Can an old air filter cause allergies?

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), dirty air filters may be to blame. Studies show that indoor air pollution caused by a dirty air filter can trigger allergic reactions and sinus congestion in people who are allergic to animals, pollen, and mold. Old or dirty air filters can also cause the HVAC system to malfunction. This can cost you quite a bit of money in costly repairs in the future.

Many people mistakenly believe that air filters in ovens and air conditioners keep dust and allergens out of the air. This is the case when the air conditioner filters are dirty. The air in your home is contaminated with dust, pollen, dander, mold spores, and other particles. As a result, about 60% of asthma cases are caused by these particles.

A good quality air conditioning filter can help reduce these air pollutants. However, a dirty air conditioning filter has the opposite effect. Air conditioners filter out harmful particles from the air before blowing it around the house, but when the air conditioner filter fills up, its efficiency decreases. Therefore, air pollutants and asthma triggers are pushed with cold air from the air conditioner throughout the house, causing asthma attacks.

The health problems you experience as a result of the dirty filter are likely due to allergic reactions to particles in the air. Some clean the air in your home better than others, and a rating called MERV (which stands for Minimum Efficiency Report Value) can help you understand the effectiveness of each air filter option you encounter. If you have an HVAC system or oven, it's important to understand the need for a clean air filter that could otherwise make you or your family sick. If you have pets or smokers in your home, you may need to change the filter more often to avoid problems with indoor air quality.

But without the right air filters for allergies, you'll keep smelling and sneezing all season long. When looking for an air conditioning filter or filter replacement, you should look for a filter that removes the smallest particles from the air. If the filter becomes too clogged with dust, dander and debris, then the blower has to work harder to get air through the blocked filter. When the filter is clogged, it is not able to trap air pollutants as well as usual, and they are pushed back through the ducts into your living space.

Most residential homes can accommodate air filters up to MERV 13, but you may want to consult with a professional HVAC technician before using any product other than MERV 9.In addition, the EPA states that some MERV 12 filters and most MERV 13 filters are almost as effective as HEPA filters for reduce airborne particulate matter related to adverse health effects. If the owner's manual doesn't mention anything about the filter, or if you can't find it, it's generally recommended to change the air filter once a month during busy heating and cooling seasons. There are many tasks to do at home, and changing your air filter is probably one of the easiest to forget.

Elisa Michocki
Elisa Michocki

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