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 presence of allergens in your home, installing the appropriate AC filter is imperative. Learn which air filter ratings are preferred for people coping with allergies and recommendations for identifying11 the right air conditioner filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are substances that generate 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 float in the air or settle on surfaces, causing discomfort 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 lower the amount of allergens is a key component.
Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?
Traditional AC filters are ill-equipped to cut down on allergy symptoms. Most are merely supposed to stop dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from getting into your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is needed to capture32 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 measures37 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 remove smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy AC filter with a high enough MERV rating will lower the airborne allergens for welcome relief.
Know44 that MERV ratings of 17 to 20 describe high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters designed to take out 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 well-suited for residential situations. Contact51 a professional before installing a HEPA filter to find out if your air conditioning system is compatible.
Are Allergy Filters Worth the Cost?
While allergy air filters for AC units tend to be more expensive than standard filters, the benefits usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, investing in a high-quality air conditioner filter for allergies helps maintain good indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, boosting overall health and well-being. Additionally, installing a filter with a higher MERV rating can extend your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and function effectively. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when deciding whether to purchase one.
Tips for Choosing an AC Filter
Identifying the right air filter is crucial for good IAQ and fewer allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and methods to help you choose the optimal air conditioner filter for allergies:
- Consider the MERV rating: Go with 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 optimal balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
- Choose the proper filter size: Air filters are made 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 effectiveness. Consult your HVAC system’s manual or reach out to a professional for help determining the proper filter size.
- Opt for a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a larger surface area for catching allergens and are typically 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 efficiently than standard filters with comparable designs and materials.
- Replace your filter routinely: Once you install a filter, remember to change it often for maximum performance. A good strategy is to exchange disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended replacement interval.
- Seek advice from 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, improving your air conditioner's 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 perfect air filtration system for your residence. For more suggestions about our indoor air quality services, please reach out to a Service Experts office near you today.