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does air conditioning make a cough worse?

Updated: May 18

When it comes to respiratory health, many wonder if the cold air from their air conditioning (AC) systems could be worsening their coughs. This concern is especially prevalent in households and workplaces where AC systems are a staple. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the science behind air conditioning and respiratory health, offering insights and actionable tips to ensure your comfort doesn't compromise your health.

The Science Behind Dry Air and Coughs

Air conditioning units, while essential for maintaining comfortable temperatures, can inadvertently contribute to respiratory discomfort. A key factor is the way AC systems modify indoor air quality, particularly by reducing humidity and circulating cooler air. This change in air properties can trigger what is known as cough-variant asthma, a condition where exposure to cold, dry air leads to persistent coughing without the traditional asthma symptoms.

airconditioning for colds

Symptoms Beyond the Cough

While a dry cough is a primary indicator, other symptoms like throat irritation and congestion can also point towards your AC playing a role in your discomfort. These symptoms are often mistaken for allergies or minor colds, but the real culprit could be the air you breathe at home or work.

Creating the Ideal Home Environment to Counteract AC-Induced Coughs

Finding the Right Temperature Balance

Striking the perfect balance in your home’s temperature can significantly impact the prevalence of AC-induced coughs. While there's no one-size-fits-all temperature setting, experts from Cape Air Conditioning suggest maintaining a range between 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit. This range is often effective in reducing the drying effect of AC systems while maintaining comfort.

The Role of AC Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your AC system is crucial in preventing cough-inducing factors such as dust, pollen, and mold. Ensuring clean filters and ducts not only improves air quality but also enhances the efficiency of your AC system. Explore Cape Air Conditioning's maintenance services for optimal indoor air quality.

Humidifiers: A Complementary Solution

Incorporating a humidifier into your space can work wonders in counterbalancing the dry air effect of air conditioners. Especially beneficial during nighttime, when temperatures drop, humidifiers help maintain a throat-friendly moisture level in the air. For selecting the right humidifier, consult with experts at Cape Air Conditioning for personalized advice and solutions.

AC Maintenance Tips for Healthier Air

Regular maintenance of your air conditioning system is not just about efficiency and longevity; it's also about your health. Air conditioners can circulate allergens like pollen and dust, and if not properly maintained, can become breeding grounds for mold. Here are some practical tips and a checklist to ensure your AC system contributes to healthier air in your home or office:

  1. Regular Filter Changes: Replace or clean your AC filters every 1-3 months. A clean filter not only improves air quality but also enhances your AC's efficiency.

  2. Duct Cleaning: Have your air ducts professionally cleaned to remove dust, pollen, and potential mold spores.

  3. Inspect for Mold: Regularly check your AC unit for any signs of mold, which can be a major health hazard.

  4. Routine Professional Check-ups: Schedule annual inspections with a qualified technician to ensure your system is running smoothly and healthily.

  5. Control Humidity Levels: Use a dehumidifier if needed, as high humidity can lead to mold growth and worsen air quality.

  6. Ventilation: Ensure your space is well-ventilated. Occasionally open windows to allow fresh air to circulate and reduce indoor pollutants.

Need Expert AC Maintenance? We're Here to Help

If you're unsure about the current state of your AC or want to ensure it's in the best condition for your health and comfort, we're here to assist. At Cape Air Conditioning, our team of experts can provide comprehensive maintenance services, from filter changes to mould inspections. Contact us for personalized advice and professional services that prioritize your comfort and well-being.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to use air conditioning when you have a cough?

Yes, using air conditioning is generally fine when you have a cough. However, ensure the air isn't excessively cold or dry, as this can aggravate your symptoms. Using a humidifier and setting a moderate temperature can help.

Does cold air help a cough or make it worse?

Cold air can often exacerbate a cough, particularly in conditions like cough-variant asthma, as it can cause dryness and irritation in the airways. Maintaining a comfortable, not-too-cold environment is advisable.

How do you get rid of AC cough?

To alleviate an AC-induced cough, try adjusting the room temperature to a more comfortable level, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air, ensure regular AC maintenance to filter out allergens, and keep yourself hydrated.

One of the fastest ways to prevent AC cough, and also improve other aspects of sleep is using mouth taping.

Is a cold or warm room better for a cough?

A warm room is generally more beneficial for a cough. Cold air can dry out and irritate your throat and airways, increasing coughing. Aim for a comfortably warm room with suitable humidity to help soothe a cough.

Does Air Conditioning Make a Cough Worse?

Air conditioning can potentially make a cough worse, especially if the air is cold and dry, which may irritate the throat and airways. This can be particularly true for individuals with conditions like cough-variant asthma.

To mitigate this, maintain a moderate temperature, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air, and ensure your AC unit is clean and well-maintained to prevent circulating dust and allergens.


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