Modern homes are built with air filtration systems for a reason. Home air conditioning and heating systems are designed to draw in outside air, which is then heated or cooled depending on the settings at the time, and then blown through an air filter. While these air filters are designed to catch most of the airborne germs and viruses that might be outside, occasionally these germs do get through. When houses contain a high level of bacteria, there are usually some clear signs that indicate the presence of these unwanted intruders.
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Dirty Or Old Air Filters
Most homes contain at least one air filter connected to the air conditioning or heating system. For a home occupied by two to four individuals, most air filter manufacturers recommend changing air filters in the home every ninety days. For five individuals and up, or homes with pets, manufacturers recommend changing filters every sixty days. If a homeâs occupants have any allergies, air filters should be changed once a month. If a homeâs air filters are old or visibly dirty, itâs a good sign the home is full of germs. Thus, while these are good guidelines for changing dirty or old air filters, air filters should be changed if they are visibly dirty, regardless of how long itâs been.
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Chronic Sinus Problems
Home air filters are designed to block or reduce allergens such as pollen, mold spores, and animal dander from causing issues in the home. Air filtersâ performance decreases as the age of the filter increases, meaning old filters can allow allergens into the home more often than new ones, even if they are fairly clean. These allergens can create chronic sinus problems in individuals with allergies and even in some individuals without any allergies. Frequent sinus congestion or blockages are a clear indicator a home is full of germs and needs a better air filtration system or new filters.
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The common cold can be caused by a variety of different viruses, though rhinoviruses are by far the most common. These viruses can become airborne and are prevalent in densely-populated areas such as cities and suburbs. For that reason, home air filtration systems have filters designed to catch most of the airborne viruses that might enter a home. If a homeâs occupants experience frequent colds, it could mean the air filters in that home need changing or even the whole system needs updating. The first step, of course, should be to change the filters and see if there are any changes before undergoing an overhaul and update of the filtration system itself.
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The colds, sinus problems, and other minor illnesses associated with dirty air filters can cause quite a few issues with an individualâs sleep duration and quality. Disrupted sleep can cause individuals to feel fatigued throughout the day and even affect their cognitive function. While once in a while a disrupted night of sleep isnât a big issue, when air filters need changing and this results in a prolonged period of disrupted sleep, it can be a significant issue. Even when cold symptoms or sinusitis is not present, individuals whose bodies are bombarded with an onslaught of germs can feel fatigued due to the extra effort their immune systems have to exert to fend off these invaders. Chronic fatigue could be a sign a homeâs air filters need changing.
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Obviously, if the air in a home is dirty or contaminated with germs, the occupants will likely experience respiratory problems due to breathing in dirty air all the time until something is done to clean it up. If home air filters arenât functioning properly, particulates from the outside air can enter the home. These particulates are most often smoke particles, pollen or spores, industrial pollutants, or even just dust. When breathed in, these fine particulates can result in a variety of respiratory issues such as frequent coughs, scratchy or sore throats, or wheezing. Individuals may also experience shortness of breath due to the effort it will take their bodies to breathe properly.