Michelle Stewart, director of Island Estates in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

It is impossible to live without air-conditioners in the UAE, especially during summer. But to ensure that the air-conditioner does not have adverse effects on your health, it is important to check and maintain its air filters regularly.

The UAE has a very hot and dusty climate. Quite often, children get sick and suffer from repeated infections. Studies show that constant exposure to ACs are linked with this.

The air quality at places of work and where families spend significant periods of time (like a nursery or school) are rampant with germs. Due to constant usage, air filters collect a lot of these germs along with dust and dirt.

Dirty air filters prevent the system from functioning effectively, resulting in poor air quality which affects your family’s health, particularly if you suffer with asthma or allergies.

General AC maintenance usually covers removing the dust from the outer grill of the unit only, which is really not cleaning at all. It is essential to get right into the back of the units and remove built up dust, dirt and grime. It is even more important to check for mould and bacteria that can be making you sick.

Even after a thorough clean, these levels of bacteria tend to return frequently. Imagine what is lurking there if they have never been cleaned! This is why we recommend to clean and service units and filters properly every three months.

Regular servicing also benefits the environment by improving the energy efficiency. It speeds up the cooling process so there is no need to run the units constantly. This in turn saves you money on electricity bills.

Companies today are careful not to use any harsh chemicals which damage the environment. They also use equipment that allows for safe sterilisation.

Natural products are employed and before cleaning, free inspections are conducted using high tech inspection cameras.

In short, make sure your filters are clean to breathe easy and safe.

- The author is the director of Island Estates in Abu Dhabi