I know how a sore throat could ruin your day. Persevering every time you turn on your AC unit is disappointing, especially if you are not aware that your unit is causing sore throats.
Can AC Cause Sore Throat?
Do not be surprised to realize that your air conditioning system is causing your frequent sore throats. Air conditioners are best known for removing humidity in the air, which in turn can leave you feeling a little more dehydrated than usual. You will certainly experience this, especially in the morning, if you are the type of person to sleep with your air conditioner on.
What Causes a Sore Throat From An Air Conditioner
Good question. Air conditioning systems were designed to provide cooler or warmer air door environments, but they can also cause sore throats. Here are a few causes as to why you are getting a frequent sore throat once you switch on your air conditioning unit.
1. Dry Air
If you suffer from allergies, air with a low amount of moisture will harm you. The cold and dry air causes allergies and can cause a sore throat. Ensuring proper airflow in the room is pretty essential, so be sure to run your AC system with the vent control open to allow fresh air inside.
2. Poor Installation
Like stagnant water is the breeding platform for many things, stagnant air is a breeding area for bacteria. A bad installation will cause inadequate air circulation in your home, causing large amounts of dust to accumulate inside.
Another example of poor installation is installing an air conditioning unit near a water line or near an area that experiences high humidity. Such places are known for encouraging the growth of molds, and the mold spores can get into your AC system and finally into the air you breathe.
3. Poor Maintenance
Proper maintenance is essential as it ensures your air conditioner’s air filters and its ducts are free from dust and dirt. A dirty air filter will harbor many bacteria that can turn to molds if nothing is done, giving room for bacteria growth, which causes sore throats.
Ensuring your air conditioner is regularly maintained is essential to avoid more sore throats. Apart from maintaining and cleaning the filthy air filters, make sure to replace air filters from time to time.
4. A Leaky Ductwork
Ductworks are a series of flexible metal tubes that ensure temperature-treated air is distributed throughout the room. However, the frequent use of air conditioners causes the ductwork to wear and tear, thus resulting in leaky ductwork.
The ductwork that is having issues with wear and tear will allow the passage of dust and dirt to get into it, and the dirt bypasses the air filter and finally is distributed into the room, causing a sore throat.
5. Closed Vent Control
Running your AC system with the vent control closed will automatically lead to inadequate air exchange between your home and the outside world, potentially allowing air in certain environments to possibly brew infection and stagnate.
With a closed vent control, the air supply in your home is recycled repeatedly, with each air conditioning cycle traveling through the central air conditioning unit and throughout the room.
No matter how strong your air filters are, stale air is bad news to your respiratory health. So it’s crucial to make sure the vents are open or the windows are open to let in the fresh air.
Sore Throat Air Conditioning Symptoms
A sore throat can also be caused due to other reasons and not air conditioning only, but one sure thing, whatever reason that will cause a sore throat, the symptoms will always be the same. Some of the symptoms of an air conditioning sore throat are;
- Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
- Sore or swollen glands in the neck or the jaw
- A scratchy sensation in the throat membranes
- Swollen and red tonsils
- Dry or irritated eyes
- A muffled or hoarse voice
- Dry mouth, nasal passages, and a dry throat
- White patches or pus on your tonsils
- Loss of voice
On rare occasions, some of the other symptoms that are accompanied by a sore throat include;
- A running nose
- Sneezing and wheezing
How To Relieve Sore Throat From AC
Below are some of the ways you could relieve a sore throat from central air conditioners
- Clear your home or office of any mold, mildew, or other allergins- Mold and mildew have bacteria in them that are responsible for causing a sore throat. So be sure to clear and clean your home regularly to avoid mildew and mold growth.
- Open your windows to circulate fresh air- Adequate circulation of fresh air in your home is pretty important as it helps avoid the recycling of the contaminated air in the room. Any change in your indoor air quality will increase your chances of getting a sore throat, so be sure to open your windows.
- Drink more water to keep yourself hydrated and your throat and nasal passages moist- Because sore throats cause a dry mouth, throat, and nasal passages, drinking a lot of water will help resolve this. Keeping these areas will help reduce the dryness.
