AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people are afflicted by allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or harder to manage symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the presence of allergens in your home, picking out the correct AC filter is essential. Learn which air filter ratings are the most useful for people living with allergies and tips for choosing the right air conditioner filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are substances that trigger allergic reactions in affected individuals. Prevalent 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 accumulate on surfaces, causing problems for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Maintaining 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?

Regular AC filters are not designed to lessen allergy symptoms. Most are merely 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 trap allergens and restrict them from circulating through your home.

The ideal air conditioner filters for allergies have a high minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, which indicates 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 air conditioning filter with a high enough MERV rating minimizes airborne allergens for welcome relief.

Please keep in mind 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 highly effective at removing allergens like dust, mold spores, bacteria and viruses from the air, most HEPA filters restrict airflow so severely that they become impractical for residential situations. Contact a professional before buying a HEPA filter to determine if your air conditioning system is compatible.

Are Allergy Filters Worth the Cost?

While allergy air filters for air conditioners 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 for allergies helps maintain superior 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 function correctly. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when making the decision of whether to invest in one.

Techniques for Choosing an AC Filter

Selecting the right air filter is necessary for good IAQ and a reduction in allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and strategies to help you choose the optimal HVAC system filter for allergies:

  • Consider the MERV rating: Pick a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your needs. For many allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 features the best 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 through the filter, undermining the filter’s usefulness. Refer to your HVAC system’s manual or ask 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 usually more effective than flat panel filters. Those that make use of 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 routinely: Once you select a filter, remember to change it often for maximum performance. The general rule is to replace disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended replacement interval.
  • Contact 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 has allergies, asthma or other respiratory ailments, improving your AC filter is one of the simplest things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find and install the correct air filtration system for your home. For more suggestions about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.

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