AC Filters for People with Allergies
Many people suffer from 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, picking out the right AC filter is imperative. Learn which air filter ratings are best for people coping with allergies and tips for identifying the right AC filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are elements that generate 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 settle on surfaces, causing discomfort for allergy sufferers when inhaled, ingested or coming in contact with eyes. Maintaining clean indoor air is a significant part of managing allergy symptoms, and using an effective AC filter to remove allergens is a key component.
Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?
Regular AC filters are not designed to reduce allergy symptoms. Most are merely supposed to reduce dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne materials from getting into your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is required to capture allergens and stop them from circulating inside your home.
The best air conditioner 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. Case in point, a MERV 8 filter can capture pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can capture smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy AC filter with a high enough MERV rating reduces airborne allergens for much-appreciated relief.
Please keep in mind 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 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 limit airflow so severely that they become impractical for residential properties. Consult 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 tend to be more costly than standard filters, the benefits 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, strengthening 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 function efficiently. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when deciding whether to purchase one.
Techniques for Choosing an AC Filter
Selecting the best air filter is crucial for good IAQ and less severe allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and strategies to help you choose the perfect HVAC system filter for allergies:
- Consider the MERV rating: Pick a filter with a MERV rating suited for your needs. For many allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 offers 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 exactly. Ill-fitting filters allow allergens to blow right through the filter, undermining the filter’s usefulness. Read 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 more surface area for catching allergens and are usually more effective than flat panel filters. Those that make use of electrostatic characteristics are better yet. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and catch allergens more efficiently than standard filters with similar designs and materials.
- Replace your filter regularly: Once you select a filter, don’t forget to change it often for maximum performance. The general rule is to replace 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 not sure 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 suffers from allergies, asthma or other respiratory ailments, improving your AC filter is one of the simplest things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you choose and install the perfect air filtration system for your home. For more details about our indoor air quality services, please reach out to a Service Experts office near you today.
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