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 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 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 deficiencies if they are not maintained: In particular, the legionnaires' disease caused by legionnaires 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 molds are pleased. High humidity arises u.a. by condensation, when hot air cools. Air-conditioning systems must be expertly serviced at least once a year - only such an air-conditioning maintenance can eliminate technical and hygienic defects 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 thus cool office, restaurant or hotel room you 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 - the temperature difference between inside and outside should not exceed 6 ° C. 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 sweating and shivering less often - and thus consumes less energy.

Air conditioners also block the natural summer diet mechanism, especially in the summer, when the heat causes our appetite to decrease.

Maintain air conditioning 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 its fresh food intact home. But be careful when you smell 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 pollen can not make in the car.

The problem here is especially the evaporator in the dashboard. Here, the condensate, which is generated automatically during cooling, 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 concerns above all the passengers of the first class: Since the passengers do not sit quite so closely together here, they dampen also the air exhaling less strongly. 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 around 52 degrees. Before getting into the cabin, the fresh air is warmed up - but wetting them with 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 plenty of water or juice (no alcohol!) And, if necessary, to bring artificial tears to your 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. In immunocompromised patients, however, problems can occur. In case of doubt, a doctor should be consulted. Organ transplanters should plan a flight particularly carefully.

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