What Good Is An Air Filter?

With springtime coming (and we promise it is!), allergies are going to start flaring up. More traffic going in and out of your house with your children and pets playing outside. And hopefully finally getting to open up those windows and letting some fresh air in! But what does this mean for your indoor air quality? It means the air filter in your HVAC system is going to be put through its paces. If you haven’t changed it out in a while, it’s time!

What Do Air Filters Filter Out Of Our Home’s Air?

Air filters essentially clean the air of common air pollutants.

Some of the common sources of indoor air pollution are:

  • Our personal care products and cleaning products. Even if we’re buying all-natural products, these can still sometimes give off small fumes that contribute to indoor air pollution.
  • Tobacco smoke. This can even contaminate your home if it’s just coming in on someone’s clothing.
  • Gas ovens and ranges.
  • Water-damaged materials. Any time something gets water damage, there is the risk of mold, mildew, and other contaminants.
  • Furniture, particularly pressed wood furniture. The chemicals from the pressed wood process can give off contamination once it’s brought into your home.
  • Any new building materials. This can include paint, new flooring or carpets, etc.

Some of the most common allergens and contaminants that are “caught” by the filter include:

  • Asbestos
  • Biological pollutants
  • Carbon monoxide (the air filter isn’t a catch-all against carbon monoxide poisoning - you should also have a carbon monoxide detector hooked up to ensure your family and home are safe)
  • Dander
  • Dust
  • Dust mites
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead
  • Mold
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Pesticides
  • Pollen
  • Radon
  • Smoke

These indoor air pollutants can get into our lungs and circulate throughout our entire body. This is not an ideal health situation, especially when it comes to young children or babies and the elderly.

How Can You Tell When Your Air Filter Isn’t Working At Peak Efficiency & Needs To Be Replaced?

Bad indoor air quality can contribute to a wide variety of health symptoms, which can include:

  • Eye irritation
  • Nasal irritation
  • Sinus irritation
  • Sore throats
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Complications for asthma and other respiratory or allergy syndromes

If you or any family members are struggling with any of these symptoms, take a good look at your HVAC system’s air filter and see how dirty it is. Chances are, replacing the filter will help alleviate some of these symptoms.

What can changing out your air filter monthly actually help accomplish other than improving your home’s indoor air quality? Keep reading on our post, “This One Thing Can Make Your Home So Much Better.”

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Questions about the terminology we use in our HVAC blogs? Check out our HVAC Glossary!


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