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 presence of allergens in your home, selecting the correct AC filter is essential. Learn which air filter ratings are the most useful for people with allergies and recommendations for finding11 the right air conditioner filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are elements that cause 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:
- Wildfire smoke
- Smog and ozone
These allergens can drift in the air or accumulate on surfaces, causing irritation for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Having clean indoor air is a critical part of managing allergy symptoms, and using an effective AC filter to lower the amount of allergens is a key component.
Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?
Standard AC filters are ill-equipped to lessen allergy symptoms. Most are simply supposed to get rid of dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne contaminants from getting into your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is needed to catch32 allergens and restrict them from circulating through your home.
The ideal air conditioning system filters for allergies have a high minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, which denotes37 their effectiveness at capturing small particles on a scale of 1 to 20. For instance, a MERV 8 filter can trap pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can also remove very small smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy air conditioning filter with a high enough MERV rating reduces airborne allergens for much-appreciated relief.
Please keep in mind44 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 highly 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 properties. Seek advice from51 a professional before installing a HEPA filter to find out if your air conditioning system is compatible.
Are Allergy Filters Worth the Money?
While allergy air filters for air conditioners are often more costly than standard filters, the rewards usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, investing in a high-quality air conditioner filter to alleviate discomfort from allergies helps maintain superior indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, boosting overall health and well-being. Additionally, utilizing a filter with a higher MERV rating can lengthen your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and run effectively. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when making the decision of whether to purchase one.
Recommendations for Choosing an AC Filter
Selecting the right air filter is vital for good IAQ and less severe allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and guidelines to help you choose the optimal HVAC system filter for allergies:
- Consider the MERV rating: Go with a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your needs. For the majority of allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 provides the ideal balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
- Choose the proper filter size: Air filters are made in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system perfectly. Filters that are the wrong size allow allergens to blow right on by, undermining the filter’s efficiency. Consult your HVAC system’s manual or contact a professional for help determining the right filter size.
- Opt for a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a greater surface area for catching allergens and are typically more effective than flat panel filters. Those that have electrostatic characteristics are best of all. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and trap allergens more efficiently than standard filters with comparable designs and materials.
- Replace your filter routinely: Once you select a filter, remember to change it often for optimal performance. The general rule is to switch out disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended replacement interval.
- Seek advice from a professional: If you’re uncertain about which filter is best for your needs or how to maintain your HVAC system properly, ask an experienced technician to help you make an informed decision.
Install a High-Quality Air Filtration System in Your Home
If you or someone in your household is afflicted with allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions, upgrading your air conditioner's filter is one of the simplest things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose118 and install the perfect air filtration system for your home. For more suggestions about our indoor air quality services, please reach out to a Service Experts office near you today.