AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people experience allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or more difficult to control symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the amount of allergens in your home, picking out the right AC filter is imperative. Learn which air filter ratings are the most useful for people living with allergies and guidelines for choosing the right AC filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are elements that cause allergic reactions in some 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 be in the air or settle on surfaces, causing discomfort 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 remove allergens is a key component.

Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?

Regular AC filters are not well equipped to cut down on allergy symptoms. Most are merely developed to reduce dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from invading your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is necessary to catch allergens and restrict them from circulating inside your home.

The most effective air conditioner 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. Case in point, a MERV 8 filter can capture pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can also remove very small smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy air conditioner filter with a high enough MERV rating reduces airborne allergens for welcome relief.

Be aware 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 extremely good at removing allergens like dust, mold spores, bacteria and viruses from the air, most HEPA filters restrict airflow so severely that they are not well-suited for residential situations. Seek advice from a professional before getting a HEPA filter to determine if your air conditioning system is compatible.

Are Allergy Filters Worth the Money?

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, investing in a high-quality air conditioning filter for allergies helps maintain superior indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, strengthening overall health and well-being. Additionally, utilizing a filter with a higher MERV rating can prolong your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and run correctly. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when determining whether to purchase one.

Techniques for Choosing an AC Filter

Picking out the correct air filter is crucial for good IAQ and fewer allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and methods to help you choose the perfect air conditioner filter for allergies:

    • Consider the MERV rating: Choose a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your needs. For the majority of allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 offers the ideal balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
    • Choose the correct filter size: Air filters are made in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system precisely. Ill-fitting filters allow allergens to blow right on by, undermining the filter’s effectiveness. Refer to your HVAC system’s manual or ask a professional for help determining the right 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 comparable 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. The general rule is to exchange disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended replacement interval.
    • Consult 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 is afflicted with allergies, asthma or other respiratory ailments, upgrading 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 correct air filtration system for your residence. For more suggestions about our indoor air quality services, please reach out to a Service Experts office near you today.

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