How likely is it for air conditioning to cause Legionnaires disease?

London Cool and City Cool provide a full range of air conditioning services including hire or rent a portable air conditioner, an air conditioning repair service, installation and maintenance all over London and the south east from our Crawley, West Sussex near Gatwick Airport head office as well as our London hire warehouse. After the recent breakout of Legionnaires disease, London Cool  wanted to let you know the real side of the story when it comes to air conditioning being a cause of this disease. 

Although Legionella bacteria is commonly found in sources of water such as lakes and rivers, it can produce in artificial water supply systems including air conditioning systems. We understand that naturally there are companies and people that are probably having bit of a panic as to how common this is for air conditioning equipment to cause an outbreak of this, London Cool are here just to ease your conscience and we believe that although, yes air conditioning systems can be a cause of Legionnaires, as long as your equipment is regularly maintained, it is unlikely it is going to be contaminated with Legionella.

The disease is contracted by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water and to cause illness, infected water droplets must be inhaled by a susceptible person, this disease cannot spread from person to person. Temperature is of great importance for the proliferation of Legionella, temperatures between approximately 40 and 50 degrees centigrade may lead to the colonisation of the bacteria however, at temperatures above 60 degrees centigrade the bacteria cannot survive. The Legionella bacteria is known to develop in untreated static or stagnant water so if your air conditioning equipment is in constant use it is highly unlikely for any water passing through to be contaminated. It has been found in poorly design condensate drains, hot and cold water taps, shower heads, (unused) whirlpools/spas/hot tubs, creeks and ponds so actually you are just as at risk having a shower as you are with air conditioning. As a matter of fact after a lot of investigation, the recent outbreak of Legionnaires' disease is so far pointing towards cooling towers, which have now, according to a few news sources, been chemically treated. 

The majority of air conditioning systems and equipment London Cool install does not use water in its direct expansion air conditioning systems, so no direct harm for humans can be caused. Features provided for the collection and pumping or draining away of any condensate water created by the operation of such systems must be designed/manufactured to the minimum required standards to avoid any possibility of condensate water accumulating.  
In certain chilled water systems provided by London Cool, Legionella bacteria cannot live because of the low temperature of the water in the closed circuit system.  
Water treatments and routine maintenance checks can safeguard the possibility of Legionella bacteria development. 

Symptoms of Legionnaires disease include mild headaches, muscle pain, fever, a persistent cough and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea so if you do experience any of these symptoms please immediately consult medical help.

For free advice on the service and maintenance of your room air conditioner systems please contact us on 0800 440 444 or fill out this online form and someone within our professional team will call you back.

City Cool, London Cool provide a full range of service and maintenance contracts for your cooling and air conditioner systems.

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  2. Christopher C. Bradford12 April 2014 at 23:02

    The summer is at its peak and if your air conditioners are not running well you must be feeling terrible this season. Sometimes we realize that the air conditioner appears to be in good condition and it's giving out cool air but not cold enough as should be.Bay Area air conditioning

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