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How Can a Dirty Air Filter Compromise Your Health?

Many people probably do not realize how unhealthy the air in our homes can be. Did you know that on average, indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air? What’s even more startling is that the Environmental Protection Agency has ranked indoor air pollution as one of the top five risks to human health!

Of course, dirty filters are not solely to blame for unhealthy indoor air, but they certainly do not help the cause. Discover how dirty air filters can lead to poor air quality in your home and put your family’s health at risk.

How Do Air Filters Work?

First, let’s look at how air filters work within your AC unit. Your air conditioner works by sucking in air from a room and pulling it over coils to heat or cool it. When the air is at a comfortable temperature, it is blown through the rest of your home.

Your air filter is situated where the air is initially pulled into the unit. It is designed to trap airborne particles to keep them from getting sucked into the unit and building up in the coils and ducts.

What Gets Trapped In Air Filters?

Dirt, dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, lint, pet dander — you name it. Any airborne particles that get sucked into your air conditioner can get trapped in your filter. Over time, the particles begin to build up and form a thick dusty layer on the face of your filter. If too much debris builds up, the air filter can no longer do its job of keeping harmful particles from getting into your home’s air.

To keep your air clean and healthy, it’s best to change your air filter once a month.

How Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect My Family’s Health?

Poor air quality in your home can lead to serious health issues like asthma, respiratory infection and lung disease because your HVAC system is not improving air quality by cleaning it from these microscopic airborne nuisances. It can also worsen existing allergies and cause isolated symptoms such as headaches, sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes.

How Can You Fix This and Improve Your Air Quality at Home?

Here are a few ways you can upgrade your HVAC system to dramatically improve its effectiveness.

  • Germicidal UV Light
    A germicidal UV light is a great way to eliminate mold, mildew, or pollen spores from the air. Installed either inside your intake vent or near your air conditioner’s coils, these special lights emit a harsh type of light known as ultraviolet light that’s harmless to pets and humans, but lethal to pathogens. Mold and other airborne bacteria cannot survive in ultraviolet light, so any particles in the air are quickly zapped before they can be recirculated into your HVAC system. While these are remarkably effective particularly in humid climates like Florida, they can only eliminate living organisms, and are entirely useless against dirt or dust.
  • Ionized Air Filter
    An ionized air filter uses the power of physics to remove dust, dirt, and many other particles from the air. These systems use a fan to draw air in. While doing so, it gives these particles a positive static charge. These particles then stick to a negatively-charged collection grid and become trapped by the force of attraction between the charges, while the air, now completely clean, is forced out and into your home. These are equally effective on both living and non-living allergens, which make them a great choice for those who suffer from numerous allergies. However, they can be expensive to install and the collection grid does require cleaning ever so often.
  • Quality Air Filter
    Every HVAC system comes with an air filter, but not everybody replaces their air filter as often as they should. At the very least, you should change your filter once per year, and those who suffer from severe allergies should consider doing so twice a year to maintain maximum effectiveness. These filters aren’t usually expensive and are a breeze to swap out, even for those who aren’t technically-inclined. Swapping your filter for a new one ensures it continues to take as many contaminants as possible out of the air, plus it improves your HVAC system’s efficiency by allowing the maximum possible amount of air through.

Start Improving Your Indoor Air Quality Today!

Changing your air filter regularly will make a huge difference in your indoor air quality, but there’s much more you can do to keep your family breathing clean! Your filter isn’t the only place harmful particles can build up, so it’s important to have your entire air conditioning system professionally cleaned at least twice a year.

At Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC, we offer a variety of maintenance programs, which include thorough cleaning, as well several products to improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Call today to set up an appointment with our Palm Beach County indoor air improvement specialists.

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