Is your AC making you sick?

Next time you rush to switch on the air-conditioner almost inadvertently, take a breath and consider that it may make you sick. A badly maintained thermostat can cause cold, lack of proper cleaning can cause asthma and other allergies and continuous use can cause dry and flaky skin with other dehydration problems.  So what is the right way to use the air-conditioner. Here is the answer.

Set the temperature between 23°c to 28°c

Many people set temperatures between 16° or 18° and after the full blast of cold they sleep under the blanket like winters or keep changing the temperature to make the ambient surroundings comfortable. But experts say the temperature should be as comfortable so that you can sleep under a thin sheet. That can be achieved if the temperature is set between 23°c to 28°c  without constricting your blood vessels.

Dr Atul Kumar, a professor at the Department of Energy and Environment at the TERI School of Advanced Studies in New Delhi, said,

“In the summer, our bodies are tuned for the hot weather. In such times, we — academics and researchers in general — recommend the ACs to be set not even to 24 degrees, but to 28 degree Celsius. In the winter, we recommend the ACs be set at 23 degrees.”

Maintain a cool off period 

Never go directly into the hot sun from a cold AC room vice versa.  Our body may not be able to cope with the sudden shift in temperature and it may cause headaches, nausea and cough and cold.

Clean the filters regularly

Mould in your air conditioner is perhaps the most harmful because not only does it cause allergies and asthma. In some cases, it could even lead to pneumonia and severe infections. Many people fail to realise that the air that circulates in their homes is twice as hazardous as the air outside because it carries with it mould spores.

The insides of air conditioners are the perfect breeding ground for mould to thrive because it’s dark and moist. We can prevent this from happening by carefully and conscientiously adhering to a regular air conditioning cleaning schedule.

Follow extra care routine for your skin.

ACs pull out moisture from everything, from the air around you to skin as well and leave it feeling dry and stretched. If your skin is not sufficiently protected to combat it, constant dryness will affect the inner layer of the skin. When skin becomes dry and stretched, it feels itchy. Those who have a dry skin will notice that their skin becomes flaky. Air conditioners aggravate existing skin disorders.

And if you can’t turn off the air conditioners in your office, follow a special skin care routine.

As Dr Vibha Singh, a consultant dermatologist suggests, “If you face dry skin problems, limit the use of soap. Use moisture-rich lotions, not creams to enrich the skin on your face, neck, hands, elbows, knees and wherever else you feel it is necessary. Lotions are water-based and add moisture to the skin. You can use creams after applying the lotion as creams are oil-based and help to seal in the moisture.”

“Drink more and more water even if you may not feel thirsty and keep yourself hydrated. Keep a bowl filled with water in the room to  maintain the humidity of the room,” she added.

Last but not the least, do not forget to ventilate your room daily when the AC is not in use.  Let the breeze and sunlight come in. Summer can be pleasant too.


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