Living in a house with proper ventilation is one way to stay healthy. And opening windows and doors to let in a good amount of air is good, but so is using air conditioning. Is an air conditioner always beneficial? Let us discuss air conditioner benefits and side effects.
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Benefits of Using an Air Conditioner
The following are some of the benefits of using an air conditioner in your home or workspace:
1. Humidity Reduction
One of the primary benefits of using an air conditioner in a room is the reduction of humidity. Apart from cooling the air, the unit absorbs the moisture in the air, leaving it less humid. As a result, there are fewer chances of heatstroke, mold growth, and dust mites. It also reduces the chances of dehydration.
If you live in an area with high humidity, an air conditioner is one essential appliance you want to have. It goes beyond just cooling your home; it makes the air healthier. You are less likely to fall sick due to pollutants in the air.
Keeping the air conditioner clean for the best results is also important. If your air conditioner has a dirty or expired air filter, for example, it cannot effectively filter the air in your home. Moreover, it will cause other issues with the unit, such as freezing and component failure over time.
2. Air Quality
Another benefit of having an air conditioner in your space is that it makes the air quality better for breathing. This is part of why you should ensure the air filter is not dirty or overused. Typically, dust and other air pollutants saturate the air, and sometimes, it becomes unhealthy to breathe. This is especially true for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions. It is made even worse when the weather is hot; you risk fatigue, headaches, and cough, among other issues.
However, if there is an air conditioner, the air becomes cleaner and better for breathing. Although there are other options to get an improved air quality in your home or workspace, using an air conditioner remains one of the top options to consider.
3. Elimination of Insect Invasion
If you live in an area with humid weather, you will understand how difficult it can be to keep mosquitoes and other insects at bay. You will always be on the lookout for the best ideas to protect yourself and your home from invasions, especially at night.
But if you use an air conditioner, you will discover a reduction in the number of insects in your home. At some point, there will be a total elimination. Consequently, you reduce the risk of contracting an illness.
How does an air conditioner keep insects out? Insects that thrive in humid or warm weather will have difficulty staying and breeding in cold places. When the weather is cold, you will notice that there are not many mosquitoes and some species of bugs.
Also, a cold place will discourage insects that prefer a damp place. The cool air reduces the moisture in the air and leaves it drier and less habitable for such insects. Besides, your body will be cooler, and mosquitoes prefer warm bodies.
To achieve this, set the air conditioner to Cool operation mode and adjust the temperature five or six degrees below the outside temperature. You may not have the luxury of running your air conditioner all the time due to energy consumption, but you can use a timer to turn it on and off. That way, the room will always be a degree or two lower than the outside temperature.
4. Lower Chances of Heat Stroke and Dehydration
When the weather is hot, your body temperature will rise. If you are unused to such hot weather, you may be at risk of having a heat stroke. The hotter the weather becomes, the more your body temperature rises. However, you can combat it with adequate air conditioning; you eliminate that risk and others associated with it.
In the same vein, hot weather leads to dehydration. You tend to sweat more when hot, and you lose water from your body that way. Drinking water is one way to keep hydrated, but sometimes, it is not enough. You still need to find an adequately cool place to lower your body temperature and reduce sweating. And one of the best ways to stay cool is using an air conditioner.
5. Fewer Asthma Attacks
Dust, pollen, and other particles in the air induce asthma attacks in those already prone to them. And staying indoors does not necessarily reduce the chances of an attack if you leave windows and doors open and there is some wind. Although there are other ways to ensure you do not often get an attack, using an air conditioner is one sure way that keeps you safe.
An air conditioning system will filter the air of pollutants such as dust mites and allergens. It will also reduce the humidity in the air, making mold growth less likely; mold can cause an asthma attack. Ensure you keep the air filter clean; remove and wash it every month. And when it is due for a change, replace it.
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6. Cooler Room Temperature
Fewer things are worse than having to work while profusely sweating. You may fall ill while trying to work under such conditions. How about trying to sleep in sweltering weather? It is near impossible. The lack of sleep and rest may carry over to the next day and mar it.
Therefore, consider using an air conditioner to lower the temperature and make working or sleeping a delight. It will help you think and function better, whether at home, school, or work. You can invest in a portable air conditioner or install other larger types. The point is to make the air healthier and better for living, especially in areas that are infamous for their hot weather.
