Can Dirty Air Conditioner Filters Make You Sick?

Learn how dirty air conditioner filters can make you sick and how you can protect yourself from their effects.

Can Dirty Air Conditioner Filters Make You Sick?

If the filter is dirty, everything that goes beyond it is contaminated too, including the air you breathe. This can fill your home with dust and allergens, which can cause a range of physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, chest tightness, and cold-like symptoms. A clogged filter can also make your heating and cooling system inefficient. All air that passes through your systems must go through the filter.

When it's dirty and dusty, air flow is restricted, making your heating and cooling system work harder than it should. This can lead to premature wear, a total system breakdown, or expensive utility bills every month. Inhaling these contaminants can worsen symptoms associated with a cold or respiratory infection, not to mention the flu. For people with asthma, these particles can cause an asthma attack.

Homeowners should take the responsibility of cleaning air filters seriously to protect the health of others in the home. When an air filter is clean, its main function is to filter dust, mold spores, pollen and other matter suspended in the air. The problem is that when an air filter is dirty or “full”, its ability to filter these particles decreases dramatically. Over time, contaminants basically re-enter the ducts, meaning they can move freely throughout the house. It's important to understand that dirty air conditioner filters can make you sick.

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. When you don't maintain your air conditioner, it collects high concentrations of dust, pollen and mold. At best, this could worsen allergies and asthma. In the worst case scenario, it can cause infections.

If the air filter becomes too congested during the summer cooling season, it can cause a lack of air flow to the evaporator or cooling coils. After all, your filter's main responsibility is to prevent contaminants such as pet dander and dust from reaching the air your family breathes. An air filter can collect and house these allergens and allow them to circulate in homes when air conditioning is used. The best way to start cleaning air filters is to not start at all - simply replace them. When homeowners are looking to improve the air quality in the home by updating the air filters they use, it is best to consult a professional. It is better to perform a thorough air quality cleaning than a partial cleaning with the remaining dust and new chemicals mixed in the air. One of the purposes of an air filter is to filter out all microscopic particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, plant and fungal spores, and even smoke.

For example, suppose that the remains of a dirty air filter have helped to better measure mold in the air of a house. If the filter becomes too clogged with dust, dander, and dirt, the fan will have to work harder to get air through the clogged filter. So why not protect and preserve the expensive systems that heat and cool your home and keep your family comfortable during unbearably hot summers and cold winters? Changing your home's air filter is one of the simplest yet most powerful and effective ways to do just that. We hope that learning about the importance of filters in your home air conditioner has made it easier for you to breathe a little easier.

Edgar Nikodem
Edgar Nikodem

Freelance zombie junkie. Evil beer guru. Typical tv trailblazer. Incurable travel lover. Devoted musicaholic. Certified zombie fanatic.

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