Asthma UK community forum

Are Air Conditioners bad for Asthma?

Writing on behalf of my mum whose 75yrs. She was diagnosed with Asthma about a year ago following pnenumonia but hasn't since had any problems with it although sometimes paint and chemical smells can trigger a cough. It's very well controlled at present, takes Seretide twice a day which seems to be doing the trick. However this summer she's been coping very badly with the heat and am thinking of buying a portable air conditioner for her bedroom to help reduce the temperature there. However wondered if the dehumidifying (and hence air drying effect) of an air con might be bad for people with asthma? If anyone has any experience/ advice would be grateful. Thanks,

9 Replies

Air con units do dehumidify and can be detrimental to lungs, Some people are OK with them though.

Also, they are quite expensive to run - 800 watts!

I Tried one for 24 hrs.... didn't get on with it.

I got an air cooler instead. Like a fan but cools the air via a water reservoir which you can add ice to.

Around £60 compared to £120 for air con.

Just my thoughts....


I've found the air con in my car irritates my chest, that said, it's not so bad if i turn the temp up a bit so not VERY cold. In a room it might not be too bad as it's a bigger area.



i know its not the same but i was thinking of buying an air purifier for my home. I didnt want to spend out £175:00 and it didn't help me, so i managed to find a portable plug in one costing me about £10 and used that to see if it helped. It didn't but i was glad i hadn't lashed out alot of money and then found out, so i would say buy a small cheapish one that will do the job and see if that helps first.It depends on your mum as it affects everyones asthma differently. If you do decide to splash out and buy one try searching on site as you can get some big discounts.

Good luck.



Thank you to everybody for your posts, given me something to think about. It's true I suppose, what will effect one person won't another. Take on board points about high running costs but it's something we'll have to weigh up against the potential advantages as she really doesn't take the heat at all well and feels quite ill when it gets v hot and given her age feel we need to be extra careful. According to the helpline it's not a known asthma trigger although know some people find air cons a health problem. Might be a case of having to suck it and see!


Could you look at renting one for a bit to see how she gets on?


When we've been in a hotel room as a family my eldest daughter (4) has been really quite badly affected by air con. She has wheezed and coughed throughout the night. (she has mildish Asthma and takes Clenil and Ventolin)

However my youngest daughter (21 mths) who has severe brittle Asthma hasnt, touch wood, so far been affected by air con.


Cant understand it really.

I have mild asthma and feel like Nelly is on my chest when Im near any air con at all. It really does affect my lungs. Id say it was the single worst trigger for me. :(

So, like the other have said, its not a hard fast rule. Id hire one or borrow one beofre spending vast quantities of money only to realise it can have a harsh impact.

ooooo and I sympathise with this weather at the minute, its very nasty to Asthmatics.

Hope all is well soon.x


how about a portable air purifier/dehumidifier? i find mine great for cleaning the air and if put on in my room for about an hour before bed i get a much better 'airy' sleep x


air conditioners e.g. febreeze has alot of chemicalsin, so that would be no good for you mum, if chemicals triggers a cough, some air cons trigger my asthma so i would say its best not to get an aire con, how about a fan or air purifier, it claens the air, and a fan cools it down, i have both going in my room while i sllep and it seems to do the trick, hope you can get something that works x


In the midst of that recent heatwave, i had big problems and am still paying the price of it after a bad infection which as left me with depression and loss of confidence again, but on the positive side, i found the cold air saved me twice when i was having bad attacks, i cant breath in the hot weather at all, i felt so weak and confused, so we kept it on even through the night as well. So i am one who definatey needs my air con machine to cool down my home, the thought of going into a hot hospital scared me more that staying at home. I guess we all sensitive to different things in life. If anybody got any advice why having damaged lungs causes anxiety i would love to hear from you. thanks


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