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The True Science Behind Dirty Air Filters Inside Your Home

HVAC Techs in Alexandria, VA Share Why It’s So Important to Deal With Dirty Air Filters

How Dirty Air Filters Lead to Larger Problems

Ever walked into the house, taken a deep breath, and thought “oh, that doesn’t seem normal.” Sometimes, taking a deep breath can help homeowners realize that their air quality is not so great. Maybe it feels too damp, maybe it smells musty, or maybe it makes them cough because they breathed in a little too much dust or pollen floating around the air.

Air quality is extremely important in a home and the benefits of clean air are limitless. Sometimes, homeowners will try to take the cheap route to fix their air quality. They’ll try to clean their disposable air filters so they don’t have to buy new ones. Or they’ll fix one small piece of the HVAC system rather than improving the system as a whole. Unfortunately, these are not good solutions, and end up hurting them in the future.

Health Issues Caused by Dirty Air Filters


There are many potential health hazards due to dirty air filters. This is especially true for those who have allergies, asthma, or respiratory illnesses. Even the smallest level of dust, dirt, or pollen can set off a chain reaction and cause some serious health concerns.

Air filters help to trap dirt, dust, pollen, and other contaminants so they don’t continue to travel throughout the home. When filters are too dirty and full, they can’t trap additional contaminants, so these contaminants start to make their way through the home.

This can cause health problems such as itchy eyes, headaches, dizziness, congestion, and trouble breathing. Homeowners should take the responsibility of cleaning the air filters very seriously to protect the health of others in the home.

Best Way to Clean Air Filters

Believe it or not, the best way to start cleaning air filters is to not begin at all, just replace them. Many homeowners will try to clean their disposable air filters and reuse them to save money by not buying new ones. Some will try to vacuum their air filters or use a hose to suck out the dirt and dust. The problem with this is that a vacuum can’t reach the inner fibers of the filter.

Dust, pollen, and dirt get trapped deep within the air filter and a vacuum doesn’t have the power to eliminate them all. When these particles aren’t removed, they can block air from passing through the filter, making the HVAC system less efficient.


Some have also tried to clean the air filters by using water. But using water can actually encourage mold growth, and can spread the mold spores throughout the home over time. Shaking the air filter won’t clean it either. In fact, it can damage the integrity of the filter by loosening the density of the fibers. So to conclude, don’t try to clean disposable air filters. Just replace them. The HVAC system will be thankful for it!

How to Get an Air Quality Upgrade


When homeowners are looking to improve the air quality in the home by upgrading the air filters they use, it’s best to consult a professional. If the air filter is the main source of the air quality problem in the house, switching the air filters may be the best solution.

However, in many cases, the air filter is just one piece of the puzzle contributing to poor air quality. It’s better to get a full air quality cleanse than just a partial one with remaining dust and new chemicals mixed into the air.

Working with an HVAC professional can help homeowners understand the issues their home is facing when it comes to air quality and what course of action will be the best solution for their specific situation.

About Nice Heating & Air

Nice Heating & Air covers all HVAC needs in Alexandria, VA, from heating, insulation, gas fireplaces, and air conditioning system repair. When they enter a customers’ homes or offices, they treat their place as their own. Their highly-skilled technicians determine the problem and always recommend the best course of action.

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Customers With a NICE Experience

Customers With a NICE Experience

John G.

“Five stars--could not be happier!  Josh and Kyle were very professional, provided several options to improve performance of HVAC, no pressure or time constraints, worked efficiently, were able to explain in clear terms what they found, including when items were performing in fine fashion and nothing needed to be done.  Thanks for a happy camper”


“Service was outstanding from the time of arrival which you could track arrival time live on a website link they send you so you know when they will arrive. Technical knowledge was very high, quick and efficient Kyle and his partner both handled the install of a Sensi Predict as if it was a walk in the park. I highly recommend Kyle from Nice Heating & Air for all HVAC issues and for new installs, him and his team are an amazing company and will think of them first if any issues arise in the future for sure....”