7. Odor Reduction
Having proper ventilation in an environment with odor is priceless. But sometimes, the odor may come from the outside air that should circulate and clean out other smells. An air conditioner becomes a necessity, not a luxury, in such a situation as it will cycle out the smelly air and leave the room smelling better.
8. Metabolism Improvement
Cold air may help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism. Your body may better develop healthy and energy-burning brown fat in such a weather condition. You may use up stored fat even if you do not have to move around a lot. It does not mean you can eat whatever you like because of a boost in your metabolism. But it may help you lose the fat you already have in your body.
Side Effects of Using an Air Conditioner
As excellent as using an air conditioner in your home or workplace may be, there are also downsides to it. The key is moderation; staying too long in an air-conditioned space is not ideal. Get some fresh air from time to time to stay healthy. The following are side effects of using an air conditioner for too long without a break:
We already said that one of the benefits of using an air conditioner is that it reduces the chances of dehydration. But using it for too long increases the risk of dehydration. As the unit is running and sucking moisture out of the air, it also takes moisture from you, and over time, you may become dehydrated.
If you must regularly use an air conditioner, use the timer such that it turns off and on at certain times of the day. Even if the weather is hot, you can still turn off the air conditioner for brief periods so that you and your skin can breathe fresh air. You can also use a fan when you turn the unit off.
2. Indoor Air
You may notice that you will feel a little sick when you stay in an air-conditioned space for too long. It is similar to the feeling you get when the weather is too hot and you have to sleep or work. After some time, you may begin to feel too tired with headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
But allowing cross ventilation from time to time will let the used-up air out and fresh air into the space. If you have to use the air conditioner for prolonged periods or have no control over it, try going outside for brief periods to get some fresh air into your lungs and clear your head.
3. Airway Irritation
Air conditioning helps with respiratory problems by clearing the air of pollutants. However, air conditioning also causes or aggravates such issues if you excessively use it. You may find that people who alternate between taking fresh air and using an air conditioner are less likely to have respiratory problems than those who always use an air conditioner.
As mentioned before, the key is balance. Do not stay too long in an air-conditioned room; try to get fresh air from time to time. If the weather is hot and you cannot stand the heat, alternate using an air conditioner and a fan.
As much as we would like to remove moisture from the air on warm days, that moisture plays some role in how well you function. When the air becomes too dry due to running an air conditioner constantly, you may find that your eyes are dry.
Dry eyes tend to become itchy and irritated. You will find yourself constantly scratching them, and they may become blurry over time. In other words, there is a risk of developing an eye condition if they are always dry. You can try resting them for a few minutes after an hour or two or turn off the air conditioner for a couple of hours.
5. Air Pollution
Your air conditioning unit may be contributing to the pollution of the air. If you have an older AC unit, it is likely to be using freon or refrigerant that releases chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). They tend to destroy the ozone layer and warm the Earth above normal. While this type of refrigerant is being phased out, quite some air conditioners still use it worldwide.
6. Lower Heat Tolerance
If you use an air conditioner all the time, your tolerance of heat and humidity will drop. In some cases, you will find you can no longer tolerate it at all. In other words, you must use an air conditioner wherever you find yourself.
It may sound great, but it is not always the best practice for your health. Fresh air plays a vital role in your general health status, even more than an air conditioning unit does. Moreover, you will have a hard time adapting to change if you find yourself in a place with air conditioning.
7. Constant Headaches
A poorly maintained air conditioner is dirty; the filter will hardly be washed or replaced, and other components will be in poor order. As a result, the air from the unit will be polluted, contaminating the air around you. Since you must close all outlets, it means breathing in the same air as it keeps circulating. The consequence is that you will have constant headaches, possibly every day.
In addition, constantly using an air conditioner may worsen allergies if you have them. Regularly maintaining and cleaning your unit will keep it clean and in top shape. But if it is dirty, it will contribute to the pollutants in the air because of the microbial allergens breeding in it.
Air Conditioner Benefits and Side Effects – Recap
An air conditioner has become a part of our everyday lives, and many of us cannot function without it. But it is crucial to know its benefits and side effects to make the most of the unit. Not only will it help you maintain the unit, but it will also help you live healthily while using it.
This article on air conditioner benefits and side effects is a complete guide on what to expect when using the unit. Keep in mind that fresh air plays an essential role, so you must allow it to flow freely in your home or workspace from time to time.