomfortable at night, leading to a lack of sleep.
Not getting sufficient sleep can have adverse effects on your health and bodily systems.
Prolonged exposure to extreme heat may cause nausea that may lead to vomiting. Adults, children, and even our pets can experience heat and sun sickness.
If you notice someone getting nauseous from heat exhaustion, try to cool them down the best you can. You can either run them a cold bath or put them in front of a fan while misting them in cold water.
Another great way to combat heat exhaustion is with ice packs. Place ice packs on the groin and under the armpits to better ease the discomfort.
Indoor Air Quality Tips For Summer 2022
Air conditioners may be complex machines. But just like humans, air conditioners are also sensitive. They can get sick and lead the entire building they’re located in to get sick too.
With that being said, it’s safe to say that even these hunks of plastic and metal need some TLC to perform at their best.
With the proper attention to your properly maintained AC systems, it can provide health benefits to you and your family members by filtering out the pollutants and keeping your indoor air clean.
Here are some of the basic steps to keep your air conditioner healthy and functional:
Check Your Air Filters Regularly
Dirty filters are the leading cause of poor air quality and AC-related headaches, sickness, and viruses. With this in mind, always clean your filters with a vacuum cleaner or wash them in warm, soapy water. Clean filters help increase the comfort in your home.
Along with cleaning, you want to get regular filter changes done. As a rule of thumb, change your filters every three months. According to the CDC, a dirty system could circulate viral infections, like the flu, in your air. The jury is still out on this one as the research continues.
Clean The Coils Well
Keep The Air Vents Unobstructed At All Times
Dust and dirt will continually block airflow, which will lead to decreased performance, and improper functioning of your AC unit.
Keep The Condenser Coil Clean
Clean your condenser coil regularly with a garden hose, or place it under running water for about five minutes. You can also use a soft brush for brushing away dirt. Ensure you do not use any harsh chemicals or detergents while cleaning the condenser coil. Certain chemicals might damage it permanently, affecting how these units work. The last thing you want is a broken AC or HVAC system in hot weather and extreme heat.
Check On The Fan
Check whether the fan is moving correctly. And if there are any glitches in its functioning, contact your insurance provider right away!
Make sure the fan is not damaged. Check the fins on the outside of the motor for any dents or bends. If there are any present, straighten them out as best you can with pliers before turning on your unit again. It’s also important to clear any leaves or debris from around the base of your air conditioning unit which could block air flow into the fan.
To clean your fan, simply disconnect it from its electrical source and wipe it down with soap and water. For tougher stains, you may want to try using bleach or a household cleaner that doesn’t contain ammonia. Ammonia, when mixed with bleach produces toxic fumes. Overall, you when handling strong cleaning chemicals like bleach, you want to ensure you are in a well-ventilated area.
Your HVAC fan is the most important component of your HVAC system. The unit is used to blow air across the condenser coil, which in turn draws heat from inside your home. If there’s a problem with your fan, you’ll have a hard time cooling down in warm weather.
The warm, enclosed environment that your air conditioner provides can be a breeding ground for mold and other dirt particles. Leaks during the summer heat cause moisture, which can result in mold in your home or business.
To prevent dirty air, you must check these areas regularly:
- Water leaks from the air conditioning unit itself or a pipe outside the home are among the most common reasons mold grows.
- Water may also enter through a roof or wall. If a roof has no insulation against leaks, water may come through holes in the roof decking, or soffit vents.
- Leaks behind walls may cause damage to drywall and insulation. This leads to a musty smell and visible mold growing around the wall and surfaces around your HVAC unit.
- A blocked condensate line will also cause water to build up around the HVAC unit. And this will also lead to mold growth if left unchecked.
Unit Repair And Replacement
Repairing or replacing your AC systems might be a terribly difficult decision. While the cost of a new HVAC system can be daunting, the cost of repair can be even greater. With that in mind, you need to be diligent about choosing the most cost-effective path for yourself.
You might think it’s more environmentally conscious to repair your air conditioner. However, the truth is, the older the model, the the less likely it is to meet the current standards for energy efficiency. So, restoring an older system might cost you more money in the long run. You can end up paying more for a unit that can’t achieve the right temperature. There’s a lot that goes into making the right choice.
New energy-efficient systems have a much lower operating cost than older, less efficient, models. In addition, most HVAC systems last for about 15 years. Use this information to help you assess your unique situation.
If you choose to repair your air conditioner, you’ll need to determine if you can solve the issue quickly. Suppose it’s something small like a fan motor repair or a capacitor replacement. In that case, those are typically more straightforward fixes that won’t set your budget back by too much.
If your issue is more complex, such as a refrigerant leak or compressor failure, it might require multiple technicians and several hours of labor to complete repairs and maintenance.
Your air conditioner is a saving grace in the summer. Regular maintenance is vital to ensure your AC unit performs at its best and brings the health benefits of clean air. Inadequate maintenance, on the other hand, tends to bring a lot more stress to your body, mind, and budget.
With the proper care and maintenance on a regular basis, your system can serve you for years to come!
Your best option is to get this job done with the help of our HVAC experts and technicians. Our team is ready to answer all of your questions. Contact The Cooling Company to get your AC prepared for any season.