Indoor Air Quality: Dangers of HVAC Overuse

Indoor Air Quality: Air Conditioning Overuse and How They Affect Your Health

Escaping from the heat and humidity of the Texas summer leads to a lengthy cooling cycle in homes and offices. Couple that with driving in an air-conditioned vehicle and it is easy to spend 85 to 90% of the time indoors, enjoying cooler air made possible by an air conditioner.

Since you are planning to be indoors for significant amounts of time during the summer months, perhaps you might wonder whether air conditioning poses any health considerations. While air conditioning is not linked to illnesses, air conditioning can contribute to a few health concerns.

  1. You might exhibit heat intolerance. This is most likely a common experience–that discomfort you feel, walking from a cool space to the heat of the day. When you experience a temperature change as wide as 30 degrees, the discomfort can lead to significant stress on your body, resulting in dizziness, headaches, fatigue, or exhaustion. Age and underlying health conditions might enhance the ill effects. Be careful.
  2. Removing humidity can lead to dryness. Air conditioning removes humidity from the air in the process of cooling the air–you see the results under your car after an air-conditioned journey. Drier air can lead to dry skin. Sometimes the dry skin finds relief as you walk outside, but consider moisturizer or sunscreen with moisturizer.

    If you experience dry eyes, you may require artificial tears. Dry ears are susceptible to irritants that can cause cracking and bleeding. Dryness will almost always be felt in your nose and upper respiratory system. Remember, body dehydration can lead to headaches and fatigue, so always hydrate with lots of water.

  3. Be concerned about indoor air quality. Studies show indoor air maybe 5 to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. That makes sense because there is more air outside than inside. Once dust, pollen, and contaminants enter the space, the system circulates them until the filtration system removes them.

    If your home experiences poor indoor air quality, allergens may increase the occurrence of nasal issues, itchy eyes, headaches, dizziness, or difficulty breathing. If you suffer from summertime allergies, trapped allergens might make symptoms worse. Since a vehicle is a much smaller space, this circulation is much quicker.

  4. Dry mucous membranes are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses. Moist mucous membranes in your respiratory system are part of the body’s immune system; this leaves you more vulnerable to contracting colds, flu’s, and other illnesses.

    It also may leave you unexplainable headaches or fatigue. Central air conditioning can also have an impact on chronic illnesses or conditions, including high blood pressure, arthritis, and pain management.

What can you do to protect your family while staying comfortable? A few adjustments will help mitigate some of the concerns of extended air conditioner use.

Have a question about Indoor Air Quality?

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