Attention, air conditioning: 4 tips to avoid colds

In many cars, the  air conditioning runs  at full speed on warm summer days. There is usually a significant temperature difference between the outside temperature and the interior of the car. But after long car journeys or trips by plane, the rude awakening follows. The first cold symptoms appear: the nose is stuffed up, the throat is sore, the body is flabby – followed by a headache. Even in summer, a  cold  is possible, the cold air from the air conditioning favors the development. These 4 tips can help you avoid catching a cold from air conditioning after long car journeys or air travel.

1. Temperature difference: Don’t cool too much

The difference between inside and outside temperature in a car or office, for example, should not be more than six to eight degrees. Because a large temperature difference puts a lot of strain on the body:

  • The immune system is weakened:  Frequent changes in temperature between indoors and outdoors put the immune system to the test. If the immune system is not working properly, pathogenic viruses and bacteria can more easily enter the body and multiply.
  • Blood pressure drops:  when the temperature is cold, the blood vessels constrict, but when it is hot, they widen. The sudden change leads to low blood pressure. In extreme cases, this manifests itself in the form of dizziness, an increased heart rate, difficulty concentrating and  fainting  . Older and weaker people in particular can be affected.

It is therefore also advisable not to direct the draft directly at the body and sweaty skin.

2. Air conditioning ensures dry mucous membranes

The cold air from air conditioning systems causes dry mucous membranes in the nose and mouth. The natural protective barrier is weakened, viruses and bacteria have an easy time. How to avoid dry mucous membranes:

  • Drinking a lot and regularly while driving, flying or staying in a cool place helps to moisten the mucous membranes.
  • Sucking on cough drops or throat lozenges keeps the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat moist.
  • Use special nose cream or salt water spray to moisten the mucous membranes.

3. Air conditioning germ trap: Clean regularly

The air conditioning in vehicles in particular is a real breeding ground for bacteria. Therefore, the air conditioning in cars should be cleaned at least every two years, and the filter should also be replaced. A musty and unpleasant smell in the car can indicate  fungi  and bacteria, even then the car should be checked and cleaned in the workshop.

On longer journeys, it is advisable to turn off the air conditioning five to ten minutes before the destination in order to eliminate any residual moisture. Regular air exchange while driving can also help maintain healthy humidity and temperature.

4. Air conditioning: The right clothes make all the difference


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