Air Conditioners vs Hay Fever – Are You Ready For Spring?

Air Conditioners vs Hay Fever - Are You Ready For Spring

As excited as we are about the advent of spring with the gloriously balmy weather and the green shoots of new life popping up everywhere, we must spare a thought for hay fever sufferers. Along with the temperature, the pollen count is going to soar which brings us back to the annual debate of air conditioners vs hay fever.

Do air conditioners cause or exacerbate hay fever and other respiratory ailments? Why do some people struggle with hay fever, even while in an air-conditioned office?

Hay fever is triggered in the spring months with the growth of grasses, the flowering of trees and bushes, and the warm air carrying what feels like a ton of pollen straight into our eyes.

Logic tells us that staying indoors with the windows closed would limit our exposure to these tiny specks of discomfort. In an ideal world, that would work. But, most of us must leave the house at some point and staying shut up indoors with the sun belting down through our windows is going to create a mini sauna in our homes or offices.

Not ideal, right?

Air Conditioners vs Hay Fever – What Are The Facts?

Those of us who have ever had an asthma attack or suffered through weeks of misery due to hay fever know the struggle. The itching, burning eyes, nose and throat, coughing, dry mouth – the end result is, of course, a bright red nose, swollen eyes and the voice of a 50-a-day smoker.

However, how many people have you heard comment that they’re allergic to their air conditioner?

“I wake up with a dry cough and itching eyes when I sleep with the air conditioner on.”

“My allergies are worse after a day in an air-conditioned office!”

Can Air Conditioners Cause Hay Fever?

The short answer is, yes, they can.

But before you rush off to decommission your aircon at home, consider these essential facts connecting hay fever (and other respiratory illnesses) to air conditioners.

Air conditioners can cause allergies to flare up if:

  • Your AC filters are not cleaned out regularly
  • Your aircon does not dehumidify the air sufficiently
  • Your system is not maintained and has mould or algae

Your trusty air conditioner has been installed to suck in stale, indoor air and circulate it through a system of filters which remove even the smallest particles (we’re looking at you, pollen!) and return a stream of fresh, cool air into our space.

This means, logically, that if all the doors and windows remain closed and the aircon is allowed to do its job, then after a couple of hours you should be breathing in clean air free from pollution, toxins and allergens.

So, the theory is sound. What can we do, though, to make sure that we’re not blaming the aircon for hay fever or other issues, and rectifying the actual problem?

Air Conditioners vs Hay Fever - Are You Ready For Spring 2

How Your Air Conditioner Can Prevent Hay Fever

You’ve probably worked it out by now, haven’t you?

Looking up at those three key points in the previous paragraph gives us all the information we need to work with the aircon system to reduce our hay fever symptoms.

Clean Those Filters

Regularly cleaning out your filters allows your system to run a clean and efficient ship, so to speak. Clogged filters not only make your aircon work harder and reduce its life span, but they simply aren’t able to catch the dust, pollution and pollen that’s causing you distress.

Did you know:

Various filtration systems are available in Toshiba AC units which not only purify and deoderise the air, but also offer an anti-virus function. Filter clean warning LEDs are available in some models which guarantees that you will always enjoy clean, fresh air.

Check Humidity Levels

Most modern air conditioners will dehumidify the air while they run. This is bad news for mould or algae which may be trying to get a foothold in any damp areas. A humid office allows mould to grow and as we know, mould spores can wreak havoc on our health.

System Maintenance

We definitely recommend that you call in a professional on a regular basis to check your system. Some older systems don’t come with the additional health benefits of the newer Toshiba range, such as a trigger which dries the internal workings of the unit when it’s turned off, thus eliminating the growth of algae or mould within the unit itself.

Regular maintenance will ensure that your coolant is pure and at the right level, check the coils for mould, make sure that the blower is free from rust and debris, your drain lines are clean, and your filters are clean.

These simple checks, done regularly, will ensure that you enjoy spring and summer in a cool and comfortable space, free from pollen and pollution.

Do you have any further questions on the topic of air conditioners vs hay fever? If so, please feel free to call the Toshiba team.