I wouldn’t really go so far as saying air conditioner filters make the air healthier, although they do remove dust particles, making the air cleaner, but mold and bacteria particles can still get through standard filters. The main purpose of A/C filters is to keep large particles from going through the air handler.
Some A/Cs are equipped with advanced filters, like those comprised of electro charged polypropylene fibers that catch even smaller particles than standard filters, like mold, pollen, and bacteria. These filters actually do make the air healthier, removing mold and bacteria, but are less common.
Most air conditioning systems have air filters that can remove about 10% of pollutants like dust, mold spores, animal dander, pollen, and bacteria. The system actually recirculates the air, along with all of its toxins. In fact, the cold, dark, and wet air conditioning ducts are perfect places for bacteria to grow, and the bacteria are then pushed out into the home when the air conditioner turns on. You should get your ductwork cleaned by a professional who uses an EPA registered biocide about once a year.
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