Using an air conditioner offers a respite from the Philippines’ heat and humidity. However, did you know that excessive use of your aircon can cause sore throat?
While the link between air conditioning and sore throat can indeed be drawn, it is more because of the misuse of the appliance rather than aircons being inherently harmful to our throats.
How your aircon can cause sore throat
Here are three reasons why your AC is giving you a sore throat, and the solutions to prevent it from causing an further damage.
1. It made the air too dry
We’ve discussed before how dehumidifying is a by-product of the air conditioning process, hence turning on your air conditioner not only cools your air, but also makes it drier as well.
While excess humidity can be bad for your aircon, too little of it can negatively affect your throat as well.
Breathing in dry air can dry out our throats – which can leave it feeling parched and itchy.
- Use your AC for shorter periods of time.
- Open some windows to exchange dry indoor air for more humid outdoor air.
- For extreme cases, you should run a humidifier with your AC for a short period of time as well.
- Hydrating before sleeping can help prevent throat dryness from happening.
2. The indoor air is has become stale
Since an air conditioner only circulates indoor air over and over again, it will become stale at some point. This stagnates the environment inside your unit – which can make it a breeding ground for molds or it can collect dust; both of which can cause irritation and infection in your throat.
- Open some doors or some windows to let fresh air inside your room
- Open the vent control/exhaust lever (usually found in window type aircons) to introduce fresh air in to your room.
Note: opening the vent control will result in a slight reduction in energy efficiency. Close it immediately if you feel that the air has sufficiently been recharged.
3. Dirty filters
Your AC’s air filters screens the sucked air for an dust and allergens. When we don’t clean our filters regularly, the dust and allergens will eventually build up.
It may be bad enough that the filter is no longer filtering the allergens out of the air – which makes us inhale these impurities straight to our throats and lungs.
Worse, it could be that the built-up dust and allergens are harboring molds. These molds release spores that can be circulated by our AC – which can trigger an allergy attack.
- Clean your filters once every three months at the least.
- You should also have your unit checked at least once a year by a professional.
As you’ve read above, most of the reasons are brought about by misuse of your aircon, and not the aircon unit itself. To prevent this, don’t overuse your unit and always have it regularly checked. You should also introduce fresh air to your room once in a while.
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.