Can a Black Air Filter Make You Sick?

Symptoms of mold disease can range from sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, wheezing, and eye irritation. If you don't keep your air filter clean and regularly change it, contaminants and small particles can make you sick. A clogged filter can cause your heating and cooling system to become inefficient and work harder than it should, leading to premature wear and tear, system failure, or costly utility bills. But the effects of a dirty air filter don't just stop there.

According to the EPA and the American Lung Association (ALA), inhaling soot particles can cause lung and respiratory diseases and even premature death. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) has found 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. If your air filter has turned black due to carbon monoxide or mold, then yes, the substances that turned it black can make you sick. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and fatigue, and if left exposed, can be fatal.

Certain types of mold can cause irritation and flu-like symptoms to damage to the central nervous system, heart problems, and lung infections. In addition to regularly changing your air filter, you should also make sure to schedule annual tuning appointments with a professional for your heating and cooling systems. Oven filters are primarily designed to protect your oven from dirt and debris that could damage it, but modern filters can also help improve the air quality in your home. Oven filters should be checked monthly and changed every three months for standard fiberglass filters.

Never again will you have to think about something as boring as an air filter because they will simply appear when you need to change them. 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. The ACAAI recommends that those affected frequently check their air filters and replace them every three months if they are disposable. In general, homeowners should replace pleated air filters and oven filters in their homes every few months.

Janice Kampman
Janice Kampman

Subtly charming musicaholic. Zombie evangelist. Incurable travel lover. Devoted beer enthusiast. Passionate zombie specialist.

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