Added by James Morley on September 25, 2010
A recent study at the California Environmental Protection Agency suggests that, air conditioning at home can largely mitigate health problems related to heat and temperature rises. Various illnesses including heat stroke, cardiac arrests, asthma, pneumonia and even diabetes can be associated with high temperatures and hot weather.
The heart needs to work harder to circulate blood nearer to the skin to keep the body cooler, and this might worsen breathing problems and increase chances of cardiac diseases.
Deaths from heat strokes are common in regions struck by heat waves. For example, July 2006 in California, a heat wave was responsible for about 150 deaths. According to findings by epidemiologists published in the journal of Environmental Research last year, for every 10-degree F rise in temperature, deaths could increase by an alarming nine percent.
To minimize public health hazards and rates of hospitalization caused by heat, there is a need to design policies that encourage use of central air conditioning systems at home. It was found that with a 10 percent increase in the use of air conditioners, hospitalizations due to respiratory problems dropped by a half percent, and the same due to heat strokes decreased by a phenomenal 15 percent. Though air conditioning might not be all that is required to keep heat-related health effects in control, it is definitely one of the most effective means.