How Clean Air Filters Can Improve Your Health
Your air conditioning system circulates cooled air throughout your home. This air, received from outside, contains dust, pollens, allergens, smoke, molds, and pet dander, among many other particles. Filters built into your air conditioning system trap much of this particulate.
After a while, however, these air filters become clogged with dirt and debris. This diminishes their effectiveness at trapping airborne nasties. The air circulating in your home, therefore, can contain dust, molds and pet dander, which may in time lead to respiratory illnesses. Condensation settling inside ductwork during the summer can also lead to a build up of mold that is then distributed through the vents.
If this is the case, anyone in this environment may suffer from runny noses or watery eyes. If any of them are prone to asthma, these symptoms are exacerbated by poor air quality. Wheezing or shortness of breath can arise because air circulating in your home is not being adequately filtered.
According to the EPA, indoor air quality can be up to five times worse than the air outside. Poorly maintained HVAC is a major culprit.
Most HVAC professionals recommend that you inspect and clean your air conditioning filters at least every two to three months. Aside from health concerns, there is another good reason for maintaining your air filters.
The leading cause of air-conditioning unit failure is from poorly maintained air filters. Dirt clogging up the filters causes an HVAC system to work harder because air flow through the filter is restricted. This results in overheating. In extreme cases, it can cause the unit’s blower motor to fail. At the very least, your air conditioning unit will take longer to cool your house in the summer.
Cleaning Your Air Filters
Fortunately, cleaning your air filter is quick and easy. First, ensure that your air conditioning is switched off at the mains. With furnace air conditioning, the air filter is attached onto the a/c unit itself. With a forced air system, the air filter is placed over a vent.
Remove the air filter and inspect it for damage. Any ripped filters should be replaced. If the filter is still intact, it can be vacuumed to remove dirt. Soaking in a 1:1 vinegar water solution disinfects the filter. Ensure that the filter is completely dry before you reinstall it.
It’s worth taking the time to make sure that your air filters are in proper working order. Maintaining your air filters not only safeguards your health but helps prevent costly energy loss and system repairs.