Servicing of air conditioning units reduces severity and spate of respiratory illnesses, say doctors
The number of respiratory illnesses reported to healthcare facilities has been on the upswing since the advent of winter, and doctors are advising residents to have their air conditioning ducts and systems serviced.
A thorough cleaning of these systems can often reduce the severity of respiratory illnesses, especially among those who have allergic rhinitis and asthma, they said.
Over the last two months, there has been an increase in the number of flu cases reported, and it would certainly help if residents had their air conditioning and ventilation ducts serviced. These areas can harbor allergens, and allergy-related respiratory illnesses.
About 14 per cent of US residents are known to suffer from asthma and allergic rhinitis, and these conditions are harder to manage in homes with allergens. In addition, patients can find it harder to breathe during winter days.
It is advisable to have the air conditioning ducts cleaned annually, especially if one or more people in a family suffer from allergies, or if there are pets at home. Winter is a particularly good time because the air conditioning systems are not in use all the time. To be honest, many families would be surprised to see the amount of dirt and mold that would be eliminated during a cleaning session,
The fine dust that collects in uncleaned ducts can contain as many as 1,000 dust mites, and up to 250,000 allergenic dust mite fecal pellets, and these trigger nasal and respiratory symptoms in people with pre-existing allergies. In addition, mold, which is also known to exacerbate allergies through released spores, can also build up in these duct lines.
While the exact toll of unclean air conditioning ducts on resident health is not agreed upon, many who have had their units serviced vouch for the benefits of cleaning.