Can Air Conditioning make you ill, like a flu type illness?

someone i know is very ill with a flu type illness, in bed, hot and cold, aching bones, no appetitie etc., at work a couple of people complained of headaches, but the air conditioning unit was directly above my friends head and my friend swears thats what has brought the illness on because it perhaps needs cleaning or something - does anyone think this could cause symptoms as bad as this? my friend has not been in contact with anyone else that has been ill!

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Air conditioning seems to make people ill in some way or another, but actually, the runny nose, watery eyes syndrome that looks like flu is actually our body's natural response to the unatural coldness. Air conditioned air is usually very dry without a humudifier, so the delicate lining of our nose and mouth could become cracked and dry. To prevent this, our body floods those delicate areas with mucus so as to prevent the tissue from drying out. Some people get nosebleeds in air conditioned rooms. Same reason why nosebleeds happen everywhere: a damaged inner nose lining.

    As for spreading of diseases, most air cons have filter installed. Most of these filters are washable, net type filters, unless you are based in a commercial office center, where air conditioning is centralized. Net type filters actually work better when there is more dirt on them. For example, let's say the gaps in a certain net filter is 0.001 mm. as muck builds up, less and less muck can go through, because the 0.001 mm gaps may have become clogged and gotten even smaller. There are only 2 reasons why these filters are to be cleaned: so that they look better and to increase airflow.

    Headaches result in an airconditioned room because our warm blood under the scalp comes into contact with dastardly cold air. If this happens to suddenly, the blood will lose temperature and thuse depriving the brain of heat, causing headaches. same reason for aching bones and toothaches. The principle is that same as trying to eat an ice lolly in one go. that numbing, searing pain you will get in your teeth is the same reason for the above mentioned problems.

    Hope that helped.

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  • Lottie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    If your filters were replaced give it some time and then contact building maintenance directly if needed to keep them up on it. Document every time you have talked to your BLDG NCO. Then keep hitting up the chain of command. I know the conditions on FT Lewis and they aren't the greatest. One other thing is you may want to consider getting an air purifier for your room this will give you a second filter that you can look at quickly and know the conditions of the others. With the colder weather a lot of people in the barracks will be getting sick and just because of barracks living the cold will be passed between everyone. Guard yourself.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. Air conditioning systems that are not regularly maintained can harbour mold, mildew, and other bacteria. The majority of A/C related maladies are caused by sensitivity to mold, and your friends symptoms match what mold can do to a body.

    Your friend can contact whoever is in charge of building maintanance and ask them to have the A/C serviced. This should include changing the filters AND having the coils in the air handler cleaned. HVAC technicians have a special solution that will sterilize the coils and kill any bacteria and mold growing there. Your friend can also explain the issue to their immediate supervisor and have their cubicle moved.

    If your friend is put off by management as it being all in their head, they can contact OSHA. Everyone has the right to have a safe working environment, and a dirty A/C system is certainly something that should be addressed.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes it can! Much better to open a window if at all possible.

    If I don't change the air condition filter in my car once a year, I get the flu like symptoms you are talking about.

    The reason being is that pollen grains and dust particles build up and get caught in the filters and when you put the blower on it disperses the things caught in the filter into the air. So the same applies to air conditioning it must be maintained on a regular basis.

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  • Your air conditioner recirculates in a loop everything inside your home so if someone has a cold in one room that person sneezes the air handler circulates it through out the house , you must also have a balance in humidity control some folks think a bigger unit is better! no it is the worst thing you can do.

    There are filters that are electronic,UV Lights , fresh air intakes that can solve these problems.

    Source(s): www.orlandoventilation.com
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  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    It can make you sick only if there is perhaps mold in the building. The air conditioner itself isn't making you sick. All it is doing is helping transfer the mold into the air.

    If the building is an old building, definitely tell your supervisors and explain what has happened. It is nothing to put off because it will not go away by itself.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Absolutley, in fact there's a deadly disease called Legionnaire's disease which is caused by this very thing.

    The employer needs to have the air conditioning serviced regularly otherwise this sort of thing can happen.

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  • 4 years ago

    Ask your doctor about an exercise routine. Regular exercise, such as walking three times a week, may reduce neuropathy pain, improve your muscle strength and help control blood sugar levels. Gentle routines such as yoga and tai chi might also help.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Could be right I absolutely hate air con in a relatively small space

    and I certainly get colds from it

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