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AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people experience 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 amount of allergens in your home, installing the correct AC filter is vital. Learn which air filter ratings are the most useful for people with allergies and recommendations for finding the right AC filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are substances that generate allergic reactions in some individuals. Prevalent indoor allergens include:

    • Dust mites
    • Pet dander
    • Mold spores
    • Tobacco smoke
    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
    • Bacteria and viruses

Common outdoor allergens include:

    • Pollen
    • Ragweed
    • Wildfire smoke
    • Smog and ozone

These allergens can float in the air or be found on surfaces, causing irritation 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 not designed to lessen allergy symptoms. Most are simply supposed to get rid of dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne substances from getting into your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is needed to capture allergens and restrict them from circulating inside your home.

The ideal AC 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 air conditioning filter with a high enough MERV rating will lower the airborne allergens for welcome relief.

Know that MERV ratings of 17 to 20 describe high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters designed to remove at least 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. While this makes them very effective at removing allergens like dust, mold spores, bacteria and viruses from the air, most HEPA filters restrict airflow so severely that they become impractical for residential applications. Contact a professional before buying a HEPA filter to determine if your air conditioning system is compatible.

Are Allergy Filters Worth the Expense?

While allergy air filters for an AC tend to be more expensive than standard filters, the advantages usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, investing in a high-quality air conditioner filter to alleviate discomfort from allergies helps maintain superior indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, improving 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 work efficiently. Remember these long-term benefits of allergy filters when making the decision of whether to purchase one.

Techniques for Choosing an AC Filter

Picking out the best air filter is vital for good IAQ and less severe allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and guidelines to help you choose the most appropriate AC filter for allergies:

    • Consider the MERV rating: Go with a filter with a MERV rating that best matches your needs. For most allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 offers the ideal 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. Ill-fitting filters allow allergens to blow right on by, undermining the filter’s usefulness. Refer to 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 catching allergens and are generally 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 regularly: Once you select a filter, remember to change it often for the best possible performance. The general rule is to exchange disposable filters every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended replacement interval.
    • Contact a professional: If you’re uncertain 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 has allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions, 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 find and install the correct air filtration system for your household. For more information about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.

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