AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people are afflicted by allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or more difficult to manage 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 best for people with allergies and tips for choosing the right AC filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are materials that trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Frequent 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. 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?

Regular AC filters are not designed to reduce allergy symptoms. Most are only developed to reduce dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from invading your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is needed to trap allergens and stop them from circulating throughout your home.

The most effective air conditioner 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. 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 much-appreciated relief.

Know 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 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 practical for residential applications. Contact 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 air conditioners are typically higher priced than standard filters, the rewards usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, investing in a high-quality AC filter for allergies helps maintain excellent 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 run correctly. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when deciding whether to buy yourself one.

Tips for Choosing an AC Filter

Selecting the correct air filter is vital for good IAQ and fewer allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and methods 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 most allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 features the very 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 on by, undermining the filter’s usefulness. Refer to your HVAC system’s manual or ask a professional for help determining the correct filter size.
    • Think about a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a greater surface area for catching 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 capture allergens more efficiently than standard filters with similar designs and materials.
    • Replace your filter on a regular basis: Once you select a filter, remind yourself to change it often for the best possible performance. A good rule of thumb is to exchange disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the recommended replacement interval.
    • Contact a professional: If you’re uncertain about which filter is best 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 is afflicted with allergies, asthma or other respiratory ailments, replacing 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 select and install the correct air filtration system for your household. For more details about our indoor air quality services, please call a Service Experts office near you today.

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