Can Air Conditioning Make You Sick?

Sick woman under blankets with another woman taking her forehead temperature

It's no secret air conditioners play a massive role in our lives during the summer months. However, many people don't realize that an air conditioner's components can make you sick. The components of an AC unit can harbor a lot of bacteria and dust, which can cause respiratory problems and other health issues.

The International Journal of Epidemiology found that people who live in homes with central air conditioning are more likely to develop respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis.

A central AC unit has several components, which can become breeding grounds for bacteria and dust.

Read more: How Does a Central Air Conditioner Work?

Here are the most common air conditioner components that can make you sick.

1. The Compressor

AC compressor coils can harbor mold and mildew. When the compressor kicks on, it can spread these contaminants through the entire system, making you sick.

Symptoms of this sickness include a runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion.

If you have symptoms that seem to get worse near your AC unit, it's time to have a professional look. They can clean the coils and treat the mold and mildew so you can breathe easily.

2. The Condenser

When your AC unit is turned on, Freon gas is compressed and circulated through the coils in the condenser. The coils release the heat, which is then dispersed into the air outside. If your condenser coils are dirty, they won't be able to release the heat as efficiently. It can cause your AC unit to work harder than it should, which will increase your energy bills and shorten the lifespan of your unit.

Dirty condenser coils can also make you sick. The Freon gas that circulates through the coils can become contaminated with mold, mildew, and bacteria. When the Freon is released into the air, you can breathe in the contaminants, which can cause respiratory problems.

3. The Evaporator

The evaporator is the part of your AC unit that cools the air. It’s usually located inside the home, and it has a coil that’s filled with refrigerant. As the warm air from your home blows over the coil, the refrigerant inside absorbs the heat from the air, cooling it down.

When the evaporator coil gets too cold, it can cause the air around it to become humid. This can lead to condensation on the coil and drip onto the floor or below furniture. The evaporator coil can also become covered in mold and mildew, which can cause allergic reactions in some people.

4. The Filter

Air filters are essential for keeping the air inside your home clean. But, if they are not changed often enough, they can make you sick. Old filters can harbor bacteria and mold, which can cause respiratory problems.

So, if you or someone in your family has asthma, it is essential to change the air filter regularly. You may also want to consider an air purifier to help remove contaminants from the air.

5. The Blower

The air blower is the last component of an AC unit; its primary purpose is to circulate air inside the room. When a blower becomes defective or starts to malfunction, it can leak harmful chemicals into the air, which can cause respiratory problems.

If you think your AC unit might be making you sick, it's essential to have it checked by a professional as soon as possible.

If you are getting sick from defective air conditioning systems, call Moncrief Heating & Air Conditioning. As a leader in HVAC in Virginia, Highlands, our team of experts can diagnose and repair any issue with your AC unit. We also offer preventative maintenance plans to help you avoid future problems. Contact us today for a free consultation!