Humidity And Heat Are Just The Beginning
“When you have an increase in humidity, the humidity itself can trigger asthma,” says asthma expert Susan S. Laubach, MD, an associate physician at the Allergy & Asthma Medical Group and Research Center in San Diego.
Add some heat to that humidity and you have a fertile breeding ground for allergens such as dust mites, which thrive in humid air, and mold. “Mold thrives in moist, warm, dark environments,” says Dr. Laubach. “In the summer, we see an increase in mold.” These allergens also worsen the impact of environmental pollutants, such as exhaust fumes and ozone. A study published in the journal Asthma looked at hot temperatures and asthma exacerbations and found that when the temperature is about 86 degrees, pediatric hospital visits for asthma symptoms increase in proportion with the amount of elemental carbon in the air.
For some, summer heat and humidity may be complicated by seasonal irritants such as smoke from fires. Research published in Environmental Health Perspectives revealed an increase in doctor visits because of respiratory symptoms in a Canadian community surrounded by several forest fires.
So Is Air Conditioners Good For Asthma
Although the air conditioning does not filter the air, it helps people with asthma, because the doors and windows are kept closed, which helps keep pollen and other external irritants and allergens House. A sudden change in the cold to hot temperatures may also cause an asthma attack.
Air conditioners are nice. They keep the freshness of the air and refreshing. They can reduce moisture and trigger airborne. The combination of these effects may improve asthma control. They can make breathing easier. But they can also trigger asthma if aircon cleaning is not properly done.
Control The Indoor Humidity
High humidity makes you feel hotter by a few degrees than the actual room temperature. For asthma sufferers, especially children, it can easily irritate and restrict the air passage, triggering asthma attacks. Furthermore, high humidity also causes condensation on walls and windows, creating a favorable environment for mold growth.
Relative humidity in your Alabama home should be between 40 and 50 percent. Though your air conditioner reduces humidity to some extent, consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier for rapid and more efficient dehumidification.
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Air Conditioning Tips For Asthma Sufferers
Be sure that you dont run your central AC on the fan only setting, as this means the air recirculates without any dehumidifying or cooling functions. You want the unit to condition the air and remove those asthma-triggering particles. If youre worried about the costs of running your AC all summer long, invest in a smart thermostat.
Change the air filter monthly, especially if you have pets. While most experts recommend changing the filter once every three months, this simply wont do for most asthma sufferers. Changing the filter once a month ensures your air conditioner is operating at peak efficiency without being bogged down by clogs.
Dont suffer through your asthma symptoms any longer. Call Air Treatment Inc. at 336-790-3206 to schedule your annual air conditioning maintenance or repair service. Well have you breathing easier in no time.
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What Is Ducted Air Conditioning
A central air conditioning system, in this case, ducted air conditioning, is a means of cooling entire buildings and offices through a series of air ducts connected to a large office air conditioning unit. These are often situated outside the building as they are often large and can be loud.
Alternatively, you can have a split system. This means part of the system is outside and each room has its own small unit. This has the benefit of allowing each room to be cooled allowing for different temperatures.
Commercial air conditioning is usually a duct system as these work better for larger areas as individual units arent required to be installed in each room. On the other side, residential homes often use split systems to allow for individual controls in each room of the house.
If youd like to see more about the commercial air con systems we provide, visit our Air Conditioning Services;page.;
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Other Ways To Reduce Asthma Symptoms
Your air conditioner will do the large part of the work for you during warm weather, so its imperative you have it regularly maintained. Even so, theres still more you can do to eliminate asthma triggers. Wash bedding in hot water and dry on the sanitize cycle. Vacuum furniture and carpets at least once a week with a machine with a HEPA filter.
Check for water leaks and signs of mold frequently. Maintain indoor humidity at 30-50 percent; you can keep an eye on this with a hygrometer.
Keep pets out of your asthmatics room. Dont allow dogs or cats on the furniture. Vacuum carpets and furniture when the individual with asthma isnt around. Keep pets clean and brushed.
Make sure to use vent fans when cooking and in the bathroom. Regularly check your dryer vent making sure its connected.
Kill Allergens With The Latest Technology
Controlling humidity levels and trapping allergens give you a good start. However, what if you could kill bacteria, mold, and other allergy triggers before they have a chance to spread throughout the home? UV lamps, when used in conjunction with your HVAC system, sterilize both the systems coil and the air, killing mold and bacteria. While its a fairly expensive technology to implement, UV lighting is perfect for households that have been dealing with poor indoor air quality.
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Portable Air Conditioner A Good Choice For A Healthy Home
This summer we are likely to spend more time in our homes than ever and with temperatures rising, its time to tackle any issues with our air conditioning. Living in a space that is too hot and sticky can be difficult. Tempers fray, sleep suffers, babies and small children get cranky. But its not just our mood that is impacted. Our health is effected too.
