Can Unchanged Air Filters Make You Sick?

As a result of not changing air filters, immediate problems such as itchy eyes or throat, headaches, and more can arise. If the same air filter is not replaced, long-term impacts could be serious, including possible heart disease, respiratory disease and even cancer, experts say. A clogged filter can cause the heating and cooling system to become inefficient. All air passing through your systems must pass through the filter.

If the filter is dirty and full of dust, 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 costly utility bills every month. Airborne particles come in a variety of sizes, most of which cannot be seen. Particles smaller than 10 microns, such as those mentioned above, are easily inhaled.

These particles have the potential to irritate the eyes, nose and throat and affect both the lungs and the heart. If the air filter is clogged and can't trap contaminants like it did before, those things can go back to the air that everyone in your home breathes. Immediate problems may include headaches, itchy eyes or throat, and dizziness. If air filters are not changed and problems persist, long-term effects could be respiratory disease, heart disease, or cancer. Sealed buildings using old filters allow poor quality air to recirculate indoors.

We inhale these particles and, depending on their sensitivity, they can cause minor problems such as watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, or trigger symptoms related to asthma and other long-term respiratory complications. When air filters are not constantly changed, they become clogged by the accumulation of particles and contaminants that adhere to the filter. After all, your filter's primary responsibility is to prevent contaminants such as pet dander and dust from reaching the air your family breathes. The edges of the filter should indicate the measurement of your filter in inches to help you buy the correct size for your unit. There are many tasks to do at home, and changing your air filter is probably one of the easiest to forget. Regardless of why it happens, you may wonder if forgetting to regularly change your air filter is really that important.

Keep in mind that buying air filters online is not only convenient but bulk purchase discounts and auto-renew options can save you time and money. 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. Keep reading to learn more about how air filters work in your HVAC system and what can happen when they aren't changed on a regular basis. In addition to health problems, dirty filters and air ducts cause an increase in utility bills due to decreased airflow and odors. If the air conditioner sits around the coils then you are heating or cooling the same air and not pushing it through ducts. Without adequate airflow rooms farther away may remain cold in winter and warm in summer while other areas receive most of the airflow. The air filter helps trap all dust and other particles preventing them from entering the air and spreading.

But in addition to making your machine work better they can monitor air quality and make sure the filters work to keep you healthy.

Janice Kampman
Janice Kampman

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

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