Chances are if you suffer from allergies, you’ve racked your brain trying to figure out ways to filter those irritating little allergen particles out of the air in your home. Endorsed by the EPA and American Lung Association for those with allergies and asthma, upgrading to a better air filter has probably crossed your mind (or the history of your internet browser). For those looking to up their air filter ante, what is the best air filter for allergies? And why is your current filter falling short? Let’s take a closer look…
Air Filters are an Important Tool for Reducing Allergens
Like dirt hidden in your carpet, what you don’t know can hurt you – or at least irritate your allergies. Your air filter, often out of sight and out of mind, can be an essential part of safeguarding indoor air quality – when the right style of air filter is used. Most inexpensive, run-of-the-mill air filters from the local hardware store, however, do nothing to improve the air quality in your home. They merely serve to prevent larger dust, dirt particles and hair from damaging HVAC equipment (when changed regularly). But these ordinary filters do little toward removing microscopic dust, dust mites, pollen, dander, mold, mildew, and other common irritants, which are so small they slip through the fibers to get blown back into your living space. If you want to trap these tiny particles, specialized air filters are necessary.
What is the Best Air Conditioner Filter for Allergies?
- Mechanical Filters
Specialized HEPA-style mechanical filters physically can trap common allergens. Developed in WWII to prevent the escape of radioactive particles from labs, a true “high energy particulate air filter” can capture at least 90% of all particles 0.3 microns and larger in its densely-packed glass fibers, removing allergens, irritants, and toxins to keep the air in your home cleaner. Some of the best can capture more than 99% of pollen, dust and smoke particles. But all HEPA filters are not created equal. Paying careful attention to MERV (minimum efficiency reporting system) ratings can help you ensure successful allergen reduction results. Rated on a scale ranging from MERV 1 to MERV 12, the higher the number, the smaller the particle the filter can remove. To block allergen-inducing particles, choosing a MERV rating of 10 or higher is best. But don’t rush into a swap – contact your area HVAC professional first. The more tightly-woven fibers highly-rated HEPA filters could strain your system if adjustments to your system are not made. Your HVAC pro can help you ensure safe setup and proper filter selection.
- Electrostatic Filters
Electrostatic filters use an electrical charge to attract allergens and irritants for deposit onto collecting plates. (Uncaptured particles stick to room surfaces until cleared away.)
- Hybrid Filters
Hybrid filters combine the elements of both mechanical and electrostatic filtration, which may be paired with other air quality preservation features such as UV light (for pathogens) and humidifiers/dehumidifiers. Incorporating these features into a ‘whole house system’ that is attached to and works in conjunction with HVAC equipment can improve filtration, save space, and reduce noise in your home.
Sick of suffering from allergies? Learn more about options to improve the indoor air quality in your home with the help of Aire Serv® today.