Can Changing Your Air Filter Keep You Healthy?

If the air cleaner is clogged and can't keep contaminants out of the air as they should, those elements can return to the air you breathe. As a result, immediate problems could include itchy eyes or throat, headaches, and more. But if you don't change your air filter regularly, you could be at risk for more serious long-term health issues. Airborne particles come in a variety of sizes, most of which cannot be seen.

Particles smaller than 10 microns, such as those mentioned above, are easily inhaled. These particles have the potential to irritate the eyes, nose and throat and affect both the lungs and the heart. If an air filter becomes clogged, poor circulation will occur. This could cause unwanted moisture to stick around and cause mold, which is a pain to remove and can lead to long-term health complications. The air filter helps trap all dust and other particles, preventing them from entering the air and spreading.

With a dirty air filter, expect to increase the uptime of your HVAC system and, at the same time, change the air temperature in small increments. Therefore, rooms further away from the oven unit can stay cool during the winter, while other rooms can enjoy better airflow. Even if you don't have asthma or allergies, you're likely to feel the effects of dirty air in some way. A modern thermostat will record how often you change your air filter and remind you to change it with an email or phone notification. EPA reports that air filters with MERV between 7 and 13 are their best option for removing some of the airborne particles that cause the biggest health problems. Dirty air filters may be to blame for many health issues according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI).

The high flow means that more air can flow through the filter more easily, making the oven work efficiently. All the air in your home, along with airborne particles, travel through this single point several times in a single day. The good news is that you can improve the air quality in your home quickly by changing your air filter regularly. The ACAAI recommends that those affected frequently check their air filters and replace them every three months if they are disposable. They are inserted in a specific location of HVAC systems and act as a barrier to prevent contaminants and other particles from circulating in the air or reaching sensitive parts of the system. As long as you change your air filter regularly, you can minimize the effects of dirty air.

If you continue with the same air filter and problems keep pace, long-term impacts could be serious. They include possible heart disease, respiratory disease and even cause cancer, experts say.

Elisa Michocki
Elisa Michocki

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