AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people are afflicted by allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or more challenging to deal with the unpleasant symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the amount of allergens in your home, selecting the correct AC filter is imperative. Learn which air filter ratings are best for people living with allergies and tips for finding the right air conditioning system filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are substances that generate allergic reactions in some individuals. Prevalent indoor allergens include:

    • Dust mites
    • Pet dander
    • Mold spores
    • Tobacco smoke
    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
    • Bacteria and viruses

Common outdoor allergens include:

    • Pollen
    • Ragweed
    • Wildfire smoke
    • Smog and ozone

These allergens can be in the air or be found on surfaces, causing discomfort for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Keeping clean indoor air is an important part of managing allergy symptoms, and using an effective AC filter to capture allergens is a key component.

Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?

Traditional AC filters are not well equipped to reduce allergy symptoms. Most are merely developed to get rid of dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from invading your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is needed to capture allergens and stop them from circulating inside your home.

The best AC filters for allergies have a high minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, which denotes their effectiveness at capturing small particles on a scale of 1 to 20. For instance, a MERV 8 filter can catch pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can capture smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy air conditioning filter with a high enough MERV rating reduces airborne allergens for welcome relief.

Know that MERV ratings of 17 to 20 describe high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters designed to take out at least 99.97 percent of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns in size. While this makes them very effective at removing allergens like dust, mold spores, bacteria and viruses from the air, most HEPA filters limit airflow so severely that they are not well-suited for residential applications. Contact a professional before buying a HEPA filter to find out if your air conditioning system is compatible.

Are Allergy Filters Worth the Expense?

While allergy air filters for an AC tend to be higher priced than standard filters, the rewards usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, spending money on a high-quality air conditioning filter to help reduce allergies helps maintain excellent indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, boosting overall health and well-being. In addition, utilizing a filter with a higher MERV rating can lengthen your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and run efficiently. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when determining whether to buy yourself one.

Techniques for Choosing an AC Filter

Identifying the correct air filter is vital for good IAQ and a reduction in allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and strategies to help you choose the perfect HVAC system filter for allergies:

    • Consider the MERV rating: Pick a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your needs. For most allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 offers the ideal balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
    • Choose the proper filter size: Air filters are offered in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system precisely. Filters that are the wrong size allow allergens to blow right into your HVAC system, undermining the filter’s effectiveness. Refer to your HVAC system’s manual or ask a professional for help determining the correct filter size.
    • Opt for a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a larger surface area for capturing allergens and are generally more effective than flat panel filters. Those that make use of electrostatic characteristics are even better. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and capture allergens more efficiently than standard filters with equivalent designs and materials.
    • Replace your filter on a regular basis: Once you install a filter, remind yourself to change it often for the best possible performance. A good rule of thumb is to switch out disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the recommended replacement interval.
    • Contact a professional: If you’re unsure about which filter is the most suitable for your needs or how to maintain your HVAC system properly, ask a licensed professional to help you make an informed decision.

Install a High-Quality Air Filtration System in Your Home

If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions, improving your HVAC system’s filter is one of the simplest things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find and install the correct air filtration system for your home. For more information about our indoor air quality services, please call a Service Experts office near you today.

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