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PSA: Don't Use Your Air Conditioner Amid Heavy Ashfall

An air conditioner manufacturer cautions the public about using the appliance.
PHOTO: Pixabay/Mustafa Shehadeh

In case you've been wondering whether you can use your air conditioner amid the ashfall caused by Taal Volcano's phreatic eruption, an authority on the subject has released advice on the matter.

Air conditioner manufacturer Concepcion Industrial Corporation shared when you can and can't use your air conditioner during such a time.

"It is all right to use air conditioners (split type/ window air conditioners) during LIGHT ash fall," the post read. "The air your AC unit uses comes from inside your home, not from the outdoors, so it will not affect your air conditioning unit. However, during HEAVY ash fall, please REFRAIN from using your AC units. Continued use during HEAVY ash fall will clog your AC unit's outdoor condenser coil, which will result in the overheating of the compressor and the overall air conditioning system."

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The company also advised the public to remain indoors and to have their air conditioning units cleaned after the ashfall.

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According to a January 13 update from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS-DOST), the ashfall has affected the areas of Batangas, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, and Metro Manila. 

"Fine ashfall can cause irritation and breathing problems especially among the elderly and children and it is particularly dangerous to our health," the update read. "In addition, areas of ashfall have also experienced sulfurous smell which can cause irritation."

PHIVOLCS-DOST also urged the public to wear N95-grade face masks or use a wet piece of cloth or towel. Motorists were also advised to drive with extreme caution due to poor visibility and the risk of roads getting slippery when wet.

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On January 12, the Department of Health (DOH) issued an advisory to inform the public what they need to do during an ashfall, given the health risks associated with the inhalation of its particles.