A study into heatwaves in Australia have shown that during 2000 – 2009 over 500 people have fallen victim to heat exhaustion. This figure which does not even fully capture the magnitude of the problem. Many more deaths have heat as a contributing factor but not the main cause. Keeping cool with an efficient air conditioner is the best means of preventing heat-related deaths and illnesses
The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.
Air conditioners circulate and filter air, removing pollutants and mould from the air. This is especially important for people who suffer from allergies and asthma because it minimises the irritants that trigger an attack. This only hold true, however, if your system is kept clean and filters are regularly changed. Otherwise, the AC can actually contribute to indoor air pollution.
The filters also keep out insects and are far more effective than a screen in an open window. Insects are annoying but they can also be dangerous to people with allergies. A good air conditioning system can help keep indoor pets flea and tick free.
We’ve all experienced the mental sluggishness that comes with a day that is just too hot. There’s actually a scientific basis for this. According to an article in Scientific American, the energy the body expends trying to cool itself down takes away from our ability to think and reason. When offices are air conditioned, people are able to work better and make better decisions.
It’s not just our brains that suffer from the heat either. When the mercury rises so do tempers. As an article on Today.com explains, while our brains are slowing down, our bodies are speeding up with increased heart rates and higher blood pressure. All this leads to more aggressive behaviour making a cool environment key to maintaining peace at home, work, and in public places.
Those same physical changes – higher heart rate and blood pressure – that make us angry can also make it next to impossible to get a good night’s sleep. One’s core body temperature is also a critical factor in getting to and staying asleep. A too hot (or too cold) room interferes with natural temperature regulation which doctors say functions best at between 65 and 75 degrees.
Heat, and especially the humidity that often accompanies it, can wreak havoc on furniture of all kinds. Wood gains and loses moisture with the air around it which over time leads to warping. Leather also absorbs moisture which could eventually cause that stylish couch to rot. And any fabric is susceptible to the mold that breeds rampantly in damp environments.
We’ve already discussed how open windows, even with screens, are limited when it comes to keeping bugs out. They’re even worse at keeping out unwanted people. Depending on where you live or work, an unsecure window or door simply isn’t safe. You want to keep your loved ones and valuables protected from both the elements and the unpleasant side of humankind.
This pales in comparison to many of the other issues, but the heat can be murder on your clothes. Unsightly discoloration from sweat can cause serious embarrassment and send a favourite shirt to the rag bag. Keeping cool with a central air conditioning system can help preserve your wardrobe and your budget.