The quality and effectiveness of the air conditioning filters you install and your family’s health and risk of allergies are indelibly connected. Do you really know what your family is breathing?
It’s a good question to ask yourself.
We all face a variety of risks to health as we go about our day-to-day lives. Driving in cars, flying in planes, engaging in recreational activities, and being exposed to environmental pollutants all pose varying degrees of risk. Some risks are simply unavoidable. The good news is the quality of the air in your home is one risk that you can do something about and it can be as simple as changing your air conditioning filters.
When it comes to air pollution, there’s no place like home. Today, most homes are well insulated and air tight to keep the weather outside, but they also keep airborne contaminants inside that cause allergies. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we spend as much as 90 percent of our time indoors where it can be polluted two to five times higher-and occasionally more than 100 times higher-than outdoor levels.
As a result, the EPA has identified indoor air pollution as one of the top five urgent environmental risks to public health. This makes the performance of your air conditioning filters more crucial than ever.
The dust and dirt floating in the air and collecting on end tables and bookshelves is only a fraction of what’s actually swimming around in the air: an invisible mix of dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold, and smoke that can be annoying to breathe and hazardous to your health and trigger allergic episodes.
When your air conditioning filters are clogged because they haven’t been changed, the resulting poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
It can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue. At greater risk are people who already have respiratory diseases like the elderly and young children.
Having a well functioning air conditioning filter is the first line of defense against these possible problems. A high quality filter can capture the minute particles that float around your home in the air your family breathes. Simple irritants like sneezing, a runny nose or watery eyes can be alleviated by making sure that your filter is changed regularly.
When you procrastinate or forget to change air conditioning filters they become clogged with dust and dirt and then become ineffective. This restricts the air flow your comfort system is able to circulate to all the rooms in the house. Instead of being drawn to the filter where it can be captured and removed from the air, the airborne particles remain in the room and eventually they are inhaled by everyone that walks in the house.
During the summer cooling months, when your house is typically closed up, airborne irritants are especially prevalent and become a problem. High quality air conditioning filters are effective at reducing your family’s risk of allergies. However, you must change them frequently to gain maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
When to change your filter is different for every house and every family. It depends on many factors ranging from the number of occupants, to if you have pets, what type of activities take place in the home, the trees and plants in and around the home, and many other factors. The short answer is to change your air conditioning filters when they are filled with dust! This may be once a month, every 60 days or every 90 days.
Understand that in each individual home there is a specific trade off point when the energy cost of keeping an air conditioning filter in service is more expensive than replacing it. If you replace it too soon, you end up using too many filters; if you wait too long, you lose the health benefits it provides. Since the health of your family is a high priority, it makes sense to change your air conditioning filters sooner rather than later.
It is critical that you change your air conditioning filters on a regular schedule that fits your home’s environment. This seemingly small task can have a huge impact on your family’s overall health and wellness.