Many people experience 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 existence of allergens in your home, choosing the correct AC filter is essential. Learn which air filter ratings are best for people coping with allergies and guidelines for identifying11 the right air conditioning system filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are substances that cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Prevalent 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 be found on surfaces, causing problems for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Maintaining 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 ill-equipped to reduce allergy symptoms. Most are merely supposed to stop dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from entering your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is required to capture32 allergens and stop them from circulating throughout your home.
The ideal air conditioning system filters for allergies have a high minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, which measures37 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 capture smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy air conditioner filter with a high enough MERV rating minimizes airborne allergens for much-appreciated relief.
Know44 that MERV ratings of 17 to 20 describe high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters designed to take out at least 99.97 percent of particles as little 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 limit airflow so severely that they are not practical for residential applications. Contact51 a professional before getting a HEPA filter to find out if your air conditioning system is compatible.
Are Allergy Filters Worth the Money?
While allergy air filters for air conditioners are often higher priced than standard filters, the advantages usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, investing in 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. Additionally, installing 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 buy yourself one.
Recommendations for Choosing an AC Filter
Selecting the best air filter is crucial for good IAQ and a reduction in allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and methods to help you choose the most appropriate air conditioner filter for allergies:
- Consider the MERV rating: Pick a filter with a MERV rating suited for your needs. For the majority of allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 provides the ideal balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
- Choose the proper filter size: Air filters are offered in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system perfectly. Ill-fitting filters allow allergens to blow right on by, undermining the filter’s usefulness. Refer to your HVAC system’s manual or contact a professional for help determining the proper filter size.
- Think about a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a larger surface area for capturing allergens and are generally more effective than flat panel filters. Those that make use of electrostatic characteristics are best of all. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and catch allergens more efficiently than standard filters with comparable designs and materials.
- Replace your filter on a regular basis: Once you install a filter, remind yourself to change it often for optimal performance. A good rule of thumb is to switch out disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended replacement interval.
- Consult a professional: If you’re unsure about which filter is the most suitable for your needs or how to maintain your HVAC system properly, ask a licensed professional 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 conditions, replacing your HVAC system's filter is one of the simplest things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you find118 and install the perfect air filtration system for your household. For more information about our indoor air quality services, please call a Service Experts office near you today.