Allergies causing ailments has always been discomfort to its sufferer. Approximately 50 million people suffer from seasonal allergies ranging from Dust mites to mold spores and other worst allergens. This then brought about the need for air purifiers and the best air conditioner filter for allergies.
They thrive when temperature and humidity levels are up. So, if you’re one of those unlucky enough to suffer from this, or you have year-long allergies, you need a good filter for your HVAC system to effectively filter the air in your homes and control humidity.
HVAC means heating, ventilation and air conditioning. This implies that a central conditioning system can perform the three functions. Your air conditioner plays a significant role in getting rid of most of the allergens that can irritate your sinus. It filters out air particles that act as allergens and improves the quality of your indoor air. These particles are blocked from getting into your home by the AC filters or air filters.
Your air conditioning system can also help in reducing the humidity of your home, thereby reducing the breeding of allergens such as bacteria, mold, and mildew. For your HVAC filters to be active, the HVAC system has to be maintained appropriately. This involves regular cleaning and disposal of the AC filters.
If you pick a washable air conditioner filter for allergies, this has to be rinsed at least once a month. If the air filters are disposable, they have to be thrown out after every few months to maintain a healthy indoor space.
Top 5 Best HVAC filter for allergies
Special features: MERV 12 rated, Electrostatic AC filter.
The Nordic Pure MERV 12 anti-allergen pleated air filter is an electrostatic AC filter that traps those microscopic allergy-causing agents. It can capture dust mites, pet dander, hair, lint pollen, and even baking flour. The electrostatic properties of this filter attract these micro-particles to it, ridding your environment of up to 97.8% of these allergens.
The synthetic material of these air filters discourages the growth of bacteria, mold, etc. The high MERV rating of 12 means it can be used in wide spaces and makes it a better choice for people with more serious allergies. You would feel the difference in the air quality once you start using this filter
These air conditioner filters for allergies also serve as furnace filters and work great in filtering the smoke and dust. It also filters several odors, especially smoke. Using these air filters in both your AC and furnace makes filtration better and more effective. Highly recommended for those with more aggressive allergies.
- Capture 97.8% of microscopic airborne allergens
- Electrostatic characteristics make filtering more effective
- Doesn’t support the growth of bacteria, mold, etc.
- Restricts air flow
- Requires more frequent replacement
Special Features: 12 pleats per foot, recycled board, MERV 8.
The Filterbuy 16x16x1 pleated air filters are designed to be high quality and long lasting. It has 12 pleats per foot which provide more surface area and can filter up to 90% of possible allergens from the air. The frames are made with recycled beverage board which lasts long, even through periods of high humidity and high temperature.
These air filters are designed to last up to 3 months at a go, and they’re nonwashable. They can be used as furnace filters as well as AC filters. They come in a pack of 6 at a budget-friendly price, so you don’t have to replace your HVAC filters for months.
A MERV rating of 8 makes it a better choice for house use. It traps dust, pollen, lint, pet dander, and other household allergens, improving your indoor air quality and allowing you to enjoy the things you’re allergic to without suffering from allergies.
- MERV 8 rating
- Gets rid of 90% of allergens
- Easy to install and use
- Long lasting
- Can only be used in small rooms
- Allows room for microscopic allergy-causing agents
Special features: Micro allergen defense, 1000 MPR, MERV 11, Filtrete 365 program.
Using the Filtrete micro allergen defense AC/ Furnace air filters in your HVAC system turns it into a home air filtration operation. It is one of the best AC filters out there. It captures various sizes of particles, from lint, pollen, to the microscopic ones, like smoke and smog.
It is washable and has a 1000 microparticle performance rating (MPR), which is equivalent to a MERV rating of 11. This makes it a better choice for people that suffer from allergies, either seasonally or year-round. Though it doesn’t have electrostatic properties, it can still pull and attract up to 90% of the airborne allergens in your home.
When you buy this product, you can create a Filtrete 365 profile to get filter change reminders and customized home tips based on your environment. While this product is washable, it is recommended to change your filter every 90 days to ensure a clean and healthy home environment.
- 1000 MPR, MERV 11
- Traps smoke and smog
- Interactive use with the Filtrete 365 program.
- Micro allergen defense
- Not budget friendly
- Restricts air flow
Special features: MERV 13 raring, traps and locks ultrafine particles, high pleat count.
The AIRx HEALTH pleated air filter has a MERV rating of 13, making it a top choice for people who have easily triggered allergies. It has a good filtration system because it uses more pleats per square inch than other filters of its size, and high-efficiency filter media.
The AIRx protects you from not only the regular household allergens and contaminants but the small particles like smog, bacteria viruses, and respiratory irritants. Pet dander is no match for this air conditioning allergy filter; neither is smoke. It is highly recommended for people that have pets they are allergic to. It allows you to keep the things you love without suffering for it.
The high MERV rating of this product means that it works extra hard at filtering the air in your home. This means that it gets dirty faster and requires replacement faster. Fortunately, the AIRx comes in a pack of 6 at a fair price.
- MERV 13
- Filters microscopic allergens and respiratory irritants, bacteria, viruses.
- Protects your HVAC system from clogging with dust, making it more efficient and saving energy.
- Compatible with pets
- Restricts air flow
- Requires frequent replacement
Special features: Electrostatic properties, MPR 600, MERV 8, 13 pleats per foot.
These filters are a better choice for you if you don’t have very serious allergies or you don’t own a pet. While these filters do a very good job of filtering out dust, pollen, hair, and other household allergens, it doesn’t get rid of pet dander and a lot of the microscopic allergens in the environment. It is best suited for people with that aren’t easily triggered.
