Air conditioners and their effect on health

How pleasant to escape from a stifling heat in a well-tempered department store or to turn on a cooling fan in the car, while others stick the shirt sweaty on the back - air conditioning systems can not only make life easier in the summer. But they are not completely unproblematic. As pleasant as the cool air on a hot summer day is, the discomfort caused by the air of an air conditioner can be uncomfortable.

Health disadvantage of air conditioners

Many people, for example, who are regularly exposed to air-conditioned air in the office, complain about impairments: excessive drafts, too much cold, too dry mucous membranes. As a result, more diseases occur, in the first place colds, problems with the bronchi and sinuses and increased susceptibility to infection. Also irritated skin and mucous membranes, headaches and concentration disorders are attributed to the conditioned air.

And again and again there are reports that air conditioners also mutate into lackluster maintenance. In particular, Legionnaires 'Legionnaires' disease can lead to severe, potentially fatal pneumonia.

The air conditioning stinks? Cleaning helps.

Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi have an unnoticed and undisturbed life of their own in the filters and pipes of the air conditioning systems. They collect and multiply and are thrown with the air flow directly into the human organism. In high humidity, especially the mold fungus. High humidity is caused by condensation, among other things, when hot air cools down. Air conditioning systems must be expertly serviced at least once a year - only with such an air conditioning maintenance can technical and hygienic defects be remedied in good time.

Air conditioning makes you sick

Even if the air conditioner is optimally maintained, it can have disadvantages: with outside temperatures of 30 or 40 degrees Celsius and high air humidity, everyone sweats. In the air-conditioned and therefore cool office, restaurant or hotel room, one can easily catch a cold - the abrupt change between high and low temperatures stresses the immune system and weakens the immune cells. The sweat cools off suddenly, the dry air additionally irritates the mucous membranes of the upper airways - many types of viruses have an easy game and the stiff neck is not long in coming. In addition, the cardiovascular system is also heavily loaded.

In order to avoid abrupt temperature fluctuations, especially in hot summer, air conditioners should not be set too cool - more than 6 ° C, the temperature difference between inside and outside should not be. If necessary, keep a jacket handy even in summer. American researchers have discovered that air conditioning systems make people fat. What sounds like an April Fool's joke, is explained as follows: In always the same and well-tempered interiors sweat and shiver less frequently - and thus consumes less energy.

Air conditioners also blocked the natural summer diet mechanism, especially in summer, when the heat causes our appetite to be reduced.

Maintain air conditioners in car regularly

In the car air conditioners are becoming more and more standard: If in the sun a car heats up quickly to 50 degrees and more, you are not only grateful for your own cooling, but also that you can transport his fresh food intact home. But beware, if it emits a musty odor. What applies to office space, should also be observed in Mikrokosmos car: The cabin air filter, through which the air of the air conditioner is blown, should be changed about once a year, so that pathogens and pollens can not spread in the car.

The problem here is especially the evaporator in the dashboard. Here, the condensed water, which is generated automatically during cooling, is collected and evaporated. In the humid environment the microorganisms feel particularly well. Evaporators need to be cleaned and best disinfected. In the car, a temperature of 23 to 27 degrees and a humidity of 35 to 65 percent is ideal for driving.

Dry air in the plane

The air in the plane is particularly dry, especially on long journeys, many passengers suffer from irritated eyes. This applies above all to First Class passengers: since passengers are not sitting quite close together, they also dampen the air when exhaling less. While the air humidity in the Economy Class is about 16%, in business class it is only about 10% - pleasant values ​​are between 40 and 60%. At an altitude of ten miles, the outside air is very dry at about 52 degrees. Before getting into the cabin, the fresh air is warmed - but wetting them by air conditioners is not practical:

A jumbo jet would also have to carry a ton of water to achieve a noticeable effect. And that costs fuel. In addition, condensation could disturb the electrical systems. It is therefore advisable to drink a lot of water or juice (no alcohol!) And if necessary to drop artificial tears in the eyes. The air inside the aircraft is exchanged on average 30 times per hour, depending on the type of aircraft. However, part of the used air is not transported outside, but blown back into the machine after a special treatment via filters. Again, germs, especially viruses, spread in the interior of the aircraft.

However, the risk of contracting an infection in this way is low. However, immunodeficient patients may experience problems. If in doubt, a doctor should be consulted. Organ transplanters should plan a plane trip with particular care.

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