Air Conditioners

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Hi, is there something in air con units that make COPD worse? Have just returned from a business trip to Sweden (Hotel - Flight - Rail Travel), struggled to breath and used my Ventolin many times which I don't normally do!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Kathryn,

    Strange you should ask this question as I have similer one for when I use the air con in my car I always suffer more the next day will be interested to see who else joins the conversation and the out come

     

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    • Posted

      Have a problem with my car air con too, it's almost as if the oxygen is being taken away. As with yourself, will be interesting to see if anyone else joins in.

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  • Posted

    I have a small unit in my bedroom with a hepa and carbon filter.  It removes particles of pollen and dust from the air and I have found it to be of enormous benefit, now waking up breathing well and unblocked every morning.
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  • Posted

    I've never heard of air con per se giving symptoms. Cold air yes, but has to be around zero I think. Also air travel, over a significant distance, the plane is up to 40,000 feet and the air pressure inside is deliberately lowered to 6,000-8,000 feet equivalent depending on the airline I suppose. But another things is since the pressure has to be maintained by an air pump, frequently a bleed off the engines is used, and I think there is some dispute about how that air may be contaminated by fuel particles.

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  • Posted

    I noticed that i had difficulties with changes of a/c as well. Our house has a/c but when i travel in the car and then use the window a/c at the cabin, i find i have a harder time adjusting to "normal" breathing. I spent a significant amount of time traveling this year with shorter distances and definately felt the change.  I also noticed a change on those when I used a/c for sleeping. Dependant on the humidity, it was either a blessing or too dry for my nose. Being on O2 24/7 really amplifies the need for constistency for me with forced air.

    Haveing said that i have read that a/c can hold a lot of impurities held in their filters. Perhaps that was part of your irritation.

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  • Posted

    I expect that the air quality in the hotel was not good and the air con filters perhaps were not affective or they needed changing.

    In very hot weather I wouldn't go out in a car unless there was air con, the cooler air for me makes breathing easier in hot weather.  Unbearable without it.

    Perhaps the filters in the car air con are old or need changing.  They do say as well that when first switching the air con on in a car to have the windows open then close them once the first cooled air has been put out, I think initially it can contain dust.

    Also you don't want to be in an air conditioned car if you are sharing it with someone who may be infected with a cold, (although unlikely in summer time).

    It may depend on the air conditioning unit, some just recycle used air, others take air from outside filter it, cool it and circulate it, makes a lot of difference to breathing.

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  • Posted

    I live in Texas and AC is mandatory for most of the year, though I thoroughly enjoy being able to sleep with open windows ASAP. So here's the skinny I've learned for myself lungs & sinuses:

    1) Hotels - often almost never change their filters enough for folks like us and may even use filters that only filter things no smaller than human hair and dust bunnies. BUT this is not the only issue. They're also often so air tight that the only fresh air is found in the lobby near the doors. With that tight system all the carpet dust and dust mites (especially in the bedrooms) plus cleaning chemicals are endlessly recycled.

    2) cold air blowing on the face certainly affects both me & my end-stage COPD ex. I can't take any fan blowing constantly on my face; only oscillating or at worst a ceiling fan on low. Too cold air, even air that's just 68°F coming out of a car AC vent toward my ex's face has left him unable to breathe for almost the entire 20 years I've known him, which means at least 4 years before he was diagnosed. The air doesn't have to be anywhere close to freezing to bother many of us. I have a lot of trouble with ceiling level room vents in many homes because in small rooms the cold air blows out very forcefully and there's no way to escape it.

    3) Car AC -- cars are much smaller and tighter than they used to be. One huge reason we start AC with windows open and preferably with recycle function off is to blow out heat and start cooling the interior so the recirculation function doesn't have to work so hard. For 6 or more months a year in most of Texas and 12 months/year in many areas, the interior of a car with tinted windows parked in the sun reaches 120-140°F in less than an hour. Not only do" you want to release that heat some with open windows, you want to release the harmful chemicals that leach out of seats & their coverings, dashboard and carpeting, headliner, etc., and these things start leaching I think at 85-90F.

    So let out some of all that, get the car cooler and then hit the recirc function on the AC because at that point you get better gas mileage on recirculation and avoid the car exhausting fumes around you.

    4) I have to change the cabin air filter in my hatchback every 12-15 months regardless of how much I've driven and where.

    I hope this helps a smidge.

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