AC Filters for People with Allergies
Many people suffer from allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or more challenging to deal with the unpleasant symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the presence of allergens in your home, selecting the correct AC filter is imperative. Learn which air filter ratings are preferred for people with allergies and guidelines for identifying the right AC filter.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Allergens are materials that cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Common 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 capture allergens is a key component.
Do Filters Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?
Standard AC filters are not designed to lessen allergy symptoms. Most are simply designed to stop dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne materials from getting into your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is necessary to capture allergens and prevent 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 indicates 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 also remove very small smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy air conditioner 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 tiny 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 situations. Consult 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 an AC tend to be higher priced than standard filters, the advantages usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, paying for a high-quality air conditioner filter for allergies helps maintain excellent indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, boosting overall health and well-being. Plus, using a filter with a higher MERV rating can extend your HVAC system’s life by helping it stay clean and run efficiently. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when making the decision of whether to purchase one.
Recommendations for Choosing an AC Filter
Identifying the correct air filter is vital 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: Go with a filter with a MERV rating that best matches 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 correct filter size: Air filters are made in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system perfectly. Incorrectly sized filters allow allergens to blow right into your HVAC system, undermining the filter’s efficiency. Refer to your HVAC system’s manual or reach out to 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 typically more effective than flat panel filters. Those that make use of electrostatic characteristics are even better. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and catch allergens in a more efficient manner than standard filters with comparable designs and materials.
- Replace your filter routinely: Once you select a filter, remind yourself to change it often for the best possible performance. A good rule of thumb is to switch out disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended replacement interval.
- Consult 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 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 is afflicted with allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems, replacing your HVAC system’s filter is one of the best things you can do to manage your symptoms. Winnipeg Supply Service Experts can help you choose and install the most appropriate air filtration system for your household. For more suggestions about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.