Many people experience 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 existence of allergens in your home, selecting the right AC filter is essential. Learn which air filter ratings are the most useful for people with allergies and tips for identifying11 the right air conditioner filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are materials 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:
- Wildfire smoke
- Smog and ozone
These allergens can float in the air or accumulate on surfaces, causing irritation for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Maintaining 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?
Traditional AC filters are not designed to lessen allergy symptoms. Most are simply supposed to stop dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from entering your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is needed to capture32 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 measures37 their effectiveness at capturing small particles on a scale of 1 to 20. Case in point, a MERV 8 filter can trap pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can remove smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy AC 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 capture 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 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 Expense?
While allergy air filters for air conditioners tend to be more costly than standard filters, the advantages usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, investing in a high-quality AC filter to alleviate discomfort from allergies helps maintain excellent indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, boosting overall health and well-being. In addition, installing a filter with a higher MERV rating can extend your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and work correctly. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when determining whether to purchase one.
Techniques for Choosing an AC Filter
Identifying the best air filter is vital for good IAQ and fewer allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and strategies to help you choose the optimal air conditioner 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 features the very best 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 effectiveness. Read your HVAC system’s manual or contact a professional for help determining the correct filter size.
- Try a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a larger surface area for catching allergens and are usually more effective than flat panel filters. Those with electrostatic characteristics are even better. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and capture allergens more effectively than standard filters with comparable 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 rule of thumb is to exchange disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the recommended replacement interval.
- Contact a professional: If you’re uncertain about which filter is right for your needs or how to maintain your HVAC system properly, ask an experienced technician 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, replacing your AC filter is one of the easiest things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you find118 and install the most appropriate air filtration system for your residence. For more information about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.