The Connection Between Air Conditioning and Allergies
If you’re the type of person who walks into an air conditioned room or car and immediately begins to cough or sneeze, then you might be wondering if there is a connection between air conditioning and allergies. However, medical experts agree that this simply isn’t the case. In fact air conditioning is generally prescribed to those who suffer with seasonal allergies.
If not allergies, then what is behind your coughing and sneezing? Actually, there are a few possible explanations for why some people experience cold or allergy-like symptoms in air conditioned rooms.
Lack of Maintenance
The first is simply lack of unit maintenance. A poorly maintained air conditioning system can end up with excess moisture around the unit. This moisture can promote bacteria, which in turn is blown out into the room and into your nose and mouth. When this is paired with the body’s natural response to going from a hot environment (outdoors) to a chilly one (an air conditioned room), then certain allergy or cold like reactions may occur.
In addition to cooling your home, your air conditioner is also responsible for reducing humidity. This prevents you from experiencing a moist, clammy feeling when you step into an air conditioned room. However, some people may be sensitive to the feeling of dryness in a room, which can then result in coughing. To alleviate this, it may be necessary to make use of a humidifier. You can purchase a stand-alone unit or invest in a whole home humidifier.
Air Conditioning and Allergies Actually Go Hand in Hand
While some people may be sensitive to the lack of humidity or to a poorly maintained air conditioner, the truth is that air conditioners are highly recommended for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis. When it’s hot outside and pollen counts are high, it’s best to stay indoors, keep the windows closed and to sit in a well air conditioned room. If applicable, be sure to use high-efficiency filters in your air conditioner and have your unit maintained on a regular basis.
If you would like to learn more about air conditioner maintenance, please contact your local Reliance home comfort specialist.