No one likes fighting allergies. It’s even worse if it’s a constant problem in your own home. Proper service for your home’s HVAC system and using the right, perhaps upgraded, filters can go a long way to removing allergens from your indoor environment.
Some people get dehumidifiers to combat allergies. This is one potential method, but it can be expensive. There’s another option, be it instead of or along with a dehumidifier, that’s usually less expensive and may be more effective for some homes. Thanks to improvements in HVAC systems and filters, there are AC and furnace filters that help people with allergies.
These filters are less expensive than a whole-home dehumidifier. They catch allergens and contaminants before they enter your home. Although a bit more costly than normal air filters, these high-quality, high-MERV filters are worth the added cost for those with allergies.
Allergens and Indoor Air Quality
Animal dander, pollen, dust, and other contaminants that cause allergies frequently get into homes and cause allergies that vary from sneezing and watery eyes to coughing and respiratory problems. Standard air conditioning filters might filter out some allergens. Most, however, aren’t ideal for stopping all allergens and very small contaminants.
Picking the Right AC Filter
Getting the ideal filter for the allergens in your home is critical to helping you and your family. Facilities such as hospitals and schools use HEPA filters. HEPA filters are high-quality filters. They are highly reliable at filtering allergens from the air and giving good air quality.
There are HEPA filters designed for houses. HEPA filters cost more than other types of filters. The density of a HEPA filter restricts airflow. Your HVAC system will have to work more – for more energy usage – to keep the expected airflow. Unless your system was built for use with a HEPA filter, it’s usually best to avoid them for residential usage. The better choice for most homes is to try to find filters that are HEPA-like or that have an allergen rating.
When selecting an air conditioning filter for your house, you should look at a filter’s MERV rating. A MERV rating ranges from 1-20. The higher the rating, the more a filter removes allergens, contaminants, bacteria, and viruses. If you or someone in your house has a problem with allergic reactions, it is advised that you seek a filter with a MERV of 17 or greater. Before you buy a different mode of filter, check with your HVAC expert to ensure your system can work with this kind of filter.
Furnace Filters For Fighting Allergens
Another important way to help you and your family against allergies and poor indoor air quality is to have the right furnace air filter. The most effective furnace filter depends on the individual or specific home and heating system. There’s not one filter that works best for everyone or every home.
One starting point is to know what allergens are problematic for you and your family. For example, people with allergies to pet hair or mold might require a filter with a higher MERV score. These filters keep microscopic organisms, mold, and other microscopic contaminants out. Many people decide on a disposable filter since they have a higher MERV rating.
If you live in a location with more extreme weather changes, this can change your decision about a filter. Not all filters work well in all climates and in all heating systems.
Kinds Of Furnace Filters
Disposable Non-Washable Filters
The most common and least expensive filters are disposable non-washable filters. These filters should be changed often. It can be as often as once a month in locations with too much dust or smoke. People in humid or wet environments need to change these filters frequently to stop mold and avoid a clogged or inefficient system. If airflow to the heating or cooling is obstructed, the system has to run more. This leads to inefficiency, then eventually failure. Check and change these filters as often as recommended. A good rule of thumb is to inspect every month.
Disposable Washable Filters
If you need the functioning of a disposable furnace filter but also need the ability to wash the filter so it works better and lasts longer, hybrid filters can be a very good choice.
Some disposable washable filters can be washed and then dried. Others can be cleaned by wiping them with a damp cloth. Make sure to follow the instructions for each brand or model. It’s also important to know if a specific type or model will work with a certain climate or environment.
Permanent Washable Filters
If you’re looking for a higher-quality furnace filter while saving money and time, you may consider this option. If you have extreme allergic reactions, this could be the best choice.
These filters function for years. They can be taken out and washed once a month for best results. These filters need to be fully dried before they are reinstalled. Some permanent washable filters are built with aluminum frames and polyester material, so they are durable.
Although they last and are a good choice, they only filter about 95% of allergens. This is not the same level of filtering as the higher MERV-rating filters.
At South End Heating and Air, we specialize in HVAC repair and service agreements, call us for a free consult and free estimate. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.