Runny nose, sore throat and headache. Air conditioning is one of the many joys of modern comfort but it can sometimes cause some inconvenience, minor for the most part. Here are some precautions to know to enjoy it in peace.
In summer, intense heat can disrupt, especially in the city. In these cases, it is preferable to take refuge in an air-conditioned room, whether to work or relax. Nevertheless, a few precautions of use are to be respected so as not to be subjected to full blows the inconveniences related to the systems of air-conditioning.
Air conditioning: attention to Thermal Shock.
A little fresh air does not hurt but beware, not too much. Therefore, first use precaution, avoid adjusting the temperature to 18 ° C if it is more than 30 ° c outside. Our body is particularly sensitive to large temperature variations (above 10 ° C). Loss of consciousness and in the most severe cases respiratory arrest can be caused by so-called thermal shock.
Therefore, be sure to adjust the air conditioning temperature: the temperature difference between the air-conditioned room and the outside must not exceed 8 ° C. You can talk to your staff representative if you are an employee.
Small trick: In your car or in the office, at work, leave a vest, a sweater or a scarf, in short – what to cover you. This will prevent you from being too cold and feeling too suddenly the temperature differences between the outside and the inside.
At work, the employer must also provide employees with fresh and safe drinking water, which is useful when the outside temperature is around 40° C, normally 32° C inside with the air conditioning.
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Air conditioning problems.
Besides the thermal shock, air conditioning is mostly known for sneezing and sinking the nose, in the mildest cases. Indeed, it can be the cause of discomforts like mushrooms, allergies (provoked or reinforced) and other ENT affections.
Less well known syndrome of unhealthy buildings is to say the least confusing. It is a very diverse set of symptoms (ENT, respiratory, ocular, cutaneous, sensory, neuropsychic), which disappear as soon as the person leaves the building. The occurrence of such symptoms, especially if it is at your workplace, should prompt you to talk about it (occupational doctor, staff representative or seller of the device if it belongs to you).
The most serious disease, but also the rarest, is the legionellosis, which can lead in particular respiratory failure, fever and weight loss or even death in 10% of cases. It is caused by legionella, bacteria that like to grow in stagnant waters whose temperature is between 25° C and 43° C. They proliferate in poorly maintained, dirty air conditioning ducts of refrigerating towers whose cooling system works with water. But it is also found in domestic hot water networks.
Finally, in the case of viruses (seasonal or pandemic influenza, gastroenteritis, etc.), they could spread via air conditioning, but this depends on several factors. In the first place, everything depends on the air conditioning system: The risk is almost zero for buildings equipped with simple ventilation (natural or mechanical), those equipped with an air handling unit are to be monitored more closely since some forms of virus can survive in the air. The other characteristics of the viral strain and the efficiency of the filtration systems determine the risk of contagion.
Properly Maintain Air Conditioning System
Attention, no question for all that to accuse of all the evils of the air conditioning, widespread today. It is nevertheless much appreciated not to have to sweat in large drops all day and to find a little respite in the office. Very often the adverse effects of the air conditioning on the health are due to the bad maintenance of the installations. So there is no secret, to avoid small and big bobos, it is necessary to maintain the machine regularly.
Regular and careful maintenance of the installations, the filters and others is the sine Quinone condition of a healthy air conditioning.
Be especially careful (or your company) to ensure that there is no stagnant water in the system, a privileged development site for many bacteria, including legionella, responsible for legionella. If you have air conditioning at home, you can call a professional or refer to the instructions for use for maintenance recommendations.
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[image Source: ilmattino.it]
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