In the summer, a working air conditioner becomes a real salvation from the heat. The freshness and coolness of an indoor environment are strikingly different from outdoor conditions. This temperature drop has a negative impact on health. After the heat, exposure to cold air leads to colds. The use of a split system can cause more serious illness. Legionellosis is a bacterial infection caused by microorganisms that live in an air conditioner. In order for climate technology to give only comfort, you should follow the recommendations for its installation and maintenance.
Air Conditioning Legionnaires' Disease
In the summer of 1976, the Congress of the American Legion was held in Philadelphia, which brought together more than 4 thousand participants. After its completion, 221 people felt unwell and were hospitalized with symptoms of pneumonia. After analyzing the etiology of the disease, the doctors came to the conclusion that the infection occurred at the congress. The bacterium Legionella was inoculated, and its habitat turned out to be the air conditioning system of a hotel that hosts American veterans. Legionnaires' disease or legionellosis has been reported periodically in the United States and Europe. In the natural environment, bacteria live in fresh water bodies, and in artificial conditions they settle in air conditioning, cooling systems, showers and boiler installations. Most of the cases are associated with hotels, where the infection occurred by airborne droplets.
Pneumonia from the air conditioner is manifested by fever, chills, pain in the muscles and chest, sputum discharge. Soon, nausea and diarrhea are added to the symptoms. Patients are hospitalized and treated with antibiotics. The peak of infections occurs in the summer, when climate systems are massively working for cooling. Condensation accumulates in the system, which, when heated, becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
As a prophylaxis of the disease, it is necessary to follow the rules for servicing split systems. The indoor unit has filters that need to be cleaned regularly or replaced with new ones. Industrial plants are equipped with special bactericidal filters.
Cold under the split system
A room cooling system installed for comfort can cause various ailments. Respiratory illness from an air conditioner is a common phenomenon of our time. A sharp temperature drop from + 32 ° to 18 ° becomes stress for the body. A condition occurs that resembles the cold of the autumn-winter period. In the first days, malaise is accompanied by symptoms:
- muscle aches;
- slight increase in temperature;
If you do not start treatment, the situation is aggravated by pain when swallowing, sore throat, and coughing. In a neglected state, the ailment leads to chronic diseases of the respiratory system. Cold medications can help relieve symptoms. Herbal teas, tea with honey and lemon, the use of vitamins, especially C. A plentiful warm drink, rest and medication quickly put you on your feet are useful. If the condition worsens, you should consult a doctor.
Respiratory diseases from air conditioner
The list of diseases from the air conditioner can include allergic reactions, bronchitis, rhinitis, cough, sore throat. One of the causes of diseases is dry air. During the operation of the climate system, moisture from the air in the form of condensate settles on the heat exchanger and is discharged outside. Due to dryness, the local immunity of the nasal mucosa and throat is disturbed, conditions for the development of opportunistic microflora appear. Rhinitis or runny nose from an air conditioner is associated with general hypothermia and lack of moisture. It is manifested by burning and congestion in the sinuses, thick discharge, headache. Frequent rinsing of the nose helps to cope with rhinitis.
The sore throat turns into laryngitis or pharyngitis. Symptoms of ailments are similar: pain when swallowing, sore throat, hoarse voice. Hypothermia with an associated viral infection causes a sore throat. The development of inflammatory processes in the respiratory tract turns into bronchitis.
Prolonged exposure to a directed flow of cold air causes cervical myositis and facial neuritis.
Bronchial asthma and allergies
Allergic reactions such as sneezing, tears, nasal congestion can occur in healthy people. They are provoked by dust, remains of animal hair, plant pollen and other pollution accumulated in the filter of the climate system. When the air conditioner is operating, air is recirculated. The indoor unit filter system traps dirt particles. Having exhausted their resource, the devices cannot cope with the air purification function. Dust and allergens spread throughout the room and enter the respiratory tract.
Timely care of climatic equipment will help to avoid the development of bronchial asthma and complications from allergies. Conditioner coughs and other health problems are better prevented than treated later.
How to avoid danger
In order not to get cold from the air conditioner, to avoid the unpleasant consequences of hypothermia and the spread of viruses and bacteria, it is necessary to follow the recommendations of manufacturers on the maintenance of climatic equipment, the timing of cleaning and replacing filters. Observing the operating rules, the owners of split systems minimize the development and spread of pathogens.
One of the important conditions for using the air conditioner is the choice of a mode in which the temperature difference between the outside and the room does not exceed 5-8 °. The desire to cool down faster after the heat forces you to select a temperature of the order of 18-19 ° on the control panel. A quick cold snap provokes the body to react by activating the protection of internal organs, and the peripheral ones remain without the support of immunity. This is a direct path to colds. A gradual temperature decrease is safe for health. First, 25 ° is set, after half an hour, a smaller parameter is set - 20-22 °. In this mode, you should not be afraid of respiratory diseases.
Rules for using the air conditioner
The wrong choice of place for the installation of the indoor unit is a factor that provokes health problems. If the flow of conditioned air is directed to the working or sleeping area, hypothermia quickly sets in. Viral and infectious diseases follow. You should take a responsible approach to the installation of a split system, choose models with adjustable blinds, ensuring an even distribution of cold. During installation, take into account that in a zone 2-3 meters from the equipment, the air speed is higher and the temperature is lower than in the rest of the room.
When using climatic technology, one should not forget about natural ventilation. It is necessary to ventilate the room by opening the windows. The process helps to restore the normal level of humidity, enriches the room with oxygen.
Air conditioning and ventilation must not be combined. In this case, the equipment works with increased load and may fail.