Can Air Conditioners Make You Sick?

Air conditioned comfort has become a 21st century necessity, both at work and at home. However, recent studies have prompted the debate as to whether air conditioning has the ability to make you sick and result in health problems. Is there any merit in this? Does aircon make you sick? Is that reprieve from the stifling summer heat actually causing that lingering common cold?

While a number of research studies have attempted to prove that you can get sick from air conditioning, there’s no conclusive evidence to suggest aircon is anything more than a breath of fresh air from the summer sun. While air conditioners don’t ‘make us sick’, if we neglect regular maintenance and upkeep, we may find our bodies exposed to dust and allergens. These are the main contributors in the deterioration of our immune system and can result in ill health.

The truth of Can Air Conditioners Make You Sick? debate debunked

Yes, we’ve all read the articles stating that the reason that the summer flu hits is due to unnatural levels of climate control and constant exposure to this highly moderated environment. While recycled air may seem unappealing, if well-maintained and correct cleaning processes are maintained, it is far from unsafe. If your air conditioning doesn’t work as intended – to filter and clean the air within your home – it could be a totally different story.

In 2004, a survey was conducted, looking at the work environments of 920 women and their working conditions. The article states that there was a higher instance of sickness and absent work days taken due to illness in those working environments where central-air conditioning was present, compared to offices favouring natural air flow. While these statistics may very well be correct, does this really suggest that air conditioners are making us sick? Maybe there are other contributing factors at play.

Recycled air – the facts

It’s true: poorly maintained air conditioners can be a breeding ground for bacteria and allergens, which could increase our chances of getting sick. When regular cleaning and services are not conducted, air conditioning units have the ability to compromise our health. Those of us who already have weak immune systems, namely children and the elderly, are considered especially vulnerable. This does not, however, mean that air conditioners are dangerous in any way.

Rather than air conditioning itself, it is often dirty filters and units which cause issues in aircon systems and subsequently contribute to health problems. If air conditioners are not cleaned correctly and frequently, they can ultimately act as a hive for bacteria and a breeding ground for germs. This spread of dust and allergens can increase our risk of sickness. So, it’s not actually our air conditioners that are making us sick, but rather a lack of knowledge when it comes to maintaining and cleaning them.

This idea is reflected in the American Lung Association. The institution states that it is not necessarily air conditioners which contribute to health related problems resulting from unclean air, but there are a multitude of factors involved. Cleaning chemicals, garbage disposal and water leaks can all be seen as contributors to producing unclean air, as well as the poor maintenance of air conditioners. Neglecting cleaning and regular maintenance of water spills and rubbish often causes a build up of mould and allergens, which are then released into the air. Contrary to the argument that ‘aircon makes us sick’, the American Lung Association actually states that air conditioning can be positive for certain health conditions, such as asthma. This far from supports the circulated standpoint that our air conditioners are making us sick.

Maintain your aircon regularly

While your air conditioner may not be the source of bouts of sickness, if you fail to maintain your aircon regularly, it may not be doing you many favours. It’s not our aircon that is making us sick, rather a lack of knowledge and upkeep when it comes to maintaining our air conditioning units. With quality products, regular cleaning and servicing, we can be sure that the air passing through our aircon is well filtered and clear of allergens.

Aircon Servicing Company in Singapore

Air quality testing is a great way of determining whether there are any issues with your current air quality and preventing allergens from spreading around your home. Aircon Maintenance Singapore offers unit cleaning services and air testing services in order to ensure that the air you breathe is as allergen free as possible.