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Cold air is usually considered to be a trigger for asthma patients and could lead to sudden attacks. Running an air conditioning unit in a confined space with an asthma patient could be tricky sometimes. However, ACs provide a host of benefits that kind of outweigh the cons. Here’s our pick.

1. Keeps allergens at bay

Dust mites and mold spores thrive in warm, moist environments, which can trigger asthma attacks. By turning on your AC and keeping it on, you’ll reduce the amount of irritants in the air. The Air Purifier Pure A9 from global home appliances brand Electrolux, for instance comes with a Hepa 13 class dust collection filter that helps remove bacteria and allergic materials that can trigger asthma attacks as well as more than 99 per cent of colon bacillus, staphylococcus aureus and legionella that cause various diseases.

2. Filters out asthma triggers

Your AC system’s main defense against asthma triggers lies in the filter. Not only do filters improve overall indoor air quality, they catch particles that cause asthma problems. Dr Prasad K.M., Head of Department, Pulmonology Department, NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi, confirms that past studies have proven properly maintained air conditioners in helping reduce air-borne asthma triggers.

Asthma triggers like dust mites and spores breed in hot and humid air. Ideal humidity is between 30-50 per cent for anyone with chronic lung disease like asthma. In a hot and more humid environment, dust mites can rapidly multiply to cause asthma attacks.

- Dr Prasad K.M., Head of Department, Pulmonology Department, NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi

“However, they can benefit only if properly maintained. There are basically two types of a/c systems, ducted forced air heat and ducted central air-conditioning, both of which filter air-borne allergens like dust mites, animal danders, pollen and mold spores, which trigger most asthma attacks,” says Dr Prasad. “They also work by filtering non-allergic asthma triggers like cigarette smoke and other pollutants.

“Over time, filters clog up, becoming a breeding ground for air contaminants like mold spores. Air conditioners are therefore not effective if the filters are not replaced or maintained as recommended by the manufacturer.”

3. Breathable interiors an essential, not a luxury

In fact, continuing on from Dr Prasad’s statement, the presence of an asthma patient at home also triggers steadfast adherence to keeping living spaces neat and tidy while also ensuring the maintenance runs on your AC units follow a plan. Dr Trilok Chand, Specialist, Respiratory Medicine at Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi is emphatic about the adverse effects bad indoor air quality could have on lung health and asthma control, insisting that optimal indoor air quality depends on the condition of air-conditioning units.

As we know, in the current pandemic, most citizens are confined to their homes, so it is essential to ensure the proper functioning of the AC units and supply clean air. The bad indoor air mostly contains allergens like dust, mites and smoke that can irritate the respiratory system and lead to asthma, COPD, and other allergic symptoms.

- Dr Trilok Chand, Specialist, Respiratory Medicine at Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi

“As we know, in the current pandemic, most citizens are confined to their homes, so it is essential to ensure the proper functioning of the AC units and supply clean air. The bad indoor air mostly contains allergens like dust, mites and smoke that can irritate the respiratory system and lead to asthma, COPD, and other allergic symptoms.

“To improve the indoor air quality, I recommend regular AC maintenance as well as installing a dehumidifier and using an air purifier to improve indoor air quality.”

4. Reduced humidity levels

Air conditioners also help to reduce the humidity. “Asthma triggers like dust mites and spores breed in hot and humid air,” says Dr Prasad. “Ideal humidity is between 30-50 per cent for anyone with chronic lung disease like asthma. In a hot and more humid environment, dust mites can rapidly multiply to cause asthma attacks.” The best a/c filters will have certified asthma and allergy-friendly filters, capable of filtering up to 98 per cent of airborne allergens.

HOW IQAIR PURIFIERS ARE HELPING HOSPITALS BATTLE COVID

As one of the premium names in global air purification systems, Swiss brand IQAir has pretty much set the bar in the industry since its inception in 1963. It continued to set standards last year as the Covid pandemic spread, when it launched its IQAir Cleanroom Series and HealthPro Series of air purifiers. Every IQAir air purifier from the two ranges comes equipped with a hospital-grade HyperHEPA filter that guarantees a minimum removal efficiency of 99.5 per cent even for the tiniest airborne microorganisms and more than 99.97 per cent effectiveness at 0.3 μm,” says a company spokesperson. “This includes even particles the size of the Coronavirus, which has a diameter between 0.08 and 0.12 microns.” The efficiency was independently verified by a leading German aerosol test laboratory, adds the spokesperson.

IQAir air purifiers are now assisting healthcare institutions across Asia and th world. “Several hundred IQAir HealthPro and IQAir Cleanroom systems are currently being deployed in healthcare institutions in Hong Kong and China in the fight against SARS-CoV and Covid-19.”