QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Allergic To Air Conditioning

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Allergic To Air Conditioning | Facility Executive - Creating Intelligent Buildings
A facility manager wants to know how to resolve a complaint regarding "air conditioning allergies."

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Allergic To Air Conditioning


QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Allergic To Air Conditioning

Would an air specialist be able to test dry, cold air?

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

This Question of the Week comes from the Facilities Management Group on LinkedIn.

Have you ever had anyone claim to be allergic to the air conditioning in your building? Everyone moans about the air con in the office but this is different; the person suffers from dry eyes, sore throat which slowly gets worse, and ends up with time off work sick with flu like symptoms. The pattern keeps repeating itself every four to six weeks.

The system is newly installed (it’s only about five months old) and the person only seems to have problems when the cold air blows. Workstations have been rearranged so the person could try different parts of the office, but the problem remains. Now the employee is working from home on a regular basis.

The person is adamant about being allergic to the air con and is pushing for us to remove it in the section where they work. This is not feasible, but I am keen to try every avenue to demonstrate we have taken the complaint seriously. Ultimately there is only so much that is reasonably practicable. I have arranged for our maintenance company to carry out a full clean and inspection, but would an air specialist be able to test dry, cold air, which is one of the major concerns?

Kellie Lord-Thomas
Facilities Manager
Non-Profit Organization
London, England

Share your feedback and suggestions in the LEAVE A COMMENT section below.

You Might Like:


  1. Yes there sure is and it is misery!!!!
    I solved it this way I moved the employee into a small partitioned room with a outside window.they have a vent control in there space as well as having the ability to shut it off and open the window or a combo of both. This can be done cheap by maintenance. We actually had 5 people in all 4 who did not know it was that that was making them sick. We took a area and used cheap panels to make cubicles. Worked great and really cut the sick time from the affected EMP.

  2. i have been allergic to a/c for 30 or 40 years — at first it was easy to avoid not much around but now i can’t go to a movie or a play or even lunch in the summer – i have a swamp cooler at home – it doesn’t bother me – but with a/c the colder it is kept the faster i get sick – headache sinus infection and if still in it bronchitis i have been to several doctors none of which have helped me – now that a/c is everywhere i have talked to a lot more people with allergies to it

  3. Hi. I am suffering withthe same AC’simptoms and yes i there is an allergy to AC and i have all the simptoms your employee has and believe me they are terrible to handle. :(