2015 saw temperatures rise as high as 98F (36.7C) - the highest being felt in the southern part of the UK.
While many people flocked to beaches and parks, you might have wanted to find more peaceful comfort—without the crowds—in your own air conditioned flat. And enjoy cool relief from your AC system.
But should you breathe easy in an air conditioned space?
Circulating Bad Air
Air conditioning will prevent heat stroke. You’ll want to have the right AC system professionally installed in your home when you have kids and/or live with people who have weak immune systems, as these are the very ones vulnerable to heat-related illness.
However, our 30 years of experience has taught us that an AC system will only pose a few health issues when it isn’t maintained and serviced properly.
Health problems are directly linked to AC systems because they can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. When moisture builds up in the coils and fan blades, mould and fungus could grow and, consequently, get blown into the air—throughout your flat or office.
Meanwhile, AC systems that have not been cleaned and have never had their filters replaced could circulate airborne bacteria. Circulated “bad” air has been linked to breathing problems, respiratory infections (from the common cold to tonsillitis), and allergies.
A recent study of 770 office staff even reveals that people in air conditioned spaces are two and a half more times likely to suffer from respiratory infections. Air conditioners can contribute to what is known as sick building syndrome, which manifests a variety of conditions.
Well-maintained ACs, Clean Air
But your AC system will only pose a health hazard if you neglect to maintain it. Your AC system needs to be serviced by certified technicians to make sure that it runs properly. We recommend getting your unit cleaned, the filter changed (according to manufacturer recommendation), and the components checked for any signs of trouble.
For offices, the sick building syndrome could be the result of little to no maintenance and poor design when the unit fails to maintain adequate humidity levels.
Moreover, other factors could be at play when health problems arise in air conditioned spaces. The NHS recommends considering workload stress, lack of breaks, and unhealthy diets as contributing factors to sick building syndrome.
A clean and well-maintained AC system will not only deliver comfort when temperatures soar. It can also ease allergies by filtering airborne pollen that might circulate indoors and lower humidity to decrease dust mites and mould growth. So look after your AC system. And it will also “look after you.”