“It’s 85 degrees at 7:30 am! There will be no hope for this day.” These were my thoughts as I left for work several years ago. I lived in a hot, humid state where one summer the temperature reached 117 degrees. I was used to blizzards and freezing temperatures, but not the other extreme.
Fortunately, I thought, I worked in a basement in an air conditioned office. Because I was there for 8 or more hours a day, in an air conditioned home, car, grocery stores, I rarely was exposed to any fresh air. As a result, my health suffered much, as you have read in other parts of my blog.
When the weather warms up, it’s natural to turn on the air conditioner to escape the extreme temperatures outside. Before you do so, here are some warnings to consider.
Here are 7 dangers of using the A/C constantly:
1. You are breathing processed air.
You’ve read much about my take on processed food. When the A/C is running nonstop in your home, you are breathing air that has been recycled over and over and over again. It’s important to get some fresh air by opening windows when the air cools down somewhat. Usually at night and in the early morning are the best times, when the temperatures are lowest in the will be that day.
2. You are going from one extreme to another.
While the heat and humidity can be quite a bit to handle, it’s very hard on your body to go from an air conditioned (cool and not humid) house or store to outside where it is much warmer and very humid. This is actually a recipe for illness if it is repeated often enough.
3. You may feel tired.
Remember the last time you felt groggy? Think of how much fresh air you had breathed that day. Instead of lying down for a nap, take a swift walk around the block, and at the end you may want to take a second one because you are feeling so good! Fresh air is energizing (and it’s better for you than coffee or an energy drink)!
4. Your skin may dry out.
When you think of dry skin, you usually think of winter. However, it can be just as dry in your home when the A/C is removing all the humidity. Dry skin can can illness because it’s allowing germs into your body instead of defending your body against germs.
5. The A/C is blowing dust all over your house.
This blowing of dust can worsen your allergies. Make sure that you clean or replace your air filters frequently and also dust and vacuum your house at least weekly.
6. The toxins from your air fresheners, cleaners, and other household products are not being removed from your home.
You probably think that air pollution occurs mostly OUTSIDE your home. However, the air in your home can be up to five times worse than the air outside. Read this article about the importance of fresh air in your home, this one about side effects of your cleaners, and this one about safe alternatives to air fresheners and room sprays.
7. You may get frequent headaches and have trouble concentrating.
A lack of fresh air can be caused by the above signs and much more. If you feel off, consider the following:
- When was the last time you turned off the A/C?
- When was the last time you took a brisk walk outside (even if it was 10-15 minutes)?
- Are you using air fresheners and store-bought cleaners in your home?
I understand that when the thermometer reads 105 and it’s 90% humidity, you probably need to turn on the air conditioner. In addition, if you have heart problems, you may need to run it more often than not.
If you live somewhere where it’s very hot most of the time and you must run the A/C, here are some tips for you:
- Use an air purifier.
- Have multiple plants in your home.
- On cooler days, consider opening windows for a refreshing cross-breeze.
- Before you turn on the A/C, turn on a fan or two and see if that will be keep you cool enough. You may be surprised.
How do you stay cool without running the A/C?
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