AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people suffer from allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or more difficult to control symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the amount of allergens in your home, choosing the appropriate AC filter is essential. Learn which air filter ratings are best for people with allergies and recommendations for choosing the right air conditioning system filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are materials 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:

    • 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. Maintaining 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?

Regular AC filters are ill-equipped to reduce allergy symptoms. Most are simply developed to get rid of dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne contaminants from invading your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is necessary to capture allergens and prevent them from circulating through your home.

The best air conditioning system 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. For instance, a MERV 8 filter can catch pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can remove 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 small 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 situations. Seek advice from a professional before getting a HEPA filter to determine if your air conditioning system is compatible.

Are Allergy Filters Worth the Cost?

While allergy air filters for an AC are typically more expensive than standard filters, the benefits usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, spending money on a high-quality AC filter for allergies helps maintain excellent indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, boosting overall health and well-being. Additionally, 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 determining whether to purchase one.

Recommendations for Choosing an AC Filter

Picking out the right air filter is vital for good IAQ and a reduction in allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and guidelines to help you choose the perfect HVAC system filter for allergies:

    • Consider the MERV rating: Choose 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 optimal balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
    • Choose the appropriate filter size: Air filters are made in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system precisely. 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.
    • Try a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a larger surface area for collecting allergens and are usually more effective than flat panel filters. Those with electrostatic characteristics are best of all. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and trap allergens more effectively than standard filters with comparable designs and materials.
    • Replace your filter regularly: Once you put in a filter, remember 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 guidelines 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 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 has allergies, asthma or other respiratory ailments, upgrading 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 select and install the most appropriate air filtration system for your residence. For more suggestions about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.

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