How to use your air conditioning properly
It’s summer! And summer is hot; but heat can be dangerous and difficult to cope with. The first thing people tend to do is stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day with the air conditioning on, even in the car.
Paediatricians no longer have any doubts about air conditioning: use it! Everyone feels uncomfortable when it’s stuffy and hot, even kids. Young children have more difficulty in regulating their temperature and so can be more at risk from extreme temperatures.
But air conditioning, which is so useful when it’s hot and stuffy, needs to be used properly. Here are some simple rules to follow to keep your children cool and healthy!
Clean the filters:
Cleaning the filter of your air conditioner regularly is very important. If you use your AC unit every day, the rule of thumb is that you should clean the filters once every two weeks, but this depends on how often you use it.
Don’t forget about the AC unit in your car. Be sure to change your cabin air filters every 12,000 to 15,000 miles to ensure a clean ride. Keeping the filters clean not only ensures that your AC unit is more efficient but prevents the spread of mould spores in the air or, in rare cases, bacterial contamination (such as Legionella), that may cause respiratory infections or allergic reactions in people who are predisposed to allergies.
Adjust the temperature in your home:
It’s not necessary to set your AC unit to arctic temperatures to keep your home cool. A setting of just 3 or 4 degrees below the outdoor temperature is enough to keep your home pleasantly cool. Modern air conditioners also have a dehumidifier function.
Most people find it really hard to cope with humidity when it’s hot: a dehumidifier performs the important function of extracting humidity in the form of vapour from the air as well as keeping the surrounding air cool, making the room far more comfortable.
In the car:
If you leave your car in the sun for many hours, it becomes a veritable “mobile furnace”, with the temperature in the car becoming much higher than the outdoor temperature. Before you let your kids get into the car, remember to cool the car down to about 4° -5° C below the outdoor temperature. But no more than that because moving from a very cold environment to the sweltering outdoor air is stressful for their bodies!
The important thing is not to put your AC unit on “full blast” straight onto you in attempt to cool down right away. What you should do is cool the car gradually: a light cool jet of air which should never be regulated directly onto you. It will take a little more time, but your baby passenger will feel much better for it!
Open the windows:
When you are using the air conditioner, the temptation is not to open windows to prevent warm air from coming in. But it’s important to air rooms and bedrooms several times a day, to prevent the build-up of polluting substances, that are present in every home.