5 Health Problems Caused by a Dirty AC

The quality of the air that you breathe can have long-term effects on your health. This is true of large areas, like cities, but we see the effects much sooner from our homes. Indoor air quality is more than just a means of being comfortable in your home. In Spring Hope, North Carolina, AC companies and health organizations are looking for ways of addressing indoor air quality and the problems that it can cause. Here are five health problems caused by a dirty AC.


If your AC becomes dirty, then you will likely begin to have problems with allergies. Allergies can be triggered by a variety of things including plants and pollen. The air quality in your home is a direct reflection of this as poor air quality means that there are potentially more allergens in your home.

The fastest way to improve air quality is to clean your AC unit. This means cleaning or changing the filter, wiping down the unit and its surrounding area, cleaning vents, and possibly having the ducts cleaned. This will remove many of the allergens passing through the AC and stop them from spreading through your house.


The quality of the air that you breathe also directly affects your endurance and stamina. The harder you have to work to get enough quality air into your body, the more you will start to feel fatigued. That is because poor indoor air quality means that there is more in the air that you breathe than just air. Your body may struggle with an increase in allergies, asthma attacks, a stuffy nose, or other breathing difficulties. If your body is constantly working harder to breathe, it becomes tired more easily.

Dry Skin

There are two ways that poor indoor air quality causes dry skin. The first is due to low humidity, or not having enough moisture in the air. Dry air can quickly reduce the moisture in your skin due to constant exposure.

The second way is by having too many irritants in the air that land on your skin. Your skin can filter many of these irritants off of itself through sweat and skin oils. However, needing to do that too often can make your skin dry. Plus, those irritants in the air cause your skin to be irritated.

Airborne Illnesses

A dirty AC system is also a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Once bacteria enter the AC system, they can get stuck in any buildup along the ducts or inside the handler. This is especially true of the handler and pump since they both contain water in several places and bacteria can multiply quickly in water. Viruses can become trapped in the system and released later, leading to possible illnesses. Your HVAC system can spread bacteria and viruses around your house, increasing the chances of everyone getting sick. If you think that this is happening in your home, schedule a thorough cleaning including the ductwork, to ensure that they are not a problem. Installing a UV light will also be very helpful in reducing biological growth in your system.

Noise Pollution

While not as common as respiratory problems, you can experience hearing-related issues. Dirty AC systems can cause ear strain since they can generate a lot of noise pollution. This includes the system generally being loud, which can slowly damage your hearing. Since dirty AC systems don’t run efficiently; they can slowly become louder over time as parts wear down and stop working as expected. Plus, the pollutants in the air can damage your eardrums with constant exposure. In some cases, it can even emit high-pitched sounds that can damage your hearing but are hard to hear or recognize. If your AC system is making a lot of audible noise, it needs to be checked.

If you are experiencing health issues and you cannot identify the cause, have your AC checked by a certified technician. A technician can tell you if your system needs maintenance and could provide some clues to whether it is causing your problems. Call Alford Mechanical Heating and Air Conditioning at 919-246-5265 for AC maintenance services.

Image provided by iStock

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