Dirty Air Conditioner Filter Problems: Can Cause Allergies, Reveals PGI Study

During the study, dust samples were collected from AC filters from hospitals, guest houses, offices, schools and homes in Chandigarh.

Tavishi Dogra
Written by: Tavishi DograUpdated at: Jul 05, 2019 16:19 IST
Dirty Air Conditioner Filter Problems: Can Cause Allergies, Reveals PGI Study

Dirty AC filter can trigger allergies: How many of you are allergic air conditioners? Let's make it simple! imagine a situation, on a hot sunny day you switch on your AC and within a few minutes, you start sneezing and coughing! If that has ever happened to you, then don't worry, because it's not you who is allergic, it's the deteriorating air quality. Therefore, there are different reasons for this allergy:

  • air that is being circulated through the AC is contaminated
  • dirty AC filter

A dirty filter of the air conditioner is not only harmful to your lungs, but it also causes skin infections. Such unclean filters are hotbeds for dust mites, bacteria, and viruses.

What are dust mites?

Dust mites are organisms, who feed generally on human skin. They are found in houses or buildings an can easily nurture inside your air conditioner. Dust mites reproduce in damp conditions. However, humidity reduces the dust mite predominance.

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Recent research conducted by the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGI, has discovered that these filters are the base to dust mites, which includes the following places

  • hospitals 
  • offices 
  • guest houses
  • offices
  • schools
  • residents

During the research, the sample of dust was collected from the air conditioner's filters and the results were as follows:

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The highest concentration of dust mites found from

  • hospitals (9/g) 
  • offices (7/g)
  • households (6/g)
  • guest houses (3/g)
  • schools (0/g)

While examining the quality of indoor air  (to discover their relationship with the dust mites present in the filters of an air conditioner) and the current report of the respiratory well-being of indoor facility consumers, it was noticed that,

  • more than fifty-five percent of men were diagnosed with the allergy and only 
  • more than forty percent of women also had the allergy.

Out of all these participants, some were diagnosed with other diseases too:

  • family history of rhinitis (more than thirty percent), 
  • asthma ( more than twelve percent), 
  • recurrent urticaria ( more than five percent) 
  • conjunctivitis (more than five percent)


The research was concluded with the nutshell that AC filters should be cleaned on a regular basis. It will stop the aggregation of dust mites and other related antigens on filter dust.

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