Is Your Air Conditioner Making You Sick?

Air conditioning units are designed to keep you cool and remove particles from indoor air. However, using your AC with a dirty filter can lead to upper respiratory symptoms. In this article, we will look at the health concerns associated with air conditioners and how you can properly maintain your unit.

How a Dirty AC Can Make You Sick

Certain potential health risks for air conditioning are specifically connected to the quality and cleanliness of its filters and ducts. According to a California Department of Public Health representative, dirty air conditioning filters may be contaminated with fungus, mold, or other microorganisms. If you are sensitive to mold, this could result in breathing problems.

A dirty air conditioner can also make you sick in the following ways:

Mold Growth

Your air conditioner ducts and filters can be contaminated with mold if they are not routinely cleaned. This is because high humidity and indoor moisture are perfect conditions for mold spores to grow and circulate through your home. If you breathe in mold spores, it can result in several respiratory symptoms, including:

● Stuffy nose
● Fever
● Cough

Spread of Airborne Illness

If your air conditioner units have dirty air filters, they can circulate dangerous particles and contaminants. This can also happen if it has a filter not designed to remove infectious viruses, air pollutants, or bacteria.

Temperature-Related Health Concerns

Even if your air conditioner is properly cleaned, it could still affect your body in the following ways:

Low Humidity

According to Megan Poynot Couvillion, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Houston, air conditioning pulls water out of the air and creates a lower-humidity environment. She also said this can lead to dry skin.

Fluctuations in Temperature

When you move from a hot outdoor environment to a cold, air-conditioned environment, it could hurt your respiratory tract.

Tips for Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

If you properly maintain your AC system, there is little chance that you can become sick from spending long periods in air-conditioned spaces. To get started, these are some useful tips you can use:

● Use HEPA filters which are effective at removing dangerous air particles.
● Change your air filter every three months or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
● Ensure the windows and doors are closed when using your AC unit


When running your air conditioner, you must ensure your window stays closed. Additionally, you need to keep the filter clean to avoid contamination and negatively affecting your health.