In the early 20th century, an American engineer named Willis Haviland Carrier invented the air conditioner for a printing company to control the temperature and humidity. This laid the foundation for modern air conditioners (A/C) and today sensor technology and mobile applications are part of it. Undoubtedly, A/C provides us with convenience and for this reason, it has become an essential appliance, both at home and in the workplace. Air conditioner proved valuable for over a century and gives us comfort but comes with other advantages and disadvantages.
The benefits of A/C are not limited to just convenience. It has a long list to uncover, which we will discuss at great length in the next section. Then, we will move on to examining the drawbacks to complete our analysis. Without delay, let’s get started.
Advantages of air conditioner
We’ll start with positive aspects of the air conditioner, i.e., cover some of its upsides.
It improves the quality of air
The short and long-term health condition of individuals depends on the quality of the air they breathe. An air conditioner helps enhance the quality of air in several ways. A few include maintaining humidity, removing allergens and pollutants, and preserving the desired temperature. All these help in dealing with issues such as poor ventilation, indoor pollutants, humidity, and temperature that deteriorate the air quality. Also, along with clean air, it keeps the bedroom cool to improve your sleep quality.
Air conditioner prevents heat strokes
When the outside temperature rises to critical levels, the body struggles to regulate its internal temperature which in the worst case leads to heat strokes. The air conditioner is essential to prevent this, especially during summer. Because it can combat the potential risk to health caused by heat strokes, offices install air conditioning systems to ventilate the space and keep employees healthy. Moreover, it prevents dehydration caused by excessive sweating.
It improves your work efficiency
The results of the study conducted on the impact of heat on office productivity showed that installing the air conditioning system gave positive outcomes. Several reasons back up these results. Firstly, proper ventilation saves time by eliminating the need to adjust fans and reducing the trip to get water. Secondly, it creates a calming effect on the work environment which decreases their stress levels and helps them improve their speed and ability to complete tasks. Lastly, it helps ensure technology works in optimal conditions, keeping employee productivity high.
Air conditioners stop insect intrusions
Open windows seem like an invitation to insects, and thus they intrude. While all you are doing is opening a passage for fresh air, the activity can still backfire. The alternative to this is installing an air conditioner that prevents insects intrusion. Furthermore, it is effective against indoor insects and parasites too. Also, they are exothermic, so they prefer warm and humid environments. Switching the air conditioner on will keep your environment cool and control the presence of insects and parasites.
It helps reduce athma and allergies
The filter in the air conditioner catches particles that cause asthma problems. Eliminating asthma triggers is the best way to lower the number of attacks. Also, allergens such as dust mites, fungus, and mold choose non-circulating air to grow. Whereas with the air conditioner in place, the air keeps circulating constantly. Moreover, allergens need a warm and moist environment to thrive. Installing this appliance greatly reduces the number of irritants in the air, which ultimately lessens the frequency and intensity of allergies.
Disadvantages of air conditioner
Irrespective of how useful an air conditioner is, it has a few downsides that are impossible to shrug off. Therefore, here is a list of several drawbacks.
It can cause heat intolerance
Anything in excess leads to problems. In this case, excessive exposure to air conditioners can make people heat intolerant when they go outside. This is to say, the overuse of air conditioners makes people feel exhausted from exposure to the outside heat. In some cases, it can lead to dizziness, headaches, difficulties in breathing, and in severe cases, heat strokes.
Air conditioner causes health problems
Air conditioners help prevent ill-health cases but at the same time, they can lead to myriad health problems. People who spent a substantial amount of time in an air-conditioned environment are more susceptible to experiencing respiratory symptoms. Plus, this makes you vulnerable to infectious disease as it dries out mucous essential in keeping bacteria and viruses out. The combination of dry conditioned air and irritation of the mucous membrane is the culprit for issues with the respiratory system.
It can make you lethargic
Researchers have found an occurrence of unexplained sluggishness among people who live and work next to air conditioners. This is especially true when the temperature is set very low. What happens here is, the low temperature makes you shiver, which further pushes your body to produce heat. In this process, the energy is consumed which causes tiredness. This is one of the reasons employees feel lethargic at work but when they exit the building, they feel better. The name for this phenomenon is sick building syndrome.
Air conditioner is expensive to install and maintain
Even though air conditioners are becoming a necessity, their installation and maintenance can be quite pricey. In fact, installation and maintenance are just one part of the story—additional electricity consumption and subsequent charges are the other. The reason for the expensive pricing is the higher cost of manufacturing and assembling. Moreover, the latest technology and features are rolled out frequently which drives the cost up.
It has a negative impact on the environment
When the cooling agents such as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and refrigerant Hydrofluoro-olefins (HFOs) present in the air conditioner are released into the environment, they cause ozone layer depletion over time. This contributes to global warming, eventually harming the environment. Furthermore, A/C requires lots of energy to operate, thus consuming more electricity and leading to pollution. Also, materials used to manufacture air conditioners release carbon dioxide in the air, causing the greenhouse effect.