AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people are afflicted by allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or more challenging to manage symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the existence of allergens in your home, installing the right AC filter is essential. Learn which air filter ratings are preferred for people with allergies and guidelines for identifying the right air conditioning system filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are elements that cause 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 be 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 an important part of managing allergy symptoms, and using an effective AC filter to capture allergens is a key component.

Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?

Traditional AC filters are ill-equipped to reduce allergy symptoms. Most are merely designed to get rid of dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from getting into your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is necessary to trap allergens and prevent them from circulating through your home.

The best 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. For example, a MERV 8 filter can catch 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 will lower the airborne allergens for much-needed relief.

Be aware that MERV ratings of 17 to 20 describe high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters designed to capture at least 99.97 percent of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns in size. While this makes them very effective at removing allergens like dust, mold spores, bacteria and viruses from the air, most HEPA filters limit airflow so severely that they are not well-suited for residential properties. Seek advice from a professional before installing a HEPA filter to determine if your air conditioning system is compatible.

Are Allergy Filters Worth the Expense?

While allergy air filters for air conditioners are often more costly 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 superior indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, improving overall health and well-being. Plus, installing a filter with a higher MERV rating can lengthen your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and work effectively. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when determining whether to purchase one.

Techniques for Choosing an AC Filter

Picking out the right air filter is crucial for good IAQ and less severe allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and strategies to help you choose the optimal AC filter for allergies:

    • Consider the MERV rating: Go with a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your needs. For the majority of allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 features the ideal 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 into your HVAC system, undermining the filter’s effectiveness. Consult your HVAC system’s manual or reach out to a professional for help determining the proper filter size.
    • Think about a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a larger surface area for collecting allergens and are typically more effective than flat panel filters. Those that have electrostatic characteristics are best of all. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and catch allergens more effectively than standard filters with equivalent designs and materials.
    • Replace your filter regularly: Once you install a filter, don’t forget to change it often for maximum performance. A good strategy is to exchange disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended replacement interval.
    • Seek advice from a professional: If you’re not sure about which filter is the most suitable 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 suffers from allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems, improving your HVAC system’s filter is one of the best things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you select and install the most appropriate air filtration system for your household. For more information about our indoor air quality services, please call a Service Experts office near you today.

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