Does air conditioning help with allergies?

Air coming through an Air Conditioning system on a wall

Allergies have many triggers, such as dust mites, pollen or food, and affect many people worldwide. If you develop symptoms, make sure you always check with an allergy specialist who can help you determine the exact trigger of your allergic reactions and keep your symptoms under control.

Most of the time, the allergens are airborne in which case it is recommended to keep the windows closed and use the AC, especially when pollen counts are high. Common symptoms of these airborne allergies are watery eyes, sneezing, itching nose or throat, clogged nose, coughing or conjunctivitis.

But does air conditioning help with allergies? Read below to find out in what ways this is possible.

How does air conditioning help with allergies?

Using an air conditioner can help relieve allergy symptoms in multiple ways, and it all comes down to your indoor air quality (IAQ), which helps to improve. If your AC has the correct filter and it’s in good condition, it helps remove allergens like pet dander, pollen, dust mites and other irritants, while the air is cleaned in your house.

Another way air conditioning helps with allergy symptoms is by controlling the levels of humidity indoors. It is known that high levels of humidity can cause the development of allergens such as mould, bacteria or mildew.

To make sure that your air conditioning is functioning properly and helps in alleviating your allergy, you need to always check for the following:

  • Change your air conditioner’s filter regularly, as a dirty filter can obstruct airflow and therefore allow pollen, dust or other particles to stay in the air.
  • Check for the indoor humidity levels, which ideally need to be between 30%-50%.
  • Clean your air conditioner coils and clean your ducted air conditioner’s vents.

Can air conditioning make your allergies worse?

Your AC can only make your allergy symptoms get worse if it is not maintained properly. If your filter, for instance, is faulty, it will trap dust mites or pet dander and blow it out into the air of your home. So, instead of healthy, clean air, you will end up having more allergens in your home.

The same thing applies in case of high levels of humidity: if there is a leak in the ductwork, it will build up the perfect environment for mold and bacteria, which will trigger your allergy symptoms.

Man laying on a sofa switching on Air Conditioning with the remote
Image from Pixabay

The takeaway

Even though there is no cure for allergies, there are many remedies that can help alleviate your symptoms. If your allergen is airborne, such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander, using air conditioning instead of opening the windows can contribute towards reducing your allergy symptoms. However, you need to make sure that your AC is well maintained, as an improperly functioning HVAC system can make your allergy symptoms worse.

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