Friday, March 18, 2011

Airconditioning and the power of the internet

Thank you for all the caring comments and emails. Even though you are obviously a pack of fear-mongering aircon haters - it's nice to know you care!

Just to put my mother-in-law's mind at rest – the air conditioners I have are the individual kind, where you have one unit on the wall in your room, and a fan unit outside. Just like a heat pump at home. These types of air conditioners are not particularly prone to growing nasty disease bearing bacteria like the air-conditioning systems you get in large buildings can do. So, if you have to have an air-conditioner, they're probably the best kind to have.

This is a naked air conditioning unit.
Looks like a photocopier part to me.

Also, in Vietnam the air outside is DIRTY and full of dust. Furthermore, the air in Vietnam is WET. Which means that if you don't use an air-conditioner, you can end up with mould growing on your walls and possessions very very quickly. Like, within a couple of days. So, even when people are away from their house for a few days, they usually arrange for someone to go in and turn on the air-con for an hour or so, to act as dehumidifiers. And so the best way to get safe, clean, dry air indoors is to keep the windows shut and to use the air-conditioners – providing, of course, that the filters are cleaned regularly. This is particularly important for Mr Martin who tends to get allergic asthma when exposed to dust and (especially) to mould.

But – you are also all correct in wondering if the air-con was in fact contributing to my cold! I did a bit of research, and eventually found some real (not pseudo) science which pointed out that the dehumidifying function of air-conditioning can contribute to susceptibility to colds. Not because it sends cold viruses into the air, but because our bodies need a certain amount of moisture in the air to keep our nasal passages nice and wet, so we can flush dust and viruses particles away. We have the air-conditioning on all night, mostly, in our bedroom. Because otherwise it gets too hot to sleep. And I have noticed that I often wake up really parched. So I am sure that the air-con is probably contributing a bit to the colds. But – I think maybe not enough to make me turn it off, just yet! People – it is often over 35 degrees outside! I am a delicate flower and will wilt under those conditions!

This delicate flower also lives in my bedroom at the moment

Shortly after we moved in here, one of the air-conditioners stopped working. And workmen came, and I was shown one of those charming notes I occasionally get, and the note apologized for 'our dirty histories'. That unit was cleaned that day. Yesterday, when the maids came, they brought more workmen with them, and all our air-con units were cleaned.

This is an interesting process that involved dismantling the units, and hosing them down on the bathroom floor.

I asked the guys if I could take their photo first,
and while they agreed, they really thought I was a nutcase.

So I wonder – is my landlady reading my blog? If so, thank you! And welcome…

Oh, and finally - Yes, I am all better now!

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