DWhy was the world’s first air conditioner used, why is this device not always synonymous with illness, and what is Sick Building Syndrome? On BeautyHack – the most famous research on the harm and benefits of air conditioning systems and advice on their use in hot weather.
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Fact # 1: The world’s first air conditioner was intended for completely different purposes
In 1902, inventor Willis Carrier invented the world’s first air conditioning system. He was working on an order for a publishing company in Brooklyn, which faced a problem: due to changes in the level of humidity in the rooms, the printing ink dried out. Thirteen years later, Willis founded Carrier Engineering, which still exists today and is engaged in the production of cooling and heating systems. For his research breakthrough, Time magazine named Willis as one of the 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century.
Fact # 2: the first air conditioners were tested in cinemas
In the 30s of the 20th century, people came to cinemas to hide from the summer heat. This led marketers to an interesting idea: to postpone the premieres of all blockbusters for summer time. This is how the term “Summer blockbuster” appeared – its visitors to the cinemas invariably watched under the “chill” of the air conditioner.
Fact # 3: This year the total number of air conditioners in the world could reach 1 billion
Such data are provided by the International Energy Agency. For comparison, in 2005 this figure was 500 million. The greatest demand for air conditioners is now in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Spain.
Fact # 4: By data American organization CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) air conditioners protect against mold growth in rooms
Indoor mold can cause nasal congestion, itchy and red eyes, and wheezing. In some cases, it leads to allergies and exacerbation of asthma. But its spread can be avoided, including with the help of an air conditioner. It is important to keep the humidity level not higher than 50% and regulate it during the day – for this the air conditioner must be equipped with sensors showing the level of temperature and humidity in the room.
Fact # 5: On the other hand, a group of scientists from China in 2015 published research on the formation of dust mites in filters of air conditioning systems and their effect on human health
This conclusion was made after studying the level of dust mite concentration before and during the activation of air conditioners in public places (canteens, shopping centers, hotels) in the city of Wuhu in China. After several hours of operation of air conditioners, the concentration of dust mites increased significantly. As a result, asthma attacks and allergic reactions. For this reason, air conditioner manufacturers remind you to regularly (every 4-6 months) clean or replace filters in these devices.
Fact number 6: microorganisms can develop inside the air conditioner, which is one of the reasons for the development of the Sick Building Syndrome
For the first time they started talking about the syndrome in the 80s, and the World Health Organization even officially approved the term. Most often, we are talking about office premises that affect the general condition of employees: they cause nasal congestion, allergies, breathing problems, fatigue, irritate mucous membranes. According to a study by Dr. Mark Mendell, an epidemiologist at the California State Department of Public Health, one of the causes of the syndrome is microbial contaminated air conditioning units (for example, a heat exchanger). To do this outputMark and his team analyzed 97 office buildings.
Fact # 7: the slight temperature discomfort that air conditioners give can be useful to a person.
This statement was made by the professor and the author of the book “Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World“ Stan Cox. At the most comfortable temperature, he explains, a person eats more and gains weight faster. If you are slightly chilly or, conversely, hot, the metabolism works faster. The human body easily adapts to different temperatures. The main thing is that these drops are not sharp – no more than 6-8°C. The same rule applies to car interiors.
Fact number 8: you should not turn on the air conditioner in the car immediately during landing
This is due to the fact that in the heat in a closed car, the toxin benzene is released, which spreads through the cabin due to the operating air conditioner. To prevent this from happening, the salon needs to be ventilated for several minutes, and then the air conditioner must be turned on to the maximum temperature, gradually lowering it to a comfortable one. Moreover, it does not need to be directed to the face – this is what leads to colds.
Fact number 9: no need to open windows when the air conditioner is running
This creates an additional draft – the culprit of the common cold.
Fact # 10: Office air conditioning can cause dehydration and even dermatitis
Here we have already talked about how the conditioner affects the mucous membranes. However, the skin also suffers from the influence of cold air currents – it becomes dehydrated and, as a result, microcracks and dermatitis may appear. The elasticity of the upper layer of the dermis is lost. Dermatologists Natalia Robinson and Emma Wedgward it is advised not to touch your face with your hands during work (so as not to transfer bacteria), drink enough water and choose places away from air conditioning systems.