Published on May 8th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi


Side Effects of Using AC Units: Is There a Safe and Healthy Alternative?

Air conditioners are viewed as a necessity, especially for those areas where the climate is hot most times of the year. If you’re tired of the heat and looking to buy an AC unit, have you considered the risks? Let’s discuss the side effects you might experience when using air conditioning and what are some safe alternatives.

How ACs Can Negatively Impact Human Health

Now, before moving to the healthy options that are available in the market as replacement of ACs, let’s have a detailed look into the adverse impacts AC can have. After that, we will discuss more health-friendly options that are cost-effective as well.

  • Can increase asthma and breathing issues
    AC units air filters, if not cleaned regularly, can collect or develop several types of bacteria, dust, and pollen particles. Such uncleaned filters increase the problem in breathing and chances of asthma attacks.
  • Can cause sinus issues
    Continuous exposure to the unpurified air of ACs can cause symptoms of sinus congestion. If you feel that at certain places you feel congested a little while after getting there, it may be because of the AC.
  • Might cause you to get colds more often
    If you frequently go in and out of a cold room, you may also feel that you are getting a cold very often. If your immune system is not the best, drastic changes in temperature and extremely dry air might make your body more prone to catching viruses.
  • Might make you resistant to more heat
    You may also notice your body to behave abnormally if it’s not exposed to a little heat from time to time. It could be anything from more sweaty body parts to feeling heat more than ordinary people. This happens when you spend most of the time in cold AC rooms.
  • It causes moisture to dwindle
    Artificial air causes moisture to evaporate and if there’s nothing to inject humidity back into the air, this can lead to the skin as well as breathing issues. You may suffer dehydration or dizziness in some cases.
  • It’s not sleep-friendly
    Though the sound may not be very high but operating it constantly, the buzz of the AC units may not let you sleep with peace. Older models are more prone to creating more noise.
  • It might leak poisonous refrigerant
    Maintenance of ACs is required frequently. Neglecting the need for regular checkups may end up in the refrigerant leaking and without dispelling a smell in the air.
  • SBS
    Primarily known as the Sick Building Syndrome, it is defined as feeling a certain kind of sickness by the people living in a specific building. There are no specific symptoms or conditions. Most likely, the cause is due to improper ventilation as ACs work in closed spaces, so they may lead to it.

On top of these issues, if you constantly use ACs you may also suffer from headaches or observe variant body temperature. Therefore, if you are looking for a safe and healthy cooling option for your home or office, there are many portable evaporative air coolers that you can bring home.

Healthy and Safe ACs Replacements

Here is all that you need to know about these alternatives and why might want to replace your AC units with these healthy, safe, and cost-efficient replacements.

Electric Fans

This is one of the most common and freely available options, even though not the most effective. Many buildings have fans as an essential part of it. However, they just exist to create a breezy impact by moving the air in their surroundings. There is no built-in functionality that can alter the temperature of the room. However, there are some DIY ideas that one can follow to make the air in the room cooler. Yet, these ideas will still not help to drop the room temperature.

Many sizes, types, shapes are now available on the market, and you can pick one as per the need. Some of the latest models also have smart functionality, are battery-driven, smartphone operated.


  • Budget-friendly. No need to budget for it or get financial assistance. These are way cheaper, and you can just go to the market and buy one.
  • Safe. No hazardous materials are involved, and due to that, you don’t need to fear getting poisoned unknowingly. However, still, you need to keep children away as these are easily approachable.
  • Fit for all. Most of the models are just plug and play. A little or no installation is required, and no consumption of additional space occurs.

Drawbacks of electric fans

  • No reduction in temperature. Since there is no cooling mechanism, all they do is to move air around. So if there is hot air inside, it will just move hot air, and there will be no change in temperature.
  • Dehydrated skin. Exposure to hot air can dry the skin and cause a thirsty feeling.
  • Often cleaning is required. The exposure to the open air causes a buildup of layers of dust on fans. So you are required to clean them regularly. Otherwise, you may suffer breathing issues.
  • Cause of noise pollution. The movement of fans creates a constant and loud noise. Therefore, they may interrupt sleep or rest.

Swamp Coolers

You may have also heard these are some of the best portable air coolers on the market. All they need is a tank of water and moisture pads to cool down the air using water droplets making them healthy and safe. These are best for the hot and dry climates and available in variant sizes that can even be used in a space of up to four hundred square feet.

List of benefits that you can get from evaporative cooling devices

  • You can expect a drop in temperature. The evaporation process uses water droplets to reduce air temperature. It helps to bring down overall room temperature as well. You may also consider using chilled water in the tank on overheated days.
  • No hazardous material used. No poisonous material is used to cool the air artificially, so these are completely safe for anyone in the vicinity of the device.
  • Easy cleaning routine. No hectic or complicated cleaning is required. Use simple soap and water to clean the filters.
  • Inaudible operation. They make less noise and help you sleep at peace.
  • Economy in cost and power consumption. The prices may be more than an electric fan but yet much less than ACs.
  • Air humidification. The droplets of water also help to maintain air moisture.


  • Not suitable for a highly humid climate. If you live in a high humid area, swamp coolers may not be the best solution for you.


The health risks associated with ACs are highly critical, but you have a safe, healthy, and economical solution in the form of evaporative coolers. Evaporative coolers hold so many features as well as benefits that one may look for while buying a cooling device. In addition, the availability of these coolers in multiple sizes makes it the best choice for any place.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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