Air Conditioning Myths and Reality

There are many myths about air conditioning and this article helps to separate the myths from the reality.

Myth: Air Conditioning is bad for Health

One of the myths about air conditioning is that it is not healthy. The facts are that there are many health benefits associated with air conditioning along with general wellbeing benefits for people and buildings. This article aims to dispel some of the myths surrounding air conditioning and tells the facts as they are about these systems that are part of essential everyday life in many situations.

Often people have been scared by stories that air conditioning systems can cause disease such as Legionnaires disease and other respiratory diseases. This has occurred, but has been tracked down to dirty filters and ill-maintained air conditioning units.  A properly maintained air conditioning system will not cause illness. In fact because of the filters and constant new filtered air supplies, bacteria, viruses, and allergens such as pollen and dust are less populated in the atmosphere.

Often sickness is blamed on an air conditioned environment when in fact it is the usual day to day exposure of air borne viruses and bacteria that is the cause. For those who suffer from hay fever and other allergies air conditioning, there are numerous benefits. Cleaning the air and monitoring temperature can resolve many symptoms including breathing, running noses, and eyes watering.

Often offices are in busy areas with air pollution and air conditioning negates the need to have windows open allowing fumes and dust to enter the work space.

Many people in air conditioned environments do not allow themselves to become acclimatised properly to air conditioning and it is difficult to suit all people with the ambience. For example in an office environment it may be customary for men to wear suit jackets while women wear dresses or lighter apparel. In this case, a light jacket or other item of clothing should be kept in the office for comfort. The nature of the business will also dictate the air temperature. For example, clean rooms and laboratories will have specific needs and the workers will have to adapt accordingly.

In general terms, air conditioning is a positive force keeping workers happy and healthy when temperatures soar, meaning a business can maintain productivity year round instead of seeing a fall off when high temperatures see a decline in physical and intellectual performance.

Myth: Thermostat Control

When it comes to running air conditioning systems, another myth that needs to be dispelled is that lowering the thermostat sharply gives increased cooling. In fact the same amount of air is expelled but more electricity will be used to achieve a lower temperature that will eventually be reached if the temperature is constant. In other words setting the thermostat really low will not give immediate results it will just use more energy to do so and the cooling rate will not be increased.

Myth: Unit Location Does not Matter

Another myth is that it does not matter where an air conditioning unit is located. In fact, there is much to consider and there are several locations around a building that will be more efficient for air conditioning units. For example locating the unit in a cool spot rather than one that is in the sun’s glare will save energy and give the unit a longer life span. Your chosen professional air conditioning engineer is best advised to recommend the location.

Myth: Air Conditioning Is Expensive to Run

The expense of running air conditioning is another myth to dispel here. Like any electrical appliance, air conditioning naturally uses energy and there are costs associated with that. However, air conditioning is very energy efficient.  2 or more Kw of cooling can be produced from just 1Kw of energy. Furthermore, all air conditioning is energy rated and has to conform to industry and government standards.

Myth: The Bigger the Better

Mistakenly, many people are sold on the myth that the bigger an air conditioning unit the better. In fact, a system that is too big for the building will need to work harder and cost more money in energy bills as it will need to constantly operate the thermostatic controls as a large unit will not be able to efficiently cool a smaller space.

Remember that an accredited professional air conditioning engineer can help dispel air conditioning myths and advise you on the system most suited to your needs.

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