Andrew Baker.

“Professional and polite. Excellent communication throughout the maintenance visit. Definitely recommend.”


“Rolando Medrano was very professional and followed the CDC protocol of 6 feet social distance and had a mask and put disposable shoe covers before entering the house. He made sure to address all of our issues and provided answers for all our questions. He came on time and called before he came to update on timing and his status! He was a great help!”

Mike Richardson.

“Highly recommend Nice Home Services for your HVAC needs. Have been member of their annual maintenance plan for three years now and been extremely pleased with their approach to business. They are professional, knowledgeable, and relatable. The service specialists take their time to fully diagnose the issue and explain the situation in a way that is easy to understand. Never had an instance where they try to push product and instead look for ways to recommend how to save you money. Need anything done on your home's HVAC, call the folks at Nice Home Services and know you're making the right choice.”

Zora G.

“Love , Love the NICE Heating & Air company for their kind & trustworthy technicians, their unbeatable price & overall knowledge they’ve amazed me every time with their fabulous job on my house, I’ll recommend them without hesitations, try this company you won’t regret for sure.”

Richard Nowinski.

“Dionte and his helper (Josh) did a superb job with the installation. The result is both functional and as cosmetically pleasing as the ideal water heater installation can be. They were VERY careful moving the old one out and the new one in so as to assure no damage was initiated neither to the heater nor to our dwelling. He explained his intended design prior to execution and executed it flawlessly. This was followed by a comprehensive explanation of the functional options available through the control panel and Ipad app. Cleanup at conclusion of the install was appropriate and comprehensive. This team represented both Nice Heating and Rheem VERY positively!”

Kimberly Mason.

“I had the pleasure of meeting another NICE Heating and Air Service Technician today, Mr. Jeremy Castellon. Jeremy, thank you again for addressing my questions and concerns regarding my gas fireplace. I appreciate your patience and knowledgeability about gas fireplaces. Jeremy was very professional and competent.”

Terence Lartey.

“The technician was very professional and took his time to explain the issue and how he will about to fix it. He also offered means to save by signing on their maintenance program. He was polite, careful to keep the carpet clean. I will recommend this company to friends and family.”

Roberta Massiah.

“Loves me some NICE Home Services! I’ve been part of their maintenance plan for almost 9 years now & they're great. Reliable, professional, & friendly; they take care of all my HVAC & gas fireplace needs m, including a spring & fall tuneup. Highly recommend!”

Barb N.

“I purchased my HVAC unit a year ago along with a Cozy Club maintenance plan. It's been running great and the customer service team is always quick to respond to questions. Today Rolando M. came by for the maintenance check and, as usual, he was neat, professional and maintained the COVID rules. He was also very nice, living up to the company name. I'm very happy with my experience with Nice.”

N. England.

“I can't speak highly enough of this company. I requested an appointment, and it was scheduled for the next day. The technician was polite, honest, and a pure delight to work with. He didn't try to overcharge or tell me to replace something I didn't need to. He made service recommendations that were in line with industry standard prices so I could make an informed decision as he went about his service visit. Would recommend and will be using them again in the future. ”

Lucas W.

“My technician arrived promptly at our appointed hour. He repaired a dirty and non-working gas fireplace. In addition, he found a small gas leak on our furnace line. Overall, exceptional service and quality work. I highly recommend their HVAC service.”

Rona G.

“Very impressive company! Nice responded to my call for a heating issue on very short notice. My tech, was right on time, extremely polite, and very hardworking. Customer service and satisfaction are clearly a priority.”

Kenny D.

“They treat customers like a valuable asset, not like a number. Business the old-fashioned way, that will never go out of style.”

Lois S.

“Superb customer service. Before a service appointment, you receive a text message notification with photo of the tech that will be at your residence followed by a phone call. During a service appointment you'll updated and educated. If there is a concern, management will contact you promptly and follow up until issue resolved. Awesome and attentive team!!”