AC Filters for People with Allergies

Many people experience allergies, and indoor air quality (IAQ) either makes it easier or harder to control symptoms. If your goal is to improve IAQ and limit the presence of allergens in your home, selecting the right AC filter is vital. Learn which air filter ratings are best for people coping with allergies and tips for finding the right air conditioner filter.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality

Allergens are substances that generate allergic reactions in affected individuals. Common 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 be in the air or be found 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 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 developed to stop dust particles, textile fibers and other large airborne contaminants from invading your HVAC system. A higher-end filter is necessary to trap allergens and stop them from circulating through your home.

The best 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. For instance, a MERV 8 filter can catch pollen and mold spores, while a MERV 13 filter can also remove very small smoke particles and large bacteria. An allergy AC filter with a high enough MERV rating reduces airborne allergens for welcome 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 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 are not practical 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 an AC are typically more costly than standard filters, the benefits usually outweigh the costs for allergy sufferers. After all, spending money on a high-quality air conditioning filter for allergies helps maintain superior indoor air quality and reduces allergy symptoms, strengthening overall health and well-being. Plus, utilizing 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 determining whether to purchase one.

Techniques for Choosing an AC Filter

Identifying the best air filter is necessary for good IAQ and fewer allergy symptoms. Here are some essential tips and methods to help you choose the perfect AC filter for allergies:

    • Consider the MERV rating: Choose a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your needs. For most allergy sufferers, a filter rated MERV 11 to 13 features the optimal balance between allergen capture and airflow efficiency.
    • Choose the correct filter size: Air filters come in various sizes, so select one that fits your HVAC system precisely. Filters that are the wrong size allow allergens to blow right through the filter, undermining the filter’s usefulness. Consult your HVAC system’s manual or ask a professional for help determining the right filter size.
    • Think about a pleated electrostatic filter: Pleated filters have a greater surface area for catching allergens and are generally more effective than flat panel filters. Those with electrostatic characteristics are best of all. The electrostatic charge helps these filters attract and catch allergens more efficiently than standard filters with comparable designs and materials.
    • Replace your filter regularly: Once you install a filter, remember to change it often for optimal performance. The general rule is to replace 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 best 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 simplest things you can do to manage your symptoms. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you select and install the correct air filtration system for your residence. For more information about our indoor air quality services, please contact a Service Experts office near you today.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
Offer

FREE INDOOR AIR QUALITY CONSULTATION

  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
print

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional