Studies have shown that going from one extreme temperature to the opposite end of the spectrum can actually cause physical reactions. Simply walking into a cold, dry room can initiate a runny nose, for instance. It may not have anything to do with the quality of the air itself, but the drastic temperature difference from the air outdoors.
HVAC systems are built with filters. These are there to, as the name suggests, help filter out the air that is being conditioned. This usually contributes to a higher quality air, however, these filters need to be regularly cleaned or changed out in order to maintain effectiveness. If this regular maintenance is not completed, particles can become trapped in the filters for extended periods of time, slowly releasing smaller pieces into the air that circulates through the house.
These particles can be any number of allergy-inducing triggers or other irritants such as pollen, mold spores, pollutants, dust and dust mites, and more. While many of these are caught within the filters, if they go without being changed for a while, the air pressure can eventually push them through. Some of the symptoms that result from these particles can be minor or temporary, while others can be long-lasting and result in further issues, such as mold poisoning or asthma.
While air conditioners can certainly contribute to allergies and exacerbate them, when the units are properly and regularly maintained, they can actually help to prevent allergies from happening. During warmer months when you are running your air conditioner more often, you should also increase the frequency at which you are changing out your filters.
Doing minor cleaning of your unit yourself can also help to cut down on the number of irritants that are present in your inside air as well. Spraying off the exterior (NOT with a power washer, as that will cause damage), and checking to make sure there is no excess debris, are good ways to start.
Investing in a high-quality air conditioner sure and using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) certified filters can actually improve your air quality control inside as well. If you or another member of the household suffer from allergies, this investment will definitely be worth it.
Failure to properly maintain your air conditioner can certainly lead to issues with allergies. However, by simply completing a few regular maintenance duties, your unit can actually serve to prevent major allergy issues.
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