Checking The Air Quality
The air quality index indicates the daily level of pollutants, such as smog. Air quality levels vary daily and between locations. The more pollutants in the air, the harder it can be for a person with asthma to breathe.
The AQI measures air quality on a scale from 0500. The higher the number, the worse the air quality. Air quality tends to be worse on hot and humid days. Staying inside when the air quality is poor might prevent asthma symptoms developing.
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Are Air Conditioners Bad For Asthma
Writing on behalf of my mum whose 75yrs. She was diagnosed with Asthma about a year ago following pnenumonia but hasn’t since had any problems with it although sometimes paint and chemical smells can trigger a cough. It’s very well controlled at present, takes Seretide twice a day which seems to be doing the trick. However this summer she’s been coping very badly with the heat and am thinking of buying a portable air conditioner for her bedroom to help reduce the temperature there. However wondered if the dehumidifying of an air con might be bad for people with asthma? If anyone has any experience/ advice would be grateful. Thanks,
Air con units do dehumidify and can be detrimental to lungs, Some people are OK with them though.
Also, they are quite expensive to run – 800 watts!
I Tried one for 24 hrs…. didn’t get on with it.
I got an air cooler instead. Like a fan but cools the air via a water reservoir which you can add ice to.
Around Â£60 compared to Â£120 for air con.
Just my thoughts….
I’ve found the air con in my car irritates my chest, that said, it’s not so bad if i turn the temp up a bit so not VERY cold. In a room it might not be too bad as it’s a bigger area.
Could you look at renting one for a bit to see how she gets on?
When we’ve been in a hotel room as a family my eldest daughter has been really quite badly affected by air con. She has wheezed and coughed throughout the night.
Cant understand it really.
Why Does Humidity Affect Asthma
Humidity likely causes asthma symptoms because it triggers bronchoconstriction, which is a narrowing of the airways.
Bronchoconstriction may occur because hot, humid air activates C fibers, which are sensory nerve fibers in the airways. Stimulation of C fibers may narrow the airways and stimulate coughing, which makes it difficult to breathe.
High humidity levels create the perfect breeding ground for mold and dust mites, which often trigger asthma. Higher levels of humidity may also increase air pollution. For example, ozone, which is an air pollutant, rises when humidity levels increase.
Increased levels of humidity also often mean higher temperatures. The highest humidity levels usually occur during the summer months. The combination of heat and humidity can irritate the airways making breathing more difficult.
While it is not possible to control the weather and humidity levels outdoors, people can manage humidity-related asthma symptoms by:
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Can Air Conditioning Make You Cough
The most common myth is that air conditioning can cause illnesses such as the common cold and flu. This is, of course, untrue, youre just as likely to catch an illness with or without air conditioning. However, there is some truth when it comes to regular coughing which can be caused through the use of an air conditioner unit.
This is for two main reasons, firstly, air conditioning units can cause the air to be drier as they remove moisture from the room. This dry air can irritate our throat which benefits from humidity and causes a cough. This is why modern AC units often have a humidifier inbuilt to allow for moisture to be re-entered into the air which avoids this problem. If you struggle with this issue, we recommend upgrading your system or installing a humidifier.
The other cause for this can be old, dirty air filters within the air conditioning system. This can add particulates or simply deliver unclean air. This again can cause irritation within the throat which leads to coughing. Its important to ensure your air filter stays clean and is replaced when necessary.;
Air Conditioning And Health
Heat is the primary weather-related cause of death in the United States. In the U.S., an average of 658 people died per year from 1999 to 2009 due to exposure to excessive natural heat. Thankfully according to David Hondula, a professor at the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University1, the number of people that die from heat related causes has decreased over the last decades and this is primarily due to increased use of air conditioning and improved health care.
Our awareness of the importance of indoor air quality has exploded since the corona virus pandemic but for those who have asthma and allergies, indoor air has always been a priority. Indoor air quality has a significant impact on asthma, allergies and other atopic conditions and every year poor indoor air causes more hospital admissions for those with asthma. Both asthma and eczema episodes can flare with changes in temperature and humidity so health experts recommend maintaining a comfortable indoor environment with fairly constant temperature and humidity levels. This is where air conditioning comes in and can significantly improve asthma and allergies.
Interestingly, it has been shown that on those days when outdoor air pollution is high, the cities that have more air conditioner use have less hospital admissions for lung and heart problems. Other studies have shown that children that sleep in non-air conditioned rooms have more asthma and allergy symptoms.