- Occasionally open the vent control on your AC unit to cycle in new air- Like we said, making sure the central air system has sufficient air supply will help avoid the recycling of contaminated air. A closed vent typically inhibits the interaction between indoor and outdoor air.
- Keep your home clean and free of dust by regularly vacuuming and wiping surfaces- A dusty home will undoubtedly cause the air around to have dust particles that can enter your air conditioner, causing dirty air filters. A dirty air filter can grow mold and mildew if left unchecked.
- Schedule regular maintenance – cleaning the air filter, replacing under/oversized- Ac maintenance is crucial as it’s through cleaning you will clean your air filters and replace any parts that seem to have worn out.
- You should set your air conditioner at a comfortable room temperature- To cure sore throat, make sure your air conditioner is set to proper room temperature as it ensures there’s no circulation of dry air.
- Add a humidifier- Having a humidifier will increase the water levels in your home, ensuring the air around has enough moisture, thus relieving sore throats. A humidifier works by emitting steam into the air.
What Is Air Conditioning Sickness And How It Affects Your Health
Air conditioning sickness is that cold, weak, and stuffy feeling caused by staying indoors under an air conditioner’s influence for long periods. Air conditioning sickness puts you at a high risk of sick building syndrome and makes you sensitive to odors around you.
Air Conditioning Sickness
It’s vital to understand that air conditioners do not necessarily make people sick, but pathogens do. Exposure to bacteria and other microorganisms is responsible for making us sick. So blaming the air conditioning unit for sore throats can show a little bit of bias.
So this means the bacteria that has grown into your air conditioner due to the growth of mold or the presence of dust will be responsible for the sore throat you have. Air conditioners only increase the likelihood of being exposed to bacteria and other microorganisms.
Some air conditioning sicknesses that you should look out for include:
- Headaches and dizziness- If you frequently use your air conditioner and notice you are having frequent headaches, you better start suspecting your air conditioner is causing the cause of the frequent headaches and dizziness.
- Respiratory Issues- In most cases, an air conditioner will initiate several phenomena leading to respiratory issues. For instance, an air conditioner hastens the spread of viruses which in turn causes cold flu.
- Dry Skin Due To Low Humidity Levels- When you run your air conditioner at low temperatures, it’s not unusual to experience dry skin. This is because arteries lead to the skin constricting at low temperatures as a defense mechanism that helps the body from losing heat. At the same time, this constriction lowers the flow of white blood cells to your skin hence reducing its power to fight germs.
Other Air Conditioning Sickness To Be Aware Of
- Dried Out Eyes- The lack of sufficient humidity in your air-conditioned spaces will cause your eyes to dry, and this can cause them to feel itchy or irritated.
- Lowers Your Heat Tolerance- Using air conditioners frequently makes your body unable to withstand hot temperatures. The more you are in spaces where the air conditioner is always on, the less comfortable humidity and heat will feel.
Sore Throat From AC Or Covid?
Since a sore throat is a shared symptom of many illnesses, including covid, it’s customary to confuse whether your sore throat is due to your AC or covid. To be sure, it would help if once you notice you have a sore throat, do a covid test first. If you find the results harmful and recall using your air conditioner frequently, the sore throat could be due to that and not COVID- 19.
Can Car Air Conditioning Cause Sore Throat?
This is because, over time, bacteria, mold, and mildew can build up on your car’s air conditioning which in most cases is odorless. If left there over time, once you turn your AC unit, it’s capable of causing a sore throat.
Can Sleeping in AC Cause Sore Throat
Yes, it can.
This is possible, especially if your air conditioner has the problems we mentioned earlier, which cause sore throats. That is, a dirty air filter, leaky ductwork, closed vent control, to name a few. If your air conditioner has any of these problems, you will undoubtedly get a sore throat if you happen to sleep with your AC on.
As we wrap up, it’s essential to note that despite the drawbacks such as getting sore throats, air conditioners make our lives bearable, especially during the peak of summer.
Air conditioners help us by regulating temperatures to feel comfortable, but if you happen to get sore throats, there must be a problem with your AC that can be quickly resolved.