Can You Get Sick from Dirty Air Filters?

If the filter is dirty, everything that passes through it is also contaminated, including the air you breathe. This can fill your home with dust, allergens, and other particles that can cause a range of physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, chest tightness, and a disorder of cold symptoms that you may not be able to get rid of. A clogged filter can also make your heating and cooling system inefficient. All air passing through your systems must pass through the filter. If the filter is dirty and full of dust, airflow is restricted.

This can cause your heating and cooling system to work harder than it should, leading to premature wear and tear, total system failure, or costly utility bills every month. 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. To minimize the effects of dirty air, it's important to change your air filter regularly. When an air filter is clean, its primary function is to filter dust, mold spores, pollen, and other airborne materials. The problem is that when an air filter is dirty or “full”, its ability to filter these particles drastically decreases.

Over time, contaminants essentially build up in the ducts, which means they are free to blow throughout the house. Inhaling these contaminants can exacerbate symptoms associated with a cold or respiratory infection, not to mention the flu. For people with asthma, these particles can cause an asthma attack. There are many potential health risks from dirty air filters. This is especially true for people who have allergies, asthma, or respiratory diseases.

Even the lowest level of dust, dirt, or pollen can cause a chain reaction and cause serious health problems. When these particles are not removed, they can block air from passing through the filter, making the HVAC system less efficient. 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. 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. Homeowners should take the responsibility of cleaning air filters very seriously to protect the health of others in the home. A clean air filter at the source of your home's cold air supply is a great way to reduce indoor allergens.

The good news is that you can improve the air quality in your home quickly since it only takes a few seconds to change an air filter. Long-term exposure to poor air quality in your home has also been linked to pneumonia and lung disease later in life. Working with an HVAC professional can help homeowners understand the issues facing their home when it comes to air quality and what course of action will be the best solution for their specific situation. To make sure your air conditioning system works cleanly and efficiently, book an air conditioner tune-up with Action Furnace. 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. Smog and other air pollutants can enter your home making the HVAC system and filter work harder to keep the air clean.

If you or a family member has been sneezing, coughing, and generally not feeling well, you may be sick or experiencing symptoms caused by a dirty air filter.

Elisa Michocki
Elisa Michocki

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