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Do A/cs Create A Better Breathing Environment
The general consensus of experts is probably Yes they do! As noted above, they work great for filtering airborne asthma triggers. They are also great at reducing humidity. The hotter the air the more water it holds. So, during the dog days of summer, the heat and humidity can trigger asthma symptoms. There are a variety of reasons for this.
Hot, sticky, air can feel thick and hard to inhale. This alone may trigger asthma in some. Another reason is that hot and humid air creates a breeding ground for some asthma triggers. Both mold spores and dust mites love this environment.
Mold can grow in this environment without you even being aware of it. And it releases mold spores into the air. They can trigger asthma. Dust mites can also rapidly multiply in this environment. Dust mites and their feces are easily aerosolized and inhaled. They may trigger asthma.
A/Cs work great for both cooling air and at the same time reducing indoor humidity. Most experts recommend that indoor humidity be kept between 30% and 50%. This is ideal for anyone living with chronic lung disease.4
How Does An Air Conditioner Help With Asthma
Allergens such as dust mites and mold spores thrive in warm, moist environments. By turning on your air and keeping it on, youll reduce the amount of these irritants in the air. Your AC unit eliminates these pesky asthma triggers by cooling the air to a temperature where they cant survive. It also pulls moisture from the air, keeping the allergens moist breeding grounds at bay.
With your AC unit running, your air will be circulating constantly. Air that does not circulate becomes a prime place for dust mites, fungus, and mold to grow. Some AC units work poorly and can cause an entire room or floor of your house to become infested with irritants.
Your AC systems main defense against asthma triggers lies in the filter. Having the right filter can make all the difference. Not only do filters improve overall indoor air quality, they catch particles that cause asthma problems. Choose the correct filter as recommended by the manufacturer of your particular heating and cooling system.
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Can Air Conditioning Cause Sinus Problems
Sick building syndrome and the problems that can arise from neglecting maintenance on the AC system can cause more than headaches. People report sinus infections, too, in such buildings. As you may have guessed, damp, moldy buildings are breeding grounds for the type of germs that cause sinus issues.
The remedy? Changing the filters more often, getting your AC system checked regularly by a professional, and setting up a cleaning and maintenance service. This will enable you to breathe cleaner air thats less likely to cause sinus problems.
Let Us Be Your Air Conditioning Professionals
When you love someone with asthma, you want to do everything you can to keep him or her healthy. If youre wondering if your air conditioner is up to par, call McWilliams & Sons Heating and Air Conditioning at 936-465-9191. Well help you with your air conditioner, indoor air quality solutions, and filtration options. Let us be another weapon in your asthma-fighting arsenal today!
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Asthma And Dust In The Home
Dust contains many allergen particles. Some suggestions on how to cut down on the amount of dust in your home include:
- Avoid carpets. If choosing carpet, select short pile or loop carpet, nylon and solution dyed.
- Vacuum or mop floors regularly .
- Hot wash all bedding above 60 ° C every two weeks and dry in direct sunlight.
- Air blankets regularly in direct sunlight.
- Use a damp cloth to dust furniture instead of dry dusting.
- Replace curtains with vertical or roller blinds, which are easier to clean.
- Put doors on any open shelving units.
- Regularly clean ceiling fans and air conditioning vents.
- Vacuum and clean furniture frequently.
Can Air Conditioning Trigger Asthma
For very many years now, it has become general knowledge that the combination of cold air and humidity leads to the swelling of the trachea and the voice box. Asthma patients usually have very sensitive airways and may find that when the North Carolina summer temperatures soar, along with the humidity levels, their asthma signs begin to act up and worsen.
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What Do I Need To Consider
Size of your room
This a good starting point because if your room is very large, then maybe a portable air conditioner isnt the best choice for you. You may be able to find a unit capable of cooling your large area, but the cost may be prohibitive. Instead, if you have the ability to window mount, consider a window unit.
Choosing the right size unit for your space is critical to success. The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is generally measured in British thermal units , a measurement of how much heat a unit can remove from a space per hour. Portable air conditioners use this unit to measure their cooling power, so the higher the BTU rating, the larger the room an air conditioner can cool. On average, an AC unit needs about 20 BTUs per square foot of living space to keep things cool. Dont be tempted to just choose the most powerful unit, as this can lead to its own problems. An oversized unit will reach the demanded temperature too quickly, and will lead to short-cycling and premature breakdowns. On the other hand, if you choose too small a unit, it will have to be run on full power to keep up with demands and your energy bill is not going to be pleasant.
Then, factor in some other variables
- Climate: hotter climates need more cooling
- Number of windows: a lot of windows means a space will need more cooling
- Occupancy: if there a lot of people, temperature will rise
- Heat generating appliances: does your room have many other appliances in it that generate heat?