Can Dirty Air Filters Make You Sick?

If the air filter is dirty, all the air that passes through it is also contaminated, 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 a cold-like disorder that you may not be able to shake off. Moreover, a clogged filter can make your heating and cooling system inefficient. All air that passes through your systems must go through the filter. If the filter is full of dust and dirt, 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 expensive utility bills every month. When an air filter is blocked, poor circulation will occur. This could cause unwanted moisture to stick around and create mold, which is difficult to remove and can lead to long-term health issues. When an air filter is clean, its primary purpose is to filter out dust, mold spores, pollen, and other airborne particles. The problem is that when an air filter is dirty or “full”, its ability to filter these particles decreases significantly.

Over time, contaminants accumulate in the ducts and are free to blow throughout the house. 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 trigger 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 levels of dust, dirt, or pollen can cause a chain reaction and lead to serious health problems. The ACAAI recommends that those affected regularly check their air filters and replace them every three months if they are disposable.

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, as well as smoke. The high flow rate means that more air can pass through the filter more easily, making the oven work efficiently. 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. The edges of the filter should indicate the measurement of your filter in inches to help you buy the correct size for your unit. If the air filter is the main source of air quality problems in your home, changing it may be the best solution.

Marla Cloonan
Marla Cloonan

Devoted web guru. Professional internet maven. Typical social media specialist. Wannabe social media lover. Certified food aficionado. Incurable bacon enthusiast.

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