Many people are afflicted by allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or more challenging to control symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the existence of allergens in your home, selecting the correct AC filter is essential. Learn which air filter ratings are the most useful for people coping with allergies and guidelines for finding11 the right AC filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are substances that trigger allergic reactions in sensitive 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 be in the air or settle on surfaces, causing problems for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Keeping clean indoor air is an important 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 not designed to cut down on allergy symptoms. Most are merely designed to reduce dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from getting into your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is required to catch32 allergens and restrict them from circulating through your home.
The ideal AC 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. Case in point, 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 minimizes 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 capture at least 99.97 percent of particles as little 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 become impractical for residential situations. Seek advice from51 a professional before installing 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 often higher priced than standard filters, the advantages usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, paying for a high-quality air conditioner filter to help reduce allergies helps maintain good indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, improving overall health and well-being. In addition, utilizing 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 deciding whether to invest in one.
Recommendations for Choosing an AC Filter
Identifying 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: Go with a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your needs. For the majority of allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 offers the best balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
- Choose the proper filter size: Air filters come in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system exactly. Incorrectly sized filters allow allergens to blow right on by, undermining the filter’s usefulness. Consult your HVAC system’s manual or reach out to a professional for help determining the right 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 have electrostatic characteristics are better yet. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and catch allergens more efficiently than standard filters with equivalent designs and materials.
- Replace your filter regularly: Once you select a filter, don't forget to change it often for optimal performance. The general rule is to replace disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended replacement interval.
- Contact a professional: If you’re not sure about which filter is right 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 problems, replacing your AC filter is one of the best 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 household. For more details about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.