Many people are afflicted by allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or more challenging 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 essential. Learn which air filter ratings are preferred for people coping with allergies and guidelines for finding11 the right AC filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are materials that generate allergic reactions in affected individuals. Frequent 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 float in the air or settle on surfaces, causing discomfort for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Keeping 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 ill-equipped to cut down on allergy symptoms. Most are only developed to get rid of dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from entering your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is necessary to catch32 allergens and stop them from circulating inside your home.
The best air conditioner 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 capture 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.
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 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 restrict airflow so severely that they are not well-suited for residential applications. Seek advice from51 a professional before installing a HEPA filter to determine if your air conditioning system is compatible.
Are Allergy Filters Worth the Cost?
While allergy air filters for AC units are often more expensive than standard filters, the rewards usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, spending money on a high-quality air conditioner filter to help reduce allergies helps maintain superior indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, improving overall health and well-being. In addition, utilizing a filter with a higher MERV rating can prolong your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and run effectively. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when deciding whether to invest in one.
Recommendations for Choosing an AC Filter
Selecting the correct air filter is necessary for good IAQ and a reduction in allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and guidelines to help you choose the perfect HVAC system filter for allergies:
- Consider the MERV rating: Choose a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your needs. For most allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 features the ideal balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
- Choose the appropriate filter size: Air filters are offered in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system exactly. Incorrectly sized filters allow allergens to blow right into your HVAC system, undermining the filter’s efficiency. Refer to your HVAC system’s manual or contact a professional for help determining the proper 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 in a more efficient manner than standard filters with equivalent designs and materials.
- Replace your filter on a regular basis: Once you put in a filter, remind yourself to change it often for the best possible performance. A good strategy is to switch out disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s guidelines 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 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 suffers from allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions, improving your AC filter is one of the easiest 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 information about our indoor air quality services, please reach out to a Service Experts office near you today.