Why the Air Conditioner May Give You a Sore Throat

Heating and air conditioning are such a part of everyday life that we usually don’t give them a second thought—until something goes wrong, or we experience discomfort of any kind. If you’re feeling a little choked up, there are three main reasons why an air conditioner can give you a sore throat.

Dry air, dirty air, allergies, and sore throats happen, and when they do, sometimes the first suspect is the air conditioning. While this isn’t true for everyone, there are times when a sore throat or other body reactions can be triggered by the air conditioner.

Improper Installation

A general reason why air conditioning may be to blame for a sore throat, or any type of discomfort, is improper installation. Faulty technical work, negligence, or accidents result not only in poor air conditioning but create areas that can foster lower sanitation and overall health.

When an air conditioner is installed in a bad location, it can degrade faster. This damage can be attributed to an excessive amount of UV rays, low amount of insulation, or improper air circulation.

A professional HVAC technician and installer makes sure the system is in a place that receives proper air flow.

Leaky Ductwork

Over time and with use, small leaks and punctures can appear in your ductwork. Ductwork is responsible for transporting air to the HVAC system, then distributing temperature-treated air to the home. These small leaks can lead to contaminates, such as dust and allergens, getting into your HVAC System.

Leaks and punctures within the central air system, duct work, and filter allow for dirt, dust and other irritants to contaminate the internal anatomy of the furnace and air conditioner as well as the indoor air supply. The dirt continues to build up over time, hurting the system efficiency and degrading air quality.

Lack of AC Maintenance

The air supply inside of the home is recycled again and again with each air conditioning cycle, traveling through the central air system and throughout the house. Homeowners who tend to skip out on AC maintenance can forfeit the benefits that come with a regular tune-up.

One of the biggest contributors to an AC induced sore throat is a dirty air filter. Air filters serve two important roles. First, they keep dust from clogging important components of your HVAC system. And second, they trap indoor air pollutants.

Air filters that are too full or haven’t been changed force your HVAC system to work harder to push air through the clogged filter. Additionally, your indoor air will stay polluted because the filter can’t pull dust, dander, allergens, and other contaminates from your air.

For those particularly sensitive to indoor air quality, several air-cleaning systems are available with the help of your HVAC contractor.

Closed Vent Control

Closed vents prohibit the interaction between indoor and outdoor air. This seals the house from the outside and the same air cycles around the home. Air that has been trapped indoors for prolonged periods of time grow stagnant, breed bacteria and collect dust.

Try opening the vents of the central air system to allow the exchange of outdoor air with indoor air. This allows for a new supply of healthier air for central air conditioning.

It’s also a good idea to open your windows from time to time and let fresh air in. This will help with keeping your air from getting stale.

What You Can do to Combat an AC Induced Sore Throat

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do when the air conditioner starts to give you a sore throat. Our tried and true methods for combating this are:

  • Schedule Regular Tune-Ups: The best thing you can do for your home and HVAC system is to schedule two tune-ups per year. Once in the spring before you start using the AC and once in the fall before it’s time to turn on the furnace.

    During a tune-up, our techs will clean everything in your system, making sure there is no buildup of dust or other debris.

  • Routinely Check the Air Filter: The air filter is responsible for trapping indoor air contaminates. When it’s too full, you could be breathing dirty air.
  • Keep Yourself Hydrated: Central air conditioners can dry out your air. Make sure you’re staying hydrated any time you’re home.
  • Frequently Dust and Vacuum: Some homes have more dust than others. A great way to keep that dust at bay is to routinely dust and vacuum your home.

When the Air Conditioner Isn’t to Blame

If your HVAC contractor cannot find any faults within the central air system, you can adjust some personal habits to help alleviate pain and discomfort.

Consider adding a humidifier to restore moisture in the air supply. When the central air system runs for great lengths of time, water is zapped out of the air. Your HVAC contractor can help you find the right humidifier for your home and lifestyle needs.

Always remember to keep hydrated to help wash out irritants breathed in.