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, selecting the correct AC filter is vital. Learn which air filter ratings are the most useful for people living with allergies and guidelines for finding11 the right air conditioner filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are elements 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:
- Wildfire smoke
- Smog and ozone
These allergens can drift in the air or accumulate on surfaces, causing irritation 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 capture allergens is a key component.
Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?
Regular AC filters are not designed to cut down on allergy symptoms. Most are only developed to reduce dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from getting into your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is needed to catch32 allergens and prevent them from circulating inside your home.
The ideal air conditioning system filters for allergies have a high minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, which denotes37 their effectiveness at capturing small particles on a scale of 1 to 20. For instance, a MERV 8 filter can trap pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can capture smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy air conditioning filter with a high enough MERV rating reduces airborne allergens for much-appreciated relief.
Please keep in mind44 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 highly effective at removing allergens like dust, mold spores, bacteria and viruses from the air, most HEPA filters slow airflow so severely that they are not practical for residential situations. Seek advice from51 a professional before getting a HEPA filter to determine if your air conditioning system is compatible.
Are Allergy Filters Worth the Expense?
While allergy air filters for an AC are often more expensive than standard filters, the benefits usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, paying for a high-quality air conditioner filter to alleviate discomfort from allergies helps maintain excellent indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, strengthening overall health and well-being. Plus, installing a filter with a higher MERV rating can prolong your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and function effectively. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when making the decision of whether to buy yourself one.
Recommendations for Choosing an AC Filter
Identifying the best air filter is necessary for good IAQ and fewer allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and methods to help you choose the most appropriate HVAC system filter for allergies:
- Consider the MERV rating: Choose a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your needs. For the majority of allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 provides the very best balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
- Choose the correct filter size: Air filters are offered in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system precisely. Filters that are the wrong size allow allergens to blow right into your HVAC system, undermining the filter’s usefulness. Consult your HVAC system’s manual or contact 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 generally more effective than flat panel filters. Those that have electrostatic characteristics are best of all. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and capture allergens more efficiently than standard filters with equivalent designs and materials.
- Replace your filter routinely: Once you install a filter, remind yourself to change it often for the best possible performance. A good strategy is to replace disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s guidelines 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 problems, replacing your AC filter is one of the simplest things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose118 and install the perfect air filtration system for your residence. For more suggestions about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.