Allergen Air Filters: FAQs
In San Antonio, pollen season is especially powerful. We never truly get a “break” from seasonal allergies in South Texas. Different plants and trees tend to produce pollen here all year long. The heat and humidity can also contribute to other allergens such as mold and mildew. At home, your HVAC filter can help protect you and your family from allergens. But, there are a few things you should know before you buy an allergen air filters. Allow our team at Tex-Perts Cooling & Heating to share some answers for the most frequently asked questions regarding allergen air filters.
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV ratings can help you decide what allergen filter to buy. A regular HVAC filter, such as fiberglass options, won’t be sufficient to help filter allergens from the air. Those kinds of filters are designed to protect the equipment and keep it running smoothly, and won’t protect you and your family from allergens, dust, or mildew.
Ordinary Air Filters
Those paper filters ordinarily used in your furnace and air conditioner are designed to trap large particles like dust that can accumulate on the motor and fans and reduce efficiency. However, particles like mold, bacteria, and certain types of pollen are much smaller in size, so they slip right through the fibers of those regular filters. That means they get circulated through your ductwork and blown back into your space.
Air filters for allergies are designed to block much smaller particles, so your air stays cleaner. These air filters are called HEPA filters. HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air.” While HEPA filters have become popular in recent years, they are not created equal. When choosing your HEPA filter, it’s still important to ensure the MERV rating is the best for your unit. HEPA filters should be changed more frequently, as they gather dust and other particulates faster than regular filters. We recommend changing these filters least every three months and perhaps more frequently during the spring and summer allergy season.
Because HEPA filters are made from densely packed layers of glass fibers instead of paper, the best ones are able to trap more than 99 percent of pollen, dust and smoke particles and keep them out of the air you breathe every day.
Additional Factors to Consider
Using the right air filters for allergies does help to reduce the allergens in the air, but don’t forget about cleaning it from the rest of your HVAC system. If you haven’t had your air conditioning system maintained at least once every year, you’ve likely got quite a bit of buildup on the blower fans and in your ductwork.
Did you know that the air you breathe cycles through your HVAC system about 5 to 7 times each day? If you have not been using the right HEPA air filters for allergies AND not maintaining your air conditioning system, years’ worth of dust, pollen and even mold spores are sitting in on your equipment and in your ducts right now.
By investing in HVAC maintenance, your equipment will be cleaned up and tuned up. You’ll not only get cleaner air, but better performance, more consistent comfort and fewer breakdowns. Regular maintenance also helps lower your energy bills and prolong the life span of your equipment.
Learn more about allergen air filters for your home
The reality is that choosing an allergen air filter is only half the battle. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your HVAC unit are essential to reducing airborne allergens. The next thing you should consider if you need to have your ductwork professionally cleaned. Not every home needs this service. If your equipment and ductwork are at least a few years old, and someone in your home has allergies, it’s worth getting your ducts inspected. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Tex-Perts Cooling & Heating.