Are you sneezing, coughing, and generally feeling unwell? It could be due to a dirty air filter. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), indoor air pollution caused by a clogged air filter can trigger allergic reactions and sinus congestion in people who are sensitive to animals, pollen, and mold. Many people mistakenly believe that air filters in ovens and air conditioners keep dust and allergens out of the air. However, evidence suggests that combining medium to high efficiency air filters with a portable air purifier used in the bedroom, along with a regular cleaning routine, are the best ways to manage asthma and allergy symptoms.
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. As a result, about 60% of asthma cases are caused by these particles. 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. 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.
Even if they're clean and new, they can contribute to allergies because they don't filter out all allergens from the air. In the case of pet dander, particles that cause pet allergies can be removed by using an air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter. Cleaning or replacing air filters can save you money on repairs and reduce your operating costs. It can also dramatically reduce your risk of acute respiratory attacks by trapping irritants trying to pass into the ventilation system ducts, allowing you to breathe better. Studies have failed to show that effective filtering alone actually improves asthma or allergy symptoms. However, if the air purifier has a limited ability to filter allergens, then the problem has only worsened. If you or a family member has been experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms, it could be due to a dirty air filter.
Therefore, it is important to regularly change your air filter in order to maintain good indoor air quality.