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Can You Get Sick From Air Conditioning?

Can You Get Sick From Air Conditioning?


As one of South East Queensland’s most knowledgeable air conditioning specialists, Acer Services are often asked about air conditioning health problems, most notably: “Can you get sick from air conditioning? ”

The answer is categorically no… sort of.

You see, the air conditioning system itself won’t make you sick – as long as it’s kept cleaned and properly maintained.

It’s only when your air con’s filters begin to clog up that problems can start, and the biggest problem of all is mould (also spelt mold, but we’ll stick with the English version).

If you’re wanting to replace your unit, you can read more within our free, downloadable Air Conditioning Buyers Guide.

Mould in air con is a problem because it can cause the following symptoms:

  • Watery eyes (or dry eyes)
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Ear ache
  • Stomach bugs
  • Irritated nasal passages
  • Sore throats,
  • And more

It can almost feel like catching a cold, so let’s look at that for a moment…

Can you get a cold from air conditioning?

Definitely not.

A cold is a virus and, despite its name, you can’t catch a cold from being cold.

Being cold can of course contribute to you getting sick, but only if you’ve been exposed to the cold virus in the first place. Usually because so many places you go to in winter have the windows and doors shut to keep the warmth in.

It’s the same answer to questions like…

Can I get a sore throat from air con? No.

Can I get sick from the A/C being TOO cold? No.

However, it’s a different matter to questions such as:

Why is air conditioning making me cough?

And: Why does air con give me a headache?

In both of these cases, it could be the fact that air conditioners are designed to draw the humidity out of the air making it dryer… or once again, it could be that the filters are blocked and not doing their job of catching errant dust, allergens and other microscopic nasties.

Can air conditioning mould make you sick?

If you do get sick from air conditioning, it’s because of those tiny fungi known as mould growing in the unit.

Moulds love dark, damp conditions, hence the reason why they like to take up residence in air conditioners, and lie there undetected.

Once established in your air con unit, moulds reproduce and spread quickly, and are hard to get rid of…especially the highly toxic microscopic ones.

If these dangerous organisms aren’t taken care of, they could definitely jeopardise your health and make you and your family very sick, especially if the mould infestation is extensive.

I don’t want to get sick from air conditioning mould! What do I do?

Moulds won’t go away by themselves – in fact they are some of the hardiest growth organisms found in nature – so you have to take action.

You can kill them by thoroughly cleaning your filters, exposing them to direct sunlight for prolonged periods, and ventilating the room.

Alternatively, you can arrange scheduled air conditioning servicing with Acer Services and let us ensure that the air you breathe is fresh and clean, and completely free of anything that could endanger your health.

By the way, you don’t have to worry about catching legionnaires disease from a domestic air conditioner; that only happens in large commercial air conditioning systems.

Air conditioning isn’t all “doom and gloom” of course; air con has been proven to actually help with a few medical conditions and problems.  Which brings us to our next section…


Is air conditioning good for your health?

In a word, yes. But once again, only if your air conditioners are cleaned well and maintained regularly. Here are 4 ways air con is actually good for you.

  1. Air con has been proven to help respiratory conditions such as Asthma.

If you suffer from asthma or another respiratory condition, the filter of a well-maintained A/C unit will remove the pollutants from the air, so you can breathe easy.

  1. Air Conditioning helps alleviate sinus and other allergies.

If you dread spring time because it plays havoc with your sinuses, with air conditioning you can relax. A good clean filter will trap all those airborne particles that would otherwise get right up your nose and affect your allergies.

  1. A/C helps prevent heat stroke and other heat-related conditions.

Stifling summers in South East Queensland can be unbearable, especially for infants, the elderly and those confined to bed through illness. A good air conditioning unit can give them relief and help them cope with temps in the high 30’s and low 40’s.  A cool retreat can also help prevent heat stroke, heat rashes and so forth.

  1. Air con relieves arthritis by keeping joints warm.

According to Arthritis Queensland, 15% of the state’s population suffers from this painful condition. Reverse cycle air conditioning can heat up a room to a comfortable level to keep sufferers’ joints moving and alleviate their pain. A warm room will also help with other joint related issues.

To sum up…can you get sick from air conditioning?

No, but ONLY if you keep the units and filters clean and serviced regularly.

For more information and advice about air conditioning health, please feel free to speak to the experts at Acer Services. Simply click here to contact us.