Air-conditioning is a very useful way to control a home or workplace environment and ensure that people remain comfortable. However, air-conditioning systems are not without their drawbacks and these should be taken into account when deciding how extensively to use them in the home or workplace. In short, it is important for those in control of domestic or commercial air-conditioning systems to carefully weigh up the pros and cons before deciding when, how and how much they should be used.
Some of the advantages of air-conditioning are obvious. Historically, it has been much harder to cool down during the hottest months of the year than to warm up during the coldest months. Air-conditioning solves this problem by supplying fresh, cool air to reduce the temperature quickly and efficiently.
This makes things much more pleasant and comfortable. In a workplace, it can also be an important way to ensure that all legislation surrounding health and safety and the provision of a comfortable working environment is properly conformed with. Furthermore, people simply work more efficiently when they are not too hot.
Air-conditioning is especially useful in work environments where equipment is generating a lot of heat on top of the warm weather. In some situations such as server rooms, air-conditioning is an important way to keep equipment from overheating as well as to keep people cool.
One of the most commonly cited disadvantages of air-conditioning is that it can potentially spread diseases. When there is moisture trapped within the system, infectious diseases that affecting the respiratory system can potentially breed in the moist conditions inside the air-conditioning system. They can then be distributed through circulating air and cause outbreaks within the workplace. This most famously happens with Legionnaire’s Disease, but the same thing can happen with other infections.
This problem is avoidable, but doing so requires regular careful maintenance. Indeed, to ensure air-conditioning systems keep working at their full efficiency and do not present a health hazard, maintenance will generally be necessary from time to time and this can be inconvenient and in some cases costly.
Diseases are not the only thing that air-conditioning systems can spread. If such things get into the system, they can also distribute allergens such as dust or fungi. This can cause or exacerbate allergic reactions in people using the air-conditioned space, which along with the drying effect air-conditioning has on the skin, nose and throat can make them feel quite unwell.
Air-conditioning is an extremely useful way to maintain control over an environment, especially in the workplace, where doing so helps maximise productivity and conform to important legislation. However, it is a good idea to ensure that air-conditioning systems are properly maintained and cleaned. Due to the drying effects and possibility of spreading allergens, it can also be a good idea to avoid unnecessary usage. Those without air-conditioning systems should consider installing them, but those who already have them should think carefully about whether they currently rely on them too much.