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Effects of Dirty Air Filter

Effects of Dirty Air Filter

Do you ever wonder why breathing in fresh air is so important? Well, one big reason is that the air we breathe affects our health. And guess what? Dirty air filters can mess up the air quality in our homes, causing a lot of problems for us and our living spaces. One of the biggest financial investments in our home is the air filter. But these systems are also the most neglected ones. 

Let’s talk about air filters first. They’re like sieves that catch dust, pollen, pet dander, and other yucky stuff that floats around in the air. But when these filters get dirty and clogged, they can’t do their job properly. And that’s when problems start creeping in.

Some of the homeowners can replace the air filter but most of the homeowners do not even bother to take time to clean this system. In this blog, we will explain to you the facts and consequences of ignoring air filter system cleaning.

Increases in Electricity Bill

Recirculation plays an important role in the functioning of the central air conditioner in your home. The functioning of these systems gets disturbed by the impeded air flow due to the clogged or dirty air filter. The HVAC systems in your house become blocked by dirty air filters. When these filters get clogged with dust and debris, they hinder the smooth flow of air. This means that in order to force air through the block, your HVAC system needs to work harder. Your system has to work harder to maintain the appropriate temperature in your home as a result of this additional strain, which increases electricity consumption. It’s like asking your system to run a race while carrying a heavy load, leading to increased energy consumption and, consequently, higher electricity bills.

This added workload not only spikes your energy costs but also reduces the system’s efficiency, potentially causing it to run for longer periods and cycle more frequently. By regularly cleaning or replacing your air filters, you’re easing the burden on your HVAC system, promoting better airflow, improving efficiency, and ultimately reducing the strain on your wallet by keeping energy bills in control.

It Can Cause Bacterial Growth

When air filters become clogged and dirty, they create a favorable environment for the accumulation of moisture. When dust and other debris are added to the trapped moisture, it creates the perfect environment for the growth of mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms. The air can carry these dangerous particles back into your living areas as it flows through these moist and polluted filters.

These microbes are a health risk, especially for people who have respiratory conditions or are allergic to certain substances. These contaminants not only lower the quality of the air but also pose a threat to health. By routinely cleaning and replacing air filters, you and your family can ensure cleaner air and a healthier living environment by preventing the accumulation of moisture and pollutants.

Bad Air Quality

When air filters become clogged and dirty, their ability to trap and filter out dust, allergens, and pollutants decreases significantly. As a consequence, these harmful particles remain and circulate freely throughout your home’s air, increasing the concentration of undesired contamination. Dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and other airborne contaminants become more prevalent in the indoor environment and contribute to dirtier indoor air quality

Breathing in this contaminated air that contains higher amounts of these contaminants can cause a number of health problems. It can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to allergens, such as sneezing, runny noses, itchy eyes, or skin irritation. Additionally, breathing at these higher pollution levels can worsen symptoms for those who have respiratory diseases like asthma, such as coughing, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, or asthma attacks.

To ensure that air filters are effective at capturing these particles and improving indoor air quality, it is necessary to clean or replace them on a regular basis. This upkeep is essential to safeguarding the health and well-being of occupants by reducing exposure to airborne irritants and promoting a healthier environment within the home.

Reduced Lifespan of Appliances

It’s important to understand that dirty air filters don’t just affect your HVAC system; they can also harm other electronic devices and appliances in your home. Dust and other airborne particles flow freely through the clogged filters and they can easily sit on different surfaces. For example, you can assume their accumulation on sensitive components such as electronics like computers, TVs, and kitchen appliances, leading to potential damage or reduced efficiency. 

Dust accumulation within these devices can cause overheating, block ventilation systems, or compromise the electrical connections, ultimately shortening their lifespan. So regularly changing or cleaning air filters helps prevent these particles from settling on appliances, safeguarding their performance and longevity.

Unpleasant Smells

Due to a dirty air filter, you can also experience an unpleasant smell in your home. Odors of mold and staleness that are present in your house may be caused by a dirty air filter. It is because the buildup of dust and debris inside the filter provides the perfect conditions for the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. A combination of these organic materials and the moisture that is trapped allows these microorganisms to grow and release bad odors as they do. 

As dust and debris accumulate inside the filter, they may also begin to release musty odors. To avoid such a musty smell, you should try to maintain clean air filters. Preventing the accumulation of these stinking particles will result in improved indoor air that is fresher and smells better, making living more comfortable and healthier.

Read More : All About Indoor Air Quality Testing

Failure of Furnaces

The furnace has to work harder and longer because of the restricted airflow that dirty filters create. This ongoing stress on the system has the potential to cause overheating over time. The furnace may shut down to prevent damage or fire hazards when its safety mechanisms are triggered by overheating.

The furnace’s heat exchanger may also overheat as a result of improper airflow from dirty filters. This overheating presents a serious risk to gas furnaces, possibly leading to the cracking of the heat exchanger. The release of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide into the home is a concern posed by a cracked heat exchanger, which also affects the furnace’s functional efficiency. As a result, the whole system will stop working, which will cost you a lot to repair or replace. So taking a little time to clean the air filters will keep you free from such heavy amounts.

How To Care For Air Filters?

You should try to offer the cleaning of your air filters at the scheduled time. If you ignore the timely cleaning of your air filter, it will result in clogged and dirty air filters that will reduce the efficiency of the system. Caring for air filters is crucial to maintaining good indoor air quality and ensuring the efficient operation of your HVAC system. Here’s a guide on how to care for air filters:

  • Every month, check the condition of your air filters. Keep an eye out for blockages, discoloration, and dirt buildup. Filters in high-traffic or pet-friendly households may need more frequent checks. Try to clean the air filter monthly, not before the freezing season and not just before the 100-degree summer days.  
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines for the recommended replacement schedule. Typically, it’s advised to replace standard filters every 1 to 3 months. However, specific filters, like high-efficiency ones, might have longer lifespans. So depending on your filter type, you should plan its replacement. If you have pets or any allergy-related issues in your home, you might need to replace or clean filters more frequently to maintain better air quality. 
  • Ensure you use the correct filter size that fits your HVAC system. Using the wrong size can cause inefficiencies and compromise filtration effectiveness. If you are not getting the exact size air filter, then you can also check for a customization option. 
  • While purchasing air filters, do not compromise on their quality. Invest in high-quality air filters that capture more particles but don’t block airflow. You can consider buying HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters or those with MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) ratings suitable for your system.
  • Certain filters can be washed and reused. If your filters are washable, clean them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Usually, you just need to give them a quick rinse with water and let them air dry completely before reinstalling.
  • For complex HVAC systems, consider scheduling professional maintenance. HVAC technicians can inspect, clean, or replace filters effectively and assess the overall system performance.
Ducts should be cleaned and inspected periodically. Dust and other debris can build up in ducts over time, which decreases airflow and makes filters more dirty. Additionally, make sure that there are no plants, debris, or other obstructions blocking the airflow or filter performance via outdoor units.

Final Words

The impact of neglected air filters extends far beyond dusty vents and higher energy bills. It directly affects our health, comfort, and the environment. By prioritizing regular maintenance and ensuring clean air filters, we can breathe easier, live healthier lives, and contribute to a more sustainable future. Let’s not underestimate the silent risk that dirty air filters pose and take proactive steps to safeguard our well-being and the world we live in.

If you are looking for the best quality air filter, then you can easily contact Custom Filter Direct. We offer the best and most customized air filters that will fulfill your requirements. To know more about our products or services, you can contact us at 1-877-958-5612.