Do Air Conditioners Emit Harmful Gases?

Air conditioners make it easy to create indoor comfort by merely flipping a switch or touching a button. In broader contexts, the term “air conditioning” means any automated mechanical system or device that heats, purifies, cools, or recirculates air.

All appliances or machinery built for any or all of those purposes are categorized as “air conditioners.” Most such equipment functions by cyclical air refrigeration and may include evaporation for extra comfort in autos or large buildings.

History of Air Conditioning

Air conditioning as it is now known was made possible by 19th-century discoveries in chemistry. Those breakthroughs led to W. H. Carrier designing the first functional electricity-driven air cooler in 1902. Initial A/C models had a major flaw in that flammable gases such as propane or ammonia could leak and cause fatal injury or fires.

As a mechanical process, conditioning air falls into one of two classifications: comfort and processing.

Like the label implies, Comfort functionality is designed to supply cool air at a consistent temperature, despite ambient weather or excessive interior heat. Process applications serve to make immediate environmental conditions more suitable, irrespective of humidity or heat levels and weather.

Besides buildings, AC systems are commonly installed in common carriers like aircraft or trains and private motor vehicles. Although typically considered in terms of comfort control, process functions determine actual performance rather than user preferences. The common goal of both process and comfort functions is to control air purity and circulation as well as temperature.

Do Air Conditioners Emit Harmful Gases?

An ironic aspect of air conditioning is creating both comfort and hazards for human beings.

The latter adverse effect occurs because air is polluted by toxic chemical and/or biological agents that may endanger health. Earth’s atmosphere and ecosystems are complicated and constantly interact to make life possible on the planet.

Thus, the accurate answer to an increasingly common question “Do air conditioners emit harmful gases?” is affirmative.

Prolonged exposure to even comparatively small amounts of certain chemical compounds such as lead can damage the central nervous system and result in chronic anemia or fatigue. Young children are especially susceptible to lead toxicity. Studies show that IQs, scholastic ability and behavioral problems are much higher among youngsters exposed to excessive lead.

Besides depleting the Earth’s protective ozone layer, interior and urban locales were cited as the world’s most polluted places in a 2008 Blacksmith Institute report. Although air pollution also results from open combustion of certain materials like old tires and automobiles, air conditioning causes especially hazardous pollution.

Preventing A/C environmental pollution is essentially, since many respiratory diseases can result from toxic gas emissions. A prime example is CO2, that impedes blood oxygenation. In addition, failure to maintain air conditioner systems may facilitate the proliferation of infectious bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease.

Poorly-maintained AC units may also lead to the development or exacerbation of severe allergic reactions or even potentially life threatening asthma attacks and other respiratory disorders. By keeping all components clean and changing or cleaning filters regularly, most of these health risks can be avoided or drastically decreased.

Despite potential drawbacks, however, modern air condition systems provide dehumidification, filtration, and purification in addition to cooling.

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