VERIFY: Can Your AC Make You Sick?

Verify: Can Your AC Make You Sick? Part 1

GREENSBORO, NC -- This week, you've probably been sporting t-shirts and shorts -- anything lightweight to keep cool. But as soon as you step in your office, you might wish you had worn a few more layers. The AC in your office is just TOO cold.

We know cold air conditioning can be uncomfortable, but can it actually make you sick?

Verify Sources:

To verify this story, we used three credible sources:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Air Conditioner Home - popular online air conditioner realtor
  • Kelly Curl - AC technician with Curl Enterprises

Verify Process:

Air Conditioner Home says there are two main causes for AC sickness -- mold, which can cause diseases like Legionnaire's, and unnatural coldness, which can cause flu-like symptoms and dry skin.

The CDC explains HVAC systems, alone, can act as pollutants. If you don't maintain them, ventilation air filters can get saturated. When they get saturated, they can emit odor and cause microbial growth, like mold -- especially when stagnant water sits in drain pans or moisture builds up inside cooling coils..

Additionally, when you turn off the AC system at night or when you leave town and then turn it back on, it has to overcompensate and creates humidity. 

So, how do you clean your AC system?

Technician Kelly Curl says, "A couple things you want to talk about at the beginning of the year is your first tune-up -- the tune-up where you have your service professional come out. They'll check the pressure and check the leaks in the system. Don't be scared by the preventative issues they can bring up."

Those preventative measures include taking a hose and rinsing the coils of your unit regularly. The cleaner the coils = the better the air flow = the less chance you have of getting sick from mold or buildup inside.

Verify Conclusion:

Overall, we can verify the AC can make you sick. Most importantly, we can verify there are preventative measures you or your office manager can take to keep clean air in your home and workplace.

Help VERIFY

Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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