Many people are afflicted by 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, installing the right AC filter is imperative. Learn which air filter ratings are preferred for people with allergies and recommendations for finding11 the right AC filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are substances that trigger 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:
- Wildfire smoke
- Smog and ozone
These allergens can drift in the air or accumulate on surfaces, causing discomfort for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Keeping clean indoor air is a critical 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 merely designed to stop dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne materials from entering your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is needed to catch32 allergens and restrict them from circulating through your home.
The most effective 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 example, a MERV 8 filter can trap pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can remove smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy air conditioning filter with a high enough MERV rating minimizes airborne allergens for welcome relief.
Please keep in mind44 that MERV ratings of 17 to 20 describe high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters designed to remove at least 99.97 percent of particles as small 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 slow airflow so severely that they are not well-suited for residential situations. Seek advice from51 a professional before buying a HEPA filter to find out if your air conditioning system is compatible.
Are Allergy Filters Worth the Cost?
While allergy air filters for an AC tend to be more expensive than standard filters, the benefits usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, investing in a high-quality AC filter for allergies helps maintain good indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, strengthening overall health and well-being. Plus, utilizing a filter with a higher MERV rating can extend your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and run correctly. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when making the decision of whether to invest in one.
Tips for Choosing an AC Filter
Identifying the right air filter is necessary for good IAQ and less severe allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and strategies to help you choose the optimal HVAC system filter for allergies:
- Consider the MERV rating: Go with a filter with a MERV rating suited for your needs. For most allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 offers the best balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
- Choose the correct filter size: Air filters come in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system exactly. Filters that are the wrong size allow allergens to blow right on by, undermining the filter’s effectiveness. Refer to your HVAC system’s manual or reach out to a professional for help determining the correct filter size.
- Opt for a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have more surface area for collecting allergens and are typically more effective than flat panel filters. Those that have electrostatic characteristics are better yet. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and trap allergens more effectively than standard filters with equivalent designs and materials.
- Replace your filter on a regular basis: Once you select a filter, remind yourself to change it often for optimal performance. A good strategy is to replace disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations 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 ailments, upgrading your AC filter is one of the best things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose118 and install the most appropriate air filtration system for your household. For more details about our indoor air quality services, please reach out to a Service Experts office near you today.