Dubai: Get your air conditioning unit serviced before summer sets in. Health and facilities maintenance experts warn that residents who switch on their ACs after a long break could be unwittingly inviting a host of diseases.
"AC ducts and coils are breeding grounds for airborne bacteria which may cause respiratory allergies and, in some cases, even lung infections. It's important to disinfect contaminated areas such as coils, drip pans and ducts before use," said Satinder Pal Singh, General Manager of Operations, Emcor Facilities Services.
Dr Samitha Rajkumar, a paediatrician at Unicare Dubai, said dust and fungal spores in an ill-maintained AC unit are dispersed into the air when it is switched on, causing respiratory allergies and infections. She urged residents to keep their ACs clean and free of dust to prevent fungus build-up.
Ehab Al Najjar of duserve Facilities Management warned residents who are moving into a new apartment to be cautious. "Even if they are using an AC for the first time, they must get it sanitised by a professional company," he said.
Residents of buildings with split ACs are advised to clean the air filters with tap water.
"Allow them to dry before re-installing them," said Roger Swanson of facilities management firm Farnek Services.
Regular maintenance will help ensure your air conditioner operates efficiently.
Experts recommend cleaning of air conditioner filters every two weeks.
In buildings with central ACs, experts from the US Environmental Protection Agency suggest that if there is substantial visible mould growth inside the hard surface or metal ducts or other components of the cooling system, one should consider having the air ducts cleaned to avoid airborne diseases.