AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people suffer from allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or more difficult to deal with the unpleasant symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the existence 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 recommendations for finding the right AC filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are materials that trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Common 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 drift in the air or be found on surfaces, causing problems for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Having clean indoor air is a significant part of managing allergy symptoms, and using an effective AC filter to capture allergens is a key component.

Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?

Standard AC filters are not designed to lessen allergy symptoms. Most are only supposed to stop dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from invading your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is required to capture allergens and prevent them from circulating throughout your home.

The ideal AC filters for allergies have a high minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, which measures their effectiveness at capturing small particles on a scale of 1 to 20. For example, a MERV 8 filter can catch pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can also remove very small smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy AC filter with a high enough MERV rating minimizes airborne allergens for much-appreciated relief.

Be aware that MERV ratings of 17 to 20 describe high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters designed to capture 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 slow airflow so severely that they are not well-suited for residential properties. Consult a professional before getting 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 are often higher priced than standard filters, the benefits usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, spending money on a high-quality air conditioning filter to alleviate discomfort from allergies helps maintain good indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, strengthening overall health and well-being. Additionally, using a filter with a higher MERV rating can lengthen your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and work correctly. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when making the decision of whether to purchase one.

Recommendations for Choosing an AC Filter

Identifying the best air filter is crucial for good IAQ and less severe allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and methods to help you choose the most appropriate HVAC system filter for allergies:

    • Consider the MERV rating: Pick a filter with a MERV rating suited for your needs. For the majority of allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 provides the very best balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
    • Choose the proper filter size: Air filters come in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system precisely. Incorrectly sized filters allow allergens to blow right through the filter, undermining the filter’s efficiency. Read your HVAC system’s manual or reach out to a professional for help determining the proper filter size.
    • Think about a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have more surface area for collecting allergens and are usually more effective than flat panel filters. Those with electrostatic characteristics are best of all. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and capture allergens in a more efficient manner than standard filters with similar designs and materials.
    • Replace your filter on a regular basis: Once you install a filter, remind yourself to change it often for optimal performance. A good rule of thumb is to replace disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the recommended replacement interval.
    • Consult a professional: If you’re uncertain about which filter is right for your needs or how to maintain your HVAC system properly, ask a skilled Expert to help you make an informed decision.

Install a High-Quality Air Filtration System in Your Home

If you or someone in your household has allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems, 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 select and install the most appropriate air filtration system for your residence. For more information about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.

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