CAN AIR CONDITIONING TRIGGER ASTHMA?
Can air conditioning trigger asthma? It’s not the air conditioner itself that’s the cause of any asthma attack, but what’s IN the air that’s moving through the air conditioner. Confused? Curious? Well read on!
When it comes to most everything we do in our lives, often the old saying of “out of sight, out of mind” rings true. This is especially true of the things in the air that’s in our homes – just because we can’t see the bad things in the air doesn’t mean that the bad things aren’t there…
Indoor Air Quality and your AC
Just what are the “bad things” I just mentioned? Well, there are A LOT! But to name just a few there are:
- Pet Dander
- Dust Mites
- Mold Spores
- Chemicals in the air or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)
Indoor air quality (IAQ) has become a BIG concern over recent years, and rightly so. Organizations such as the EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have written lengthy papers on the subject.
The World Health Organization has even identified that the air in an enclosed space (such as an office building or your home) can be more than 20 times higher than the accepted safe guideline values for clean air!
These harmful things in the air can, and do trigger asthma attacks in people with asthma, and can aggravate other breathing challenges as well. Of the five “bad things” in the air I listed above, three are listed by the Mayo Clinic as common triggers of asthma.
Even if you don’t suffer from any breathing challenges, all the things I listed above can still negatively affect the health of your home and anyone inside it.
“Gosh, that’s terrible! What can I do?!?” I’m glad you asked! (and are paying attention) There are three things that you can (and definitely should) do: have your HVAC system serviced, and then get aggressive with you air filtration and air purification. I’ll expand on these below:
Clean up your HVAC system:
Regular preventative maintenance includes cleaning the indoor evaporator coil where a lot of the objectionable microbial growth can occur.
This cleaning kills and inhibits these things from getting back into the air of the home, but regular cleaning only does so much by itself – we need to get aggressive!
Since we only clean the indoor evaporator coil once per year during the A/C service, we need something that lasts in between visits. That leads us into:
Filter what you can see:
Filtration is the first part of healthy and clean air – it means getting rid of the things in the air you can see (like dust and pet hair)
Using the right air filters can remove the small particles in your air that contain allergens, and by removing those allergens we get cleaner air.
Since all the air in the home eventually passes through the filter, it only makes sense that we use the best filter we can for the job of getting the allergens out.
Purify what you can’t see:
Purification is the final part of healthy and clean air – it means getting rid of the microscopic organisms and harmful pollutants in our homes that are too small for the filter to catch.
Ultraviolet lights, PhotoCatalytic Oxidation elements and ionizers installed in your home HVAC system will remove these harmful things and insure you get the cleanest air possible.
To get the best performance out of these products, combine them with a “smart” thermostat that can run the blower fan in a “circulate” mode during system off cycles, you can get the most air moving through both the filter and purifier.
By combining the above three things into your home air conditioning system, you can drastically reduce the impact of such irritants as pet dander, pollen, dust mites, mold spores and VOC’s. So remember – it’s not your air conditioner that triggers your asthma or other breathing challenges, it’s what’s in your air!