Air-conditioning: cooling us or killing us?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici

They are a staple in every Maltese home these days, but just how bad are they for us?

A few weeks ago I got a cold, and as anyone who’s had a cold in the summer knows, summer colds are terrible. They are like the pythons of the snake kingdom, or the Vladimir Putin of human beings – they are the worst thing imaginable. But, anyway, to cut a long story short, during my long, long, long recovery period, I came across an article about the health hazards of air-conditioning and God was I surprised!

Like many other Maltesers, I get home and before my shoes are off the AC is on 16, and who can blame us? It’s hell out there! Yet, turns out, that air-conditioning can cause many-an-ailment – because of its ability to cool down spaces in a short period of time.

Air-conditioning can lead to asthma, sore nasal passages, frequent colds, ear infections, stomach pains, headaches, allergic reactions, irritated throats, dry or watery eyes (skond il-burdata), coughing, sneezing and itchy skin.

All this happens because air-conditioners, in their strife to relieve us from the unbearable heat, suck out the humidity from the air, leaving the air unnaturally dry.

To make things even worse, air-conditioning can cause mould to grow inside your house, all 270 forms of which are also a health hazard, particularly to the elderly and infants.

Thankfully, a bit of further reading revealed that the problem can easily be solved by making sure that there is constant ventilation in any part of your house you’re ACing the crap out of – yes, it might cost a bit more but thankfully it will not affect your health!

Also, a great idea (and one that will save you lots of money), is to have the AC on for an hour or two when you’re not in the room and then use fans to circulate the air and keep things cool.

Have you got anything to add to what Evelyn’s said? Let us know!