Whether you’re allergic to dust, pollen or dog fur, allergies are no fun. Our homes should be a safe place where we feel healthy, but for many of us, this isn’t the case. The quality of the air inside our homes can have a huge effect on our health. This is especially true for people with allergies, but it’s also true for the rest of the population.
Many people claim air conditioning can help with allergies and improve the air quality in your home. But is this always the case? As you’ll find out below the answer is complicated.
Air conditioners can help improve air quality but only if they’re in good working condition. Dirty and underperforming air conditioners may end up making matters worse. Read on to find out more.
So, can air conditioning help allergies?
An air conditioner that is in good condition can help relieve some symptoms for allergy sufferers. The filter inside the air conditioner helps remove harmful particles from the air while clean air is blown out into your room. Particles such as dust mites, pollen and pet fur can all be filtered out by your air conditioner.
Air conditioners also help control the humidity inside a home. It is commonly known that humid conditions can increase the growth of allergens like bacteria, mould and mildew. By drying the air, your air conditioner also helps remove water-soluble irritants like pollen and dust.
Reverse cycle air conditioners have both cooling and heating capabilities which means they can be used all year round to help manage the humidity and air quality inside a home. See our FAQ article for more about reverse cycle air conditioning cost and whether it’s right for your home.
Can air conditioning make allergies worse?
If you start sneezing or coughing every time you switch your air con on, it might feel like you’re allergic to the air conditioner itself! What’s more likely to be the case is that your air conditioner is circulating contaminants or air pollutants that you’re allergic to. Everything from dust mites to pollen, bacteria, pet fur and even mould can be spread by an air conditioner.
This is most often the case for air conditioners that are not well maintained. Air conditioners that are not running in top shape may not be able to regulate the humidity inside your home effectively. Plus dust, bacteria and mould spores can build up inside an air-con system that is not regularly cleaned. With nowhere else to go, these harmful particles can end up being blown into your home.
Top aircon tips for people with allergies
The good news is you’re not completely out of control. There are a number of things you can do to help keep your air conditioner in good working order so that the air quality inside your home stays healthy.
Clean or replace your air-con filter regularly
The filter inside your air conditioning unit is responsible for removing irritants and harmful particles from the air. However, over time these particles build up and have nowhere to go. A dirty air filter can actually decrease the quality of air inside your home.
That’s why it’s important to regularly clean or replace your air conditioner filters. As often as 3-6 months. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines on how often filters should be replaced for the specific system in your home.
Clean the vents of your ducted air conditioner
If you have a ducted air conditioning system, dust and bacteria can build up on the vents in your ceiling. When air is pushed through the vents, some of this dust can be disturbed and blown into your room. To avoid this, make sure you regularly clean the vents in your home.
Turn off your air conditioning unit first. Then use a vacuum cleaner to remove any chunky dirt and dust particles. Finally, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining grime.
Get your air conditioner serviced
An unclean or inefficient air conditioner can end up doing more harm than good, especially for people with allergies. The best way to ensure your air conditioner keeps putting out healthy, good quality air is to get it regularly serviced. A yearly checkup for your air conditioner can make a huge difference. It’s also a great way to spot any issues before they become a big problem.