We all use air conditioners nowadays; it’s become so common that almost every other house has one. But do you know how much harm excessive use of air conditioners can cause to your health and the environment? Do you know the Air Conditioner side effects? Let’s talk about that today.
It’s true that ACs help to avoid heat-related illnesses and even enable internet servers to function efficiently by keeping them cool. Of course, in hot regions, it makes life a bit more comfortable for people.
Harmful Impact On the Environment
While ACs cool indoor environments, as a side effect of air conditioners – they actually heat up outdoor areas much more. Besides, they consume significantly more electricity compared to other consumer electronics. So, although the immediate area where an AC is used might not get heavily polluted, the overall CO2 emissions increase where power is generated, as we still heavily rely on fossil fuels for electricity. Clean and renewable energy sources are not as developed yet.
A side effect of an air conditioner (AC) is it can heat up the local environment significantly. If an entire city were to use air conditioners extensively, the city’s temperature would rise by several degrees.
Even more dangerous is when people discard old AC units that can’t be repaired. Many just throw them away, and the gas inside these units eventually leaks out, severely polluting the environment. The pollution caused by air conditioners during their use is already significant, but when they break down and leak gas, it’s about 60% more polluting.”
All this pollution contributes to an increase in the overall earth temperature, prompting people to purchase more air conditioners, creating a feedback cycle that worsens over time. This is a long term side effect of air conditioners.
In developing countries, as people have more money, they tend to buy more air conditioners. It’s estimated that by 2050, people might purchase four times more air conditioners than today.
Solutions Of Extensive Use of Air Conditioners
So, what’s the solution? The solution is straightforward: we need to use energy sources that are renewable and produce minimal or no pollution, such as solar power, wind power, etc. Additionally, the refrigerants used in air conditioners should either be recycled when the AC units are discarded or should be collected and reused or properly disposed of to prevent environmental harm. In fact, there’s ongoing progress as newer air conditioners use different gases instead of CFC, causing less harm to the environment.
Currently, the infrastructure for recycling and proper disposal of air conditioners and utilizing renewable energy sources is not fully developed. For now, we can reduce AC usage, opt for fans, construct buildings that naturally stay cooler, and plant more trees in cities to lower the overall temperature. This is our chance to act, but if the Earth’s temperature rises too much, we might reach a point of no return, where reversing the effects might become impossible.
Health Impact Of Air Conditioners
Short-term side effects of air conditioners are also present. Air conditioners can significantly impact our health. Prolonged exposure to air conditioners can lead to allergies and various infections. Generally, when air conditioners in homes or in cars aren’t properly cleaned or maintained, dust, bacteria, and allergens accumulate in the AC ducts.
When the AC is turned on, these particles – dust, bacteria, and allergens – get mixed into the air and are inhaled by us. This can introduce bacteria into our respiratory system, causing allergies, sneezing, and bacterial infections, ultimately making us unwell.
Moreover, staying in an air-conditioned room for extended periods can lead to dryness in the respiratory system, increasing the risk of various respiratory illnesses.
Another thing to keep in mind when using air conditioning is to stay well hydrated. Despite feeling cold in an AC room, it’s important to drink enough water. Otherwise, your body might get dehydrated, leading to fatigue and headaches.
In the Concluding lines…
Basically, air conditioning isn’t entirely a good thing; side effects of Air conditioner can harm both the environment and our health. It’s best to use it within limits. Sitting in an AC room all day isn’t advisable. Now that you know these facts, it’s up to you to decide how to proceed.