health

7 Signs Your Air Conditioner May Actually Be Making You Sick

IMG_2204 Angela Cook

Summer might be over, but that doesn’t mean we’re done with the heat quite yet. Luckily, we have our amazing air conditioner units!

Air conditioners can truly be a life saver in helping to battle hot homes. In truth, these devices can become some of the best pals we’ve ever had while enduring heat and humidity. There’s nothing quite like turning on your air conditioner after a long day at work, and feeling the cool air on your skin.

But whether you’re an avid user of your air conditioner, or just turn it on from time to time, it’s good to be in the know about what your air conditioner may be doing to your health without you even knowing it.

The fact that my air conditioner might be causing unexpected health side effects came as a huge shock to me. Who knew my A.C. could be raising my blood pressure?

Scroll through the gallery below for seven potential air conditioner side effects you should be aware of, as well as some tips for getting around them.

While this doesn’t mean we should start to fear our air conditioners, it is definitely good to know the potential dangers so we can stay in control of our health!

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Air Conditioner Side Effect #1: Breathing Problems

Air Conditioner Side Effect #1: Breathing Problems
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

The number one issue with having an air conditioner blast cold air into your humble abode or work space is that they are often not cleaned as thoroughly as they should be. Not changing the filters can cause many different kinds of bacteria and fungi to accumulate.

Air conditioners can also be a breeding ground for black mold, due to the high amount of moisture that builds up from condensation that’s created with all the cool air that passes through.

All these micro-organisms living soundly in your air conditioner can potentially lead to respiratory problems.

A quick fix for this is to make sure your air conditioning unit is cleaned regularly and that the filter is also changed every couple of months.

Air Conditioner Side Effect #2: Headaches And Dizziness

Air Conditioner Side Effect #2: Headaches And Dizziness
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

That stuffy, congested, headachy feeling you get after being in an air conditioned building all day long isn’t just you. Truth is, it may be that the air conditioning is the cause.

A study in the International Journal of Epidemiology links working in office buildings with central air conditioning directly to constitutional and neurological symptoms such as fatigue and headaches.

Try turning the temperature up on your air conditioner so that you’re not freezing. Another remedy would be to take frequent breaks to step outside for fresh air and to allow your body temperature to go back to normal.

Air Conditioner Side Effect #3: Dry Skin And Nasal Passages

Air Conditioner Side Effect #3: Dry Skin And Nasal Passages
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Another reason spending quality bonding time with your air conditioner should be lessened is due to the damaging effect it has on your skin.

Being that the cold, dry air causes skin to lose it’s natural moisture, the more time spent in air conditioning, the dryer your skin becomes.

To remedy irritated skin, make sure you’re keeping hydrated with lots of water and using a preferred moisturizer.

Air Conditioner Side Effect #4: Heat Intolerance

Air Conditioner Side Effect #4: Heat Intolerance
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

While most people aren’t fans of extreme heat, the way to tell if you are heat intolerant is if it’s absolutely impossible for you to be comfortable in hot weather.

Individuals who spend more time in an air-controlled environments become more intolerant of the summer swelter. The intolerance stems from moving your body from cool environments to the hot outdoor air.

The best way to prepare your body for the hot air is to try using a fan or opening the window instead. Who knows — you might find it more comfortable than air conditioning.

Air Conditioner Side Effect #5: Symptoms Of A 'Cold'

Air Conditioner Side Effect #5: Symptoms Of A 'Cold'
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

According to Oxford Journals, individuals who spend a lot of time in air-conditioned environments tend to need a high amount of health care services for symptoms of a cold.

In order to ensure that you’re not making weekly trips to the doctor, make sure all aspects of your room, car, and work space are cleaned thoroughly. That includes the carpets, curtains, and anything in your space that might cause dust to accumulate, especially the air conditioner.

Air Conditioner Side Effect #6: Weight Gain

Air Conditioner Side Effect #6: Weight Gain
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Everyday Health says that air conditioning can help maintain our bodies at a temperature in which we feel comfortable enough to not exercise or move much at all. This then causes us to burn fewer calories than we would usually burn in a natural environment where our bodies have to work to adjust to the temperature.

When it’s hot outside, people tend to turn on their air conditioner and enjoy the air rather than go out and exercise. People also tend to eat more when it’s cold which could be the case when one turns on the cool air in their house.

Air Conditioner Side Effect #7: Raised Blood Pressure

Air Conditioner Side Effect #7: Raised Blood Pressure
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

According to Mens-Fitness-and-Health, the temperature in which we live can definitely affect our blood pressure and our overall health.

This is directly linked to the small arteries in our skin constricting to avoid loss of body heat. In turn, this creates a resistance of blood flow and heightened blood pressure.

Those who deal with hypertension can stop this effect on the blood pressure by avoiding cold temperatures and using air conditioning at a bare minimum.

Knowing the potential side effects of using an air conditioner too much can help you to avoid them altogether!

Which of these health effects surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments.

Please SHARE this vital information with anyone you know who may be addicted to their A.C.