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Why Am I Allergic to My Air Conditioner?

Even when you think you have escaped the dangers of poor air quality outside, you can still face invisible particles that can harm you even within the comforts of your home. Airborne allergens are contaminants in your home that could cause allergic reactions. These are often exacerbated by unhealthy cleaning habits.

Being exposed to allergens for the first time might not immediately cause symptoms. But, if ignored, your sensitivity to it will increase. So if you find yourself asking “Why am I allergic to my air conditioner?” Here are four airborne allergens that may plague the air quality of your home:

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic organisms that eat organic matter and absorb water from the surrounding humidity. They are one of the components of house dust. Exposure to them and their waste can increase your risk of developing a dust mite allergy. Some symptoms of dust mite allergy include runny nose, irritated eyes, sneezing, and shortness of breath.

Dust mites only affect you negatively, so here are some of the things you can do to avoid them:

• Use dust mite-proof mattresses and pillowcases.

• Keep humidity under 50%.

• Regular cleaning or vacuuming.

Pet Dander

Most pet allergies are associated with cats and dogs, since they are the most common house pets. Pet dander is the dead skin that your pet sheds. These and allergens found in the fur and saliva of pets can increase the risks of an allergy due to prolonged exposure. Pet dander can remain airborne if disturbed and can contaminate the air you breathe. Some pet allergy symptoms include sneezing, coughing, irritated eyes, and runny nose.

It is best to avoid pets if you are allergic to them. However, if you really want one, then it is important to:

• Keep your pets out of your bedroom as much as possible.

• Consider using a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter.

• Use a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner in your room.

• Give your dog or cat a bath at least once a week.

Mold Spores

Mold is present in most homes, especially in areas where there is high moisture. It will even grow in your air conditioner, which could distribute the spores throughout your house. The spores reduce the air quality and can cause various symptoms like nasal congestion, itchy throat, wheezing, and eye irritation. Those who have allergies, however, may experience more serious reactions.

Cleaning mold is good, but preventing it from growing or spreading could prove to be more effective. Here are some preventive measures:

• Fix areas where there are water leaks.

• Install proper ventilation to reduce moisture and humidity.

• Clean your air conditioner and replace its air filters regularly.

Pollen

Pollen is a plant microspore that usually appears dust-like. It can infiltrate your house by sticking to your pets, hair, or clothes, or by passing through an open window. Some of the symptoms of a pollen allergy include nasal congestion, stuffy nose, and watery eyes.

Pollen allergies can be seasonal, but they may also be year-round. To ease some of the pollen allergy symptoms, here are some of the things you could do:

• Vacuum regularly.

• Invest in a portable HEPA filter or dehumidifier.

• Clean your air conditioner and replace the filters regularly.

To sum up, you are not really allergic to your air conditioner but to the allergens that linger in your home. An allergen-free home indicates good indoor air quality, which means a safe environment. Having an air conditioner will not only keep you cold but also filter the air you breathe.

It is important, however, to have it regularly maintained by professionals to keep it operating efficiently. Do not worry because allergic reactions can be prevented and even remedied. However, if your symptoms persist, you should consult your doctor.

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