Central air conditioners pull moisture-dense and hot air out of your home and cool it. Then they release the cooled air, along with some of the moisture, back into your home. In the southern half of the U.S. where it is warmer all year long, the humidity levels in your home can fluctuate drastically from day to day, depending on the amount of humidity in and out of your home. This causes upper respiratory illnesses, just as it would if you lived in the northern U.S. in winter. To avoid these illnesses, here is how you can use your air conditioner for maximum effectiveness.
Scientific Evidence Supports Fewer Colds and Flu with Air Conditioning
Scientists have conducted experiments to see why colds and flu are so common during winter and not in summer. A primary difference is the running of a furnace versus running the central air. When the scientists tested the air of these two climate environments, they found that air is drier in winter and wetter in summer. Upon further investigation, the scientists found that increased humidity in the home shortened the lifespan of cold and flu germs, which is why it is less likely for you to get a cold or the flu in summer.
How Your Southern Location Means You Have a Healthier Home
Because you live where it is quite a bit warmer all year long, you have the convenience of keeping your air conditioning on 24/7. There are times when you probably prefer not to have the a/c on, but you can always turn it down such that the air keeps a steady humidity level and keep you and your house healthy. If you lived in the northern half of the U.S. you would not have this option for four to six months of the year.
Making Sure That Your Air Conditioning Functions Well Enough to Prevent Colds and Flu
If you do plan on keeping your air conditioning running almost continuously, be sure that an HVAC contractor checks it at least once a year. Some parts might wear out faster than others, like the compressor and the condenser. The air conditioning services your HVAC contractor provides can help prevent wear and tear on these parts as well as replace any of the parts that are about to wear out. If your air conditioner dies, or you have to turn it off for a day or more until it is repaired, a portable humidifier can help maintain the humidity levels in your home to prevent colds and flu. Talk to your local air conditioning experts, such as Omega Air Conditioning, for more information.