When summer’s heat becomes unbearable, there is nothing more relieving than entering a place cooled with an air conditioner. Since air conditioners are spread everywhere from homes to offices to public transportation, they are simply unavoidable. An air conditioned environment is one that defies nature so it affects our health both positively and negatively as following:
Health Benefits of Air Conditioning
High temperatures make it hard for us to focus on mental activities and make us almost unable to perform physical activities. Excessive heat also means excessive sweating which might lead to dehydration. That is why air conditioning plays an important role in providing the necessary comfort to increase job performance or facilitate relaxation.
Using an air conditioning system that has good quality can also improve the cleanliness of a room. For instance, colder temperatures decrease the amount of parasites and insects. Air conditioners with good filtering systems can also purify the air from allergens like dust and pollen.
Health Hazards of Air Conditioning
Since air conditioning is used in hot environments, you are vulnerable for rapid changes in temperature and humidity which is harsh on the respiratory system. Moreover, some air conditioners have poor ventilation resulting in the persistence of allergens like fungi and dust. For the former reasons, conditions like throat irritation, pharyngitis and hoarseness can all be caused by poor air conditioning.
Apart from the respiratory system, air conditioning may extremely reduce a room’s humidity causing drying effects on the skin and eyes which is problematic for contact lens users. It can also aggravate eye conditions like blepharitis and conjunctivitis. As for the ears, air conditioning also plays a role in noise pollution.
Tips for Surviving an Air Conditioned Environment
If you can control the temperature of the air conditioner, don’t set it below 21ºC. Otherwise, carry a light jacket with you when entering an extremely cold environment from a rather hot one.