How Air Filters Can Help with Allergies

October 5, 2023

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that roughly 25.7% of adults in the United States have seasonal allergies? As the seasons change, watery eyes, coughs, congestion and sore throats become more common. Even though there are plenty of home remedies and medications that help, air filters can also make a big impact.

Air filters, like the ones found in HVAC systems, remove allergens from the air and improve the air quality of the home. Join the experts at Unico as we talk about how allergies are impacted by air filters and the importance of choosing the right HVAC system.

The Different Types of Air Filters and Their Impact on Allergies

In general, air filters remove many types of allergens in your home by catching particles in the air like pet dander, dust, pollen, and more. For example, the air filter inside of an HVAC system traps even larger particles so there are fewer allergy irritants in the air. It also works hard to prevent dust and other debris from building up in the system itself so that it can continue to work at optimal efficiency.

When it comes to air filters that can help with allergies, there are some common types:

Fiberglass Filters:

Fiberglass air filters are affordable and are made from thin spun strands of fiberglass that are woven together. These types of filters may not be the best option since many baseline models are not made to trap smaller allergen particles because of its smaller surface area.

Pleated Filters:

These air filters are most commonly made out polyester fabric and cotton folds. Their large surface helps capture more allergens and these filters come in high- efficiency options that focus on trapping smaller particles. It’s worth mentioning that pleated filters might need to be replaced more often than some other air filters because of the dirt, dust and allergens that are trapped.

HEPA Filters:

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are often used to help with allergies because they are able to trap the most small particles of allergy irritants in the air—many of which are too small to see at 0.3 microns, but can still enter the body.

How MERV Rating Plays into Allergies and Air Filters

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, ratings are used to assess how effective air filters are at removing particles and allergens from the air. As we hinted above, a high MERV rating means the filter can trap smaller particles. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, with higher ratings representing more effective filtration. For example, environments like surgery suites in hospitals or laboratories where pharmaceuticals are manufactured need a very high MERV rating. That’s because a few small particles have the potential to cause significant harm in sensitive environments.

To filter out many common smaller allergens that can cause issues, it’s recommended to have an air filter with a MERV rating between 9 and 13. These higher MERV ratings make it less likely for particles to enter the home and trigger your allergies. However, in order to choose the right air filter for your home, it’s important to consider more than just a MERV rating. Think about:

• The filter MERV rating that’s approved for your HVAC system.

• The balance between higher levels of filtration and reducing air flow.

• What size filter is needed for the most efficient performance.

Air Filter Maintenance and Allergies

No matter what type of air filter an HVAC system uses, it needs to be maintained and changed regularly. When an air filter is dirty, it becomes clogged, and all the allergens it’s collected will start to circulate back into the home. Over time, this will lower the air quality in your home and can make allergies worse.

The air filter in your HVAC system should be replaced every 60 to 90 days. And roughly every three to six months, you’ll want to have your HVAC system inspected by an HVAC professional to make sure everything is running optimally.

Help Your Allergies and Get Better Indoor Air Quality with The Unico System

If indoor air quality and reducing the number of allergens in your home is important to you, The Unico System is the best option. Unico is a small-duct high-velocity system that offers effective air distribution and an option for MERV 13 filters. Find a Unico contractor near you to learn more about the benefits it can bring to your home.

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