Summer nights are meant to be spent relaxing around a campfire or in the comfort of your home. But suddenly, you or someone else in your home is hit with a sneezing fit! Could it be a summer cold? Unfortunately, the more likely reason for your sudden sneezes is because of airborne allergens in your house.
Nobody wants to put up with allergies and the inconvenience that they represent, and most people think the only way to take care of allergens in the home is with a dehumidifier. But this can end up being a very costly solution. Luckily, there’s another more affordable and very effective option for those who don’t feel like breaking the bank.
Thanks to advancements in HVAC technology, there are now air conditioner filters available that are specifically designed for people with allergies. These AC filters are less expensive than a whole house dehumidifier, and can be just as effective. They are designed to trap allergens as they enter your HVAC system and remove them from the air via the return air vents in your home. Although a little more expensive than regular air filters, these high-performance filters are well worth the extra money for those who suffer from allergies.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Your home is meant to be a safe haven that protects you from all the nasty particles and allergens that are often found outside. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, as many allergens find their way inside your home - literally right under your nose! Pet dander, pollen, dust, and other particles that cause allergies often find their way into homes and cause allergic reactions that range from sneezing and watery eyes to coughing and difficulty breathing.
Standard AC filters may be able to block out some of these harmful particles and allergens, but most of them are ill-equipped for the task. Most standard AC filters are merely designed to stop dust particles and other objects from finding their way into your system. Stopping allergens such as pollen and very fine particles is better left to AC filters specifically designed for filtering such allergens out of the air.
Choosing an AC Filter
Choosing the right AC filter to combat your allergies is crucial to helping you breathe easier. A popular option in commercial facilities like schools and hospitals is HEPA filters. HEPA filters are a top-of-the-line product when it comes to filtering air. They are also very effective at removing allergens from the air and improving indoor air quality. While this type of filter is great for commercial use (there are HEPA filters designed for houses), they may not be the best, or a practical option for your home.
HEPA filters are more expensive than other types of filters because they are generally much thicker than a regular filter. The thickness of a HEPA filter restricts air flow, meaning your system will have to work harder to maintain a consistent air flow. Unless your system was designed with a HEPA filter in mind, it’s best to steer clear of them for residential use. The better option for most homeowners is to look for filters that are HEPA-like or allergen rated.
When choosing an AC filter for your home, a good system to base your decision on is the MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value). This system rates filters on a scale of 1 to 20, where the higher the number, the more effective the filter is at removing allergens. If you or someone in your home struggles with allergies, it is recommended that you seek a filter with a MERV rating of 17 or higher. However, before you purchase a specific filter, check with your local HVAC professional to make sure your system can handle this type of filter.
Do Filters Help Reduce Allergies?
An AC filter with a MERV rating of 11 or higher can effectively remove 75% of the allergens circulating throughout your home. Filters with a rating of 17 or higher are even more effective at blocking allergens, but they also block more air, restricting air flow.
Because these allergen-rated AC filters are so effective at blocking particles, they also need to be changed more frequently. Where a standard AC filter only needs to be changed out every three or four months, an allergen-blocking filter will need to be changed every other month, or even monthly, depending on its effectiveness.
Are Allergy Filters Worth the Cost?
Although allergen-blocking AC filters cost a little more and may cause your HVAC system to work harder, they can also save you money in the long run. You won’t be paying as much for allergy medication or sleep aids, and your indoor comfort level will improve dramatically. If saving a few extra dollars isn’t worth the price of living with sneezing fits, running noses, and watery eyes, then an allergen filter is a great solution.
Schedule Service with Aire Serv
Making the decision to change to an allergen-blocking AC filter is just step one to making your home a more comfortable place. Having someone you can trust to provide you with the best HVAC filter options and maintenance is the only way to make sure the job is done right.
The friendly professionals at Aire Serv have improved the air quality of thousands of homes in your area. We’ll make sure you have just the right filter for your system, and get it changed out as often as needed. Suffering from allergies is not fun, but a call to Aire Serv to schedule an appointment can help you breathe a little easier.