Why am I sneezing every time I turn on my air conditioner at home?

Normally allergy sufferers turn ON the air conditioner and close the windows to stop sneezing. The pollen is outside. But this past weekend, it got hot here in Los Angeles, and I used the air conditioner (central air) instead of leaving windows open. I started sneezing a lot, and had to take Claritan to relieve my symptoms.

Then it got cooler and I opened the windows again. Today, I got hot and sweaty moving some furniture, and I turned on the air conditioner again to cool off. Once again my sneezing started!

What could be causing this? I did notice a few months ago that the intake vent for the air conditioner was very dusty, so I opened it up and vacuumed dust out of it. The filter in front of the intake vent (should it even have a filter?) didn’t quite fit exactly in the hole, but I left it there after washing it in the bathtub and letting it dry.

Serious answers only, please. If anyone has had the same problem, you have a better chance at getting "Best Answer". Thanks.

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    • flutterflie04 says:

      cleaning just the vent doesnt help. if your vent screen is that dirty just imagine how dirty the air ducts are!! my dad owns an air duct cleaning service and says that you should get your ducts cleaned every year if you have allergies. The AC just blows all that dust out and into your home. there is a lot of good in doing this besides helping your allergies too! you can save $$ on your electric bill and if you have kids it WILL greatly help!!! I have seen what comes out of those ducts and that just means that you are breathing all that junk in.

    • Small Lady says:

      It could possibly be dust particles in the air and a air purifier would help solve that problem. I was sneezing a lot and I got one and it really helped.

    • Bec & Andy says:

      musty air in it

    • iamkaymie says:

      Have you tried to clean the air filter in it? You may want to check it. Although it is supposed to help it also attracts the dust in the air.

    • dirtgirl1967 says:

      if its not the filter, then possibly mold?
      also, cleaning can stir up a lot of allergens so there may be a correlation there.

    • damn_that_chick_thick17 says:

      Its only dust thats all because u said u cleaned it a few months ago and its just dusty ago u might see it but its there.

    • chicka says:

      DUST you could be allergic to dust my cousin is……it is a pain you have to keep everything clean

    • coconut_parrothead says:

      Perhaps you should consider having your ducts cleaned…. there could be dust or other allergens in your air conditioning ducts and/or vents that are causing you to sneeze…

      I also have that problem when I visit my inlaws. Apparently their ducts haven’t been cleaned in quite some time because every time their air kicks on, I start sneezing. If you aren’t already, talk to your doctor about prescribing you an allergy medication. For the past month and a half I have been taking Alegra and it’s done wonders for me.

      Good luck.

    • Abbey N. says:

      Either the dust from the intake (that was stirred up when you cleaned it) is still around, or you need a better (or, simply, new) filter. Don’t be afraid to cut a huge one down to size if your specs are odd.

    • Lyndee says:

      Both my mother and I suffer with the same problem. Our doctor told us there are people that are alergic to air conditioners. We switched from air conditioners to using fans and now we don’t sneeze up a storm and sound like we have full blown colds. My mother gets more problems too other than sneezing, she gets clear sick to her stomach and feels like she will faint. The best advice I could tell you is try the fans. If that isn’t enough then I suggest you visit your doctor about it. Hope you feel better soon!

    • DARI says:

      You should check out the filter of the air conditioner. It may be dirty. Good luck and I hope your sneezing stops!!

    • Bonnie L says:

      More than likely it’s the dust getting blown around by the air conditioner setting off allergies that you did or did not know you had.

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