AC Filters for People with Allergies
Many people suffer from allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or harder to deal with the unpleasant symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the amount of allergens in your home, picking out the correct AC filter is vital. Learn which air filter ratings are the most useful for people living 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 sensitive individuals. Frequent 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 accumulate on surfaces, causing problems 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 remove allergens is a key component.
Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?
Traditional AC filters are not well equipped to lessen allergy symptoms. Most are merely supposed to stop dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne materials from entering your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is required to trap allergens and restrict them from circulating throughout your home.
The ideal 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. 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 air conditioning filter with a high enough MERV rating reduces airborne allergens for much-appreciated relief.
Be aware 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 slow airflow so severely that they are not well-suited 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 Money?
While allergy air filters for air conditioners are often more costly than standard filters, the benefits usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, spending money on a high-quality air conditioner filter to alleviate discomfort from allergies helps maintain good indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, strengthening overall health and well-being. Plus, installing a filter with a higher MERV rating can prolong your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and run correctly. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when determining whether to invest in one.
Tips for Choosing an AC Filter
Picking out the correct air filter is vital for good IAQ and less severe allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and methods to help you choose the optimal AC filter for allergies:
- Consider the MERV rating: Choose a filter with a MERV rating suited for your needs. For many allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 offers the optimal 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. Incorrectly sized filters allow allergens to blow right on by, undermining the filter’s efficiency. Read your HVAC system’s manual or reach out to a professional for help determining the correct filter size.
- Think about a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have more surface area for collecting allergens and are typically more effective than flat panel filters. Those that have electrostatic characteristics are better yet. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and capture allergens more effectively than standard filters with similar designs and materials.
- Replace your filter routinely: Once you install a filter, don’t forget to change it often for maximum performance. A good rule of thumb is to replace 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 unsure about which filter is right 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 has allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems, improving your HVAC system’s filter is one of the simplest things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you find and install the correct air filtration system for your household. For more details about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.
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