AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people are afflicted by allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or harder to control symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the presence of allergens in your home, picking out the correct AC filter is imperative. Learn which air filter ratings are best for people coping with allergies and guidelines for finding the right air conditioner filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are materials that generate 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 be found on surfaces, causing discomfort for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Keeping clean indoor air is a critical part of managing allergy symptoms, and using an effective AC filter to lower the amount of allergens is a key component.

Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?

Regular AC filters are ill-equipped to lessen allergy symptoms. Most are simply developed to stop dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne contaminants from entering your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is needed to catch allergens and stop them from circulating through your home.

The ideal air conditioning system 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 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 conditioner filter with a high enough MERV rating will lower the 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 little 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 become impractical for residential applications. Contact a professional before getting a HEPA filter to find out if your air conditioning system is compatible.

Are Allergy Filters Worth the Cost?

While allergy air filters for an AC tend to be more expensive than standard filters, the benefits usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, investing in a high-quality air conditioning filter to help reduce allergies helps maintain excellent indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, boosting overall health and well-being. In addition, using a filter with a higher MERV rating can lengthen your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and run efficiently. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when making the decision of whether to purchase one.

Recommendations for Choosing an AC Filter

Selecting the right air filter is necessary for good IAQ and fewer allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and methods to help you choose the perfect AC filter for allergies:

  • Consider the MERV rating: Go with a filter with a MERV rating that best matches your needs. For the majority of allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 provides the best balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
  • Choose the appropriate filter size: Air filters come in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system precisely. Ill-fitting filters allow allergens to blow right through the filter, undermining the filter’s usefulness. Read your HVAC system’s manual or ask a professional for help determining the proper filter size.
  • Try a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a greater surface area for collecting allergens and are generally more effective than flat panel filters. Those that make use of electrostatic characteristics are even better. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and trap allergens more efficiently than standard filters with comparable designs and materials.
  • Replace your filter routinely: Once you put in a filter, don’t forget to change it often for maximum performance. The general rule is to switch out disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the recommended replacement interval.
  • Seek advice from a professional: If you’re uncertain 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 is afflicted with allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems, replacing your AC filter is one of the best 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 household. For more information about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.

  • How to Find a Suitable HVAC System

    When considering keeping your home comfortable all year, nothing is more essential than picking out the right heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This decision influences your daily comfort, monthly utility costs and all-around home efficiency. But, with so many system types,... Continue reading

  • Yearly HVAC Maintenance Checklist

    As soon as the air gets colder, you know it’s time to prepare your home for the cooler months ahead. Your heating system is key to maintaining a cozy, warm setting. A well-maintained furnace provides the comfort you want while using a reduced amount of energy. Scheduled inspections also make... Continue reading

  • Winter Energy Efficiency Tips for Your HVAC System

    With winter on the way, you could be looking at your energy bills with trepidation. The freezing months often bring an increase in electricity or natural gas costs, depending on what fuel source you use to heat your home and hot water. But don’t worry—with a suitable approach, you can control... Continue reading