Does a Dirty Air Filter Affect Allergies?

Studies have shown 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. An air filter can collect and house these allergens and allow them to circulate around homes when the air conditioner is in use. It's easy to think that HVAC air filters are in place to help keep the air cleaner, but their primary purpose is actually to protect your heating and air conditioning systems. Air filters keep dust and dirt out of equipment to prevent damage and wear.

Even if they're clean and new, they can contribute to allergies because they don't filter out all allergens from the air. This is especially true 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, but 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. This means that asthma triggers are pushed with cold air from the air conditioner throughout the house, causing asthma attacks. 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. When looking for an air conditioning filter or a filter replacement, you should look for a filter that removes the smallest particles from the air.

If the air filter becomes too congested during the summer cooling season, it can cause a lack of airflow to the evaporator or cooling coils. Even if you can't see them, there are millions of tiny particles floating around in your home's air. After all, your filter's primary responsibility is to prevent contaminants such as pet dander and dust from reaching the air your family breathes. Changing your air conditioner filter regularly will reduce the amount of particulate matter in your home's air, reducing asthma attacks. The harder your system has to work to extract air throughout your home, the more energy you need and the higher your energy bills will be.

In addition to health problems, dirty filters and air ducts cause increased utility bills due to decreased airflow and odors. High flow means that more air can flow through the filter more easily, causing your system to operate smoothly and efficiently. When that airflow is hampered by a dirty or clogged air filter, it means that your system has to work a lot harder to cool your home. Air filters that look dirty should be changed as soon as possible, even if they say they last more than a month. One of the purposes of an air filter is to filter out all microscopic particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, plant spores and mold, and even smoke. Your air conditioner will have to work harder to keep all these particles out of the air and it may not be as efficient.

Elisa Michocki
Elisa Michocki

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