Airconditioning yes or no?

My wife and mother in-law are both suffering with chronic rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Will airconditioning help relieve any pain or will it make it worse?

I was thinking that you can maintain temperature stable through summer and winter, but maybe also control the humidity level in the house?

Does anybody have any experience or advice on this?


  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 748

    Welcome @MichaelLB to the online community,

    I see that both your wife and mother in law suffer from rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. You are wondering whether air conditioning and room temperature can be controlled to help maintain a stable atmosphere and help relieve their pain.

    The recommended room temperature in the UK is 18-19' however many households prefer 21' , therefore it does come down to a personal preference. Humidity, precipitation and temperature all play a part in how arthritis sufferers feel and pain in their joints can be a key indicator of a change in atmosphere and weather conditions. Scientists are, I understand still researching the causal links.

    There is much anecdotal evidence from members on the website to suggest that temperature and humidity have a significant effect on their everyday lives. So do take the opportunity to browse round the forums , there is a wealth of information and also some light relief in News and Chat and Val's cafe.

    If you want to talk with the VA Helpline team

    I attach this link.

    Thank you for getting in touch ,we look forward to hearing from you again soon.

    Take Care


    If it would be helpful to talk to someone ring the Helpline 0800 5200 520

    Monday - Friday 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m.

  • MichaelLB
    MichaelLB Member Posts: 3

    Hi Poppy Jane,

    Thank you for your reply. Am I on the correct forum to find other people with Arthritis who have bought an airconditioning system and recommend it (or advise against it)?

    Most articles I have found on the internet are American (with contradicting information) and we live in a different climate here in the UK.

    We found moving from Lancashire to Lincolnshire a great improvement, but we would like to know if airconditioning will help (summer and winter times as an Aircon also can heat the room (possibly making the air dryer)).

    Thanking everyone in advance for any help.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740
    edited 16. May 2021, 10:52

    Aircon is extremely common in some parts of the US as they have much worse humidity cycles than us, (ours mainly precipitates out more quickly as rain), but very uncommon in housing in the U.K. in over 30 years in the property industry I’ve never seen it. I do recall during a brief spell working on the east coast of the US donkey’s years ago that my joints used to ache terribly before the humidity broke as a thunderstorm, and on those days I had to wear knee length black woolly socks with my shorts, much to the hilarity of the locals.

    I’ve only found one previous discussion on this topic on the forum, back in 2013, but it related more to circulation of bugs at work than managing RA/OA.

    There is anecdotal evidence that humidity levels and temperature can affect RA / OA, but I think that’s more to do with the atmospheric pressure that creates that climate, rather than actual humidity levels, and aircon can’t do anything about that.

    I’ve never come across anyone using or recommending aircon to manage arthritis. There may be a reason for that, either it’s deemed to expensive or it doesn’t work. You could try a cheaper dummy run using a dehumidifier and see if that helps? NB, you need to keep the windows closed or it will try to dehumidify the garden as well 😅, and also keep the door closed in the room you’re using, as dehumidifiers aren’t strong enough to do large areas. But again, all they’re doing is removing accumulating humidity from the air (rather than affecting atmospheric pressure) which on most days you can do just as effectively by opening windows.

  • Brynmor
    Brynmor Member Posts: 1,755

    Hi @MichaelLB, yes this is the right place to find out if other people with arthritis have tried air-conditioning and what they think of it.

    I have carried out a search of the Online Community and the only discussion has been about aircon spreading disease at work! However, there has been a lot of recent interest in the affect of humidity, air pressure and temperature on the levels of pain in people with arthritis.

    You can read more about the study here on their web site:

  • Dear MichaelB

    Thank you for your posts on the forum where you ask if air conditioning will help relieve pain or make it worse? I understand that your wife and mother in-law are both suffering with chronic rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. We do not have any specific advice on air conditioning, however many people living with arthritis have told us that they experience a change in their symptoms due to the weather. We know that everyone’s experience of arthritis is different and that for some people, weather and temperature will have the opposite effect on their pain levels, than it does for another person. As Poppyjane has mentioned The NHS recommends that you should heat your home to at least 18C if you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease.

    You could post your question on our ‘Living with arthritis’ forum for others experiences. The link to access this is Living with arthritis forum

    It may be helpful to look at research conducted by Versus Arthritis which is about links between the weather and arthritis ( I see that Brynmoor has put a link in for this). We also have information on how to manage arthritis in the cold and warm weather. I have also put links in on our information on managing both Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis that I hope is helpful.

    You are also very welcome to call us here on the helpline to talk things through regarding arthritis with one of our helpline team. You can contact us on 0800 5200 520 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm).

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Research on links between weather and arthritis pain

    Staying warm

    Managing your arthritis in warmer weather

    Rheumatoid arthritis


    Best Wishes

    Dawn Smith

    Helpline Advisor