Does Air Conditioning Cause Summer Colds?

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Cold and flu season finally is coming to an end. While summer is usually the time when you’re less likely to catch a bug, it can still happen. And, many believe that the cause of summer colds is air conditioning in homes or offices that is too cold. Could this be true?

Cold Doesn’t Cause Colds

While there are plenty of people who will believe cold causes colds no matter what evidence they receive to the contrary, the reality is that cold temperatures aren’t the direct culprit. You can thank viruses for those miserable cold symptoms like coughing, runny noses and sore throats.

However, cold temperatures are not completely off the hook. There can be certain environmental conditions which make cold and flu viruses more likely to spread. Cold, dry indoor conditions can irritate eyes and disrupt the protective mucous barrier in your nose. This can make you more vulnerable to acquiring viruses.

Also, viruses are more likely to attack those who have weakened immune systems. Stress, caused by rapid changes in temperature and humidity, like what you experience when shifting between scorching outdoor heat and chilly indoor spaces, can impact your immune system.

Symptoms of a Cold May Not Be a Cold

Sneezing, runny noses, watery eyes and coughing are all common symptoms of colds. Yet, allergy symptoms, caused by airborne contaminants, can feel strikingly similar. Pollen, mold, dander blowing from an HVAC system with a dirty air filter can cause a host of very unpleasant symptoms that can feel just like a cold that never quite goes away.

Keeping Colds and Allergies Away

Although air conditioning does play a part in summer colds, it’s still a must-have here in the Valley of the Sun. The benefits of cool indoor air certainly outweigh the risks of developing a virus. However, there are ways to mitigate these risks while still staying cool and comfortable.

  • Keep the temperature at a comfortable level, between 72 and 78 degrees.
  • Open windows and doors in the early morning and evening to get rid of existing air pollutants.
  • Clean or replace air filters at least once a month.

Have questions about your air conditioning system? Call the experts at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900.

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