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Can Air Conditioning Make People Sick?

Air conditioning only causes sickness when there is something wrong with it. If you are concerned about your air conditioning making people sick, it’s time for a thorough cleaning! Just like we purify our drinking water, we also need to filter the air that goes into our lungs. Every air conditioning system has places for at least one filter, sometimes several. Regularly replacing each filter helps to maintain the cleanliness of the air conditioner, reducing how often the AC unit needs to be cleaned while also capturing loose particles in the air and improving the quality of the air we breathe. On top of regularly replacing filters, routine AC maintenance ensures there’s no buildup of undesirable gunk inside the AC unit.


If you notice your air conditioning causing you or others to cough, it’s time to schedule a cleaning pronto! There are many reasons why air conditioning may cause people to get sick, but the root cause is always gunk trapped on the inside. Common causes include allergens such as dust and pollen, though mold and mildew may also grow in AC units that are well overdue for a cleaning.


Household air contains many common allergens such as dust mites, cat hair, and pollen. Normally, air conditioning helps to filter allergens out of the air, trapping them in filters to be discarded later. However, once filters are filled, they can no longer trap new allergens as they come in. In fact, chunks of dust and pollen can break loose from the filter and rejoin the air supply, causing anyone sensitive to the allergens to cough. This is the most common cause of coughing and sneezing after an air conditioner has been turned on: common allergens being blown into the air due to dirty filters.


If an air conditioner has a leak or clog, it can cause symptoms of sickness through mold or mildew. Moisture builds up inside the AC unit, trapping particles with traces of mold or mildew, causing colonies to grow within. In most cases, the mold or mildew is not directly harmful but triggers an allergic response, resulting in coughing and sneezing, or difficulty breathing in more serious cases.


Whether the problem is household dust, mold, or something in between, there is one solution: have your AC unit cleaned thoroughly by a professional team, then replace the filters regularly to keep the interior clear. Your air conditioning should not be causing sickness, it should be keeping the air cool and clean throughout the summer months. Schedule AC service to get your air conditioner working at peak condition.


If you’re concerned about dust, mold, or other particulate in the air, we also offer a variety of air purification options. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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