You may not be aware of this, most people other than contractors and architects don’t realize a simple fact that your air conditioner does more than just cool the building. Although it can be nice to open windows and breathe fresh outdoor air on cool spring days, there’s a reason you don’t see it often in commercial buildings and churches specifically. For somebody with asthma or other breathing problems, that fresh air may be aggravating.
To get an idea of just what gets in the air when not properly filtered, imagine what the inside of your vacuum cleaner looks like. You would never consider leaving all of that dust, pollen, pet hair and debris in your carpet but instead clean it up. Where do you think it comes from? Of course some may come in with your shoes, but a large portion of it settles out of the air. If you don’t believe this to be true, pay special attention to your HVAC unit’s filter during the next replacement. Imagine what the air quality would be like without filtration to remove the excess dust.
For most healthy adults, this isn’t really a problem. However, for somebody who suffers from asthma or sickness that pollution in the air can be devastating. For children it can cause problems later in life, as breathing the pollutants is something that builds up over the years and you never fully recover. For the elderly, and especially those who are beginning to see other health problems, unfiltered air can cause difficulty with breathing or even unrelated problems that are hard to diagnose.
One of the main reasons the unfiltered air can cause such problems is that the effects of it are actually an allergic reaction. As typical of all allergies, they never get better but only become worse as each exposure over the course of your life builds on the last and never goes away. But the real problem comes from being indoors with unfiltered air. Outside, the air moves freely. Indoors, even with a fan, you’re still only moving dirty air around. And that’s why filtration is so essential to indoor air quality.
Typically your air conditioning or heating unit can handle filtering the air as it runs. However, if you live in a temperate climate and can go without for long periods, you may want to consider a separate filtration system to run in tandem with the HVAC.