Is your air conditioner making you ill?

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An unmaintained air conditioner can not only cost you money in inefficiencies it can also cause health problems. It is important that your air conditioner has a regular service to ensure it is running to maximum efficiency. This also means lower running costs because the unit won’t have to work so hard. However, one most important reason for a regular air conditioning clean is for better health.

Health and the importance air conditioning cleaning

If you or your family have breathing problems, like asthma, a dirty air filter in your air conditioner is a big problem. The air conditioning filter filter is a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and fungi and then this is blown out all  over your family. When these microorganisms go air-borne, they can lead to a multitude of breathing problems, including (in rare instances) potentially fatal infectious pneumonia, Legionnaire’s disease, caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. 

Air conditioners do remove smoke, dust and dirt from the air where it gets trapped in the air filter. And in the past couple months while there have been fires throughout Australia health authorities have been encouraging people to stay indoors with air conditioning on in recycle mode. It is important to note that if your air conditioner has a ‘Fresh Air’ function, to turn this off. This feature allows air from outside to enter the air conditioning system, any air drawn from outside risks bringing in bush fire smoke and the harmful contaminants you want to keep out.

What are the health effects of poor Air Conditioning systems in the workplace?

Sick woman due to dirty air conditioning

In a workplace a dirty air conditioning system can cause a number of health problems that will continue to cycle through staff if the air conditioning units are not regularly cleaned. There are three major categories of health problems  often seen in work places that are often attributed to unmaintained air conditioning systems. They are:

  1. Lungs and respiratory tract problems (runny nose, blocked nose, coughing, sore throat, sneezing.)
  2. Virus and bacteria reactions (fever, chills, headaches, muscular ache, nausea and vomiting. Diseases include influenza, bronchitis and Legionnaire’s Disease) 
  3. Allergic reactions (itchy nose, watering eyes, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughs. Illnesses include sinusitis, asthma and humidifier fever.)

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