It’s a sunny 74 degrees in early March as I write this article and it feels amazing. It also feels like a promise for much warmer days to come as the year goes on. This should come as no surprise; according to the National Climatic Data Center, 2015 was the hottest year on record with 2014 coming in a close second. In fact, of the top 15 hottest years reported by the NCDC, 14 have been in the 21st Century. All this heat comes with serious consequences to human life and health which makes the smart use of air conditioning very important. And it makes a good air conditioning system a worthwhile investment.
Benefits of Good Air Conditioning
- It’s literally a life saver
An Environmental Protection Agency study of heat-related deaths found that more than 9,000 Americans died from the heat between 1979 and 2013, a figure which does not even fully capture the magnitude of the problem. Many more deaths have heat as a contributing factor but not the main cause. Keeping cool with an efficient air conditioner is the best means of preventing heat-related deaths and illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Better air quality
Air conditioners circulate and filter air, removing pollutants and mold from the air. This is especially important for people who suffer from allergies and asthma because it minimizes the irritants that trigger an attack. This only hold true, however, if your system is kept clean and filters are regularly changed. Otherwise, the AC can actually contribute to indoor air pollution.
- Fewer insects and parasites
The filters also keep out insects and are far more effective than a screen in an open window. Insects are annoying but they can also be dangerous to people with allergies. A good air conditioning system can help keep indoor pets flea and tick free,
- Improved work force efficiency
We’ve all experienced the mental sluggishness that comes with a day that is just too hot. There’s actually a scientific basis for this. According to an article in Scientific American, the energy the body expends trying to cool itself down takes away from our ability to think and reason. When offices are air conditioned, people are able to work better and make better decisions.
- Cooler tempers
It’s not just our brains that suffer from the heat either. When the mercury rises so do tempers. As an article on Today.com explains, while our brains are slowing down, our bodies are speeding up with increased heart rates and higher blood pressure. All this leads to more aggressive behavior making a cool environment key to maintaining peace at home, work, and in public places.
- Easier sleep
Those same physical changes – higher heart rate and blood pressure – that make us angry can also make it next to impossible to get a good night’s sleep. One’s core body temperature is also a critical factor in getting to and staying asleep. A too hot (or too cold) room interferes with natural temperature regulation which doctors say functions best at between 65 and 75 degrees.
- Protects furniture
Heat, and especially the humidity that often accompanies it, can wreak havoc on furniture of all kinds. Wood gains and loses moisture with the air around it which over time leads to warping. Leather also absorbs moisture which could eventually cause that stylish couch to rot. And any fabric is susceptible to the mold that breeds rampantly in damp environments.
- Prevents electronic devices from overheating
Almost as scary as the effects of heat and humidity on our bodies is the damage they can do to our electronics. The phones and computers we depend on daily can suffer serious meltdowns when the temperature goes up leading to loss of data and an overall shorter lifespan. If your place of work includes computer servers, they can be completely destroyed or at least suffer major damage if not kept cool enough.
- Better security
We’ve already discussed how open windows, even with screens, are limited when it comes to keeping bugs out. They’re even worse at keeping out unwanted people. Depending on where you live or work, an unsecure window or door simply isn’t safe. You want to keep your loved ones and valuables protected from both the elements and the unpleasant side of humankind.
- Fewer sweat stains
This pales in comparison to many of the other issues, but the heat can be murder on your clothes. Unsightly discoloration from sweat can cause serious embarrassment and send a favorite shirt to the rag bag. Keeping cool with a central air conditioning system can help preserve your wardrobe and your budget.