True or false: can air conditioning make you ill?

Bad maintenance

So, we’ve established that A/C units that properly clean the air are actually quite healthy. Research conducted by Yale University even showed that using air conditioning can reduce heart problems. Yet there are definitely downsides to air conditioning. Units that haven’t been maintained properly will end up with clogged filters. Due to the damp surroundings, this is then a Valhalla for moulds and bacteria to grow, which can lead to health risks. When the air that comes out of the A/C is of bad quality, you can end up with a cold, throat ache, flu symptoms, tearing eyes and irritated airways. Asthma patients can also experience breathing problems.

Warm and cold air

Dutch general practitioner Job Nievaart explains that it mostly has to do with whether or not you already carry a virus or bacteria with you at the moment you enter an air-conditioned room. “Air conditioning can’t make you sick. But if you already carry something, like a cold, for example, then the virus can spread more quickly due to the coolness. The same is true for when you move from a cooled room into the hot outside air. It won’t give you a cold unless you carry a virus or bacteria already. In that case, you can get sick more quickly,” the GP explains.

Read more: Cooling a warm drink within 2 minutes? It’s possible with this trick!

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