These AC filters are made with an electrostatically charged synthetic material that attracts and captures airborne allergens. When used as a furnace filter, it keeps your HVAC system running efficiently and reduces strain on the motor while preventing dust and dirt from entering the air.
These air filters are very budget friendly and easy to install. It is recommended that during regular times of the year, the filters should be changed every 60 to 90 days. However, during summer and winter months when your air conditioning unit is used more frequently, they should be changed every 30 days.
- Electrostatic properties
- Easy installation
- Restrict air flow
- Not suitable for use with aggressive allergies
- Not very compatible with pets
HVAC Air filter vs. Air purifier: Which is better
As shown above, Air purifiers are the most capable when it comes to purification of, indoor air to the cleanest. This is because the primary function of Air purifier is purification, and this unit often consists of up to 3 to 4 purification subunits that can filter to 99.97%. On average, a household dust particle is 0.5 microns in size, while mold spores and pollen are over 10 microns. HEPA air purifiers can remove particles as small as 0.3 microns in size.
However, as shown in the image above, HVAC is not designed to primarily purify the air, but to control and monitor the flow of cold and hot air as the need may be. But you can still rely on the air conditioner filter forallergies,smoke, and some other pullutants to do some moderate filtration. This is not totally reliable as some allergens are microscopic.
When it comes to purification and filtration of the air, an Air purifier is always the best choice, but the filter of your air conditioner also has a unique role to play in filtration provided the particles are not very small. For maximum effectiveness, HEPA air purifiers should be used with conventional AC filters so that they can trap the micro particles left by the AC filters. This is best, so the HEPA filters need less frequent cleaning and replacement.
Also Read: Best air purifier on the market
What type of air filter is best for HVAC?
Allergies can be caused by mold spores, dust, dirt, lint, pet dander (dry skin flakes and hair particles from pets), pollen, smoke, etc. Since these are all airborne, your home HVAC system has a significant role to play in keeping your allergies far away from your home.
In some cases, your air conditioning/HVAC system can aggravate your allergy symptoms. Cold air is passed through air ducts located in the walls and sometimes the attic. This leads to condensation and mold formation and can get into your home. Also, your air conditioning system can spread these allergens around.
Fortunately, proper maintenance of your HVAC system can reduce your allergy symptoms. A good air conditioning allergy filter is your best chance at improving indoor air quality. All HVAC filters are categorized using a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, known as a MERV rating.
This rating of the best air filter is based on the AC filters’ ability to remove various sized irritants and allergens from the air. Filters for allergies should be picked according to how aggressive your allergy symptoms are. The best allergy air filter should have a rating of at least 8. Anything less might not be as useful.
Some of the best AC filters are electrostatic filters. These filters attract particles using an electric charge. They can be washed and reused. It is recommended that you change your HVAC filters every three months or sooner if they appear dirty.
Which way does air conditioner filter go? : Which side of air filter faces out?
Some filters are easy to install and come with directions from the manufacturer. However, it is advised that your HVAC filters should be fixed by a certified HVAC technician. If you don’t have the technical knowhow, you might end up putting your filter in backward. Also, it might end up bent, and that gives room for unfiltered air to enter into your home.
The consequence of wrongly installing AC filter is that your furnace/AC will be forced to blow air through the non-porous end of the filter. This will result in overworking your system and higher energy consumption. It also leads to decreased indoor air quality. Instead of removing debris from the air, the filter will help to spread them, leading to a clogged filter and unhealthy air.
Unlike before, the air filter is now very easy to fix, and it is what you can set yourself. Most filter now has the air flow direction arrow pointing the direction the filter must be inserted. To further help you, most filters are designed in such a way that it wouldn’t fit in rightly unless it has been correctly fixed.
When installing a filter, make sure the dimensions of the filter matches the available space in your unit, to avoid gaps through which allergens can enter. Also, make sure the porous end faces the room.
Do air conditioners filter smoke, pollution, and allergens?
On its own, an air conditioner cannot do much about the allergens in the air, but with the help of AC filters, it can improve the indoor air quality. These air filters rid the air of most of the pollutants and allergens in the air. However, there is a limit to how much of them it can trap.
The MERV rating of the AC filters determine the allergens that it can remove from the air. Regular air filters can catch a substantial amount of pollutants from smoke, especially cigarette smoke, but a lot of the chemicals escape through them, posing a health risk.
The best way to filter smoke and pollution is to use a HEPA filter alongside the regular filter. These HEPA filters can catch air pollutants the regular ones may not catch. These include most of the harmful substances found in cigarette smoke.
Also Read: Best cheap air purifier for smoke
Factors to consider when buying an air conditioning allergy filter
- MERV Rating:
The minimum efficiency reporting value, also known as MERV rating, is a measurement scale used to rate the activeness of air filters at trapping particles in the range of 0.3 to 10 microns. The scale is from 1 to 16, with one being the least effective. AC filters with MERV ratings of 7 to 13 are recommended for residential use.
- Ease of installation:
It is essential to note the dimensions of the filters you intend to buy and those of the slot made available for them in your HVAC system. This is to avoid getting filters that won’t fit properly and might interfere with the indoor air quality.
AC filters are usually changed within 1 to 3 months. If you live in an area with a high level of pollution, it is recommended that you get a filter that can stay longer and won’t need very frequent replacement. You can also look out for washable filters that last longer.
- Size of the room:
Filters are made to serve from small to medium-sized rooms. Finding the right filter for your space ensures that the filter is not overworked and thus, rendered ineffective.
FINAL VERDICT : Best air conditioner Filter For Allergies
After reviewing the products above, one stands out as the best air conditioning filter for allergy, and that is the Nordic Pure 20x25x1M12-6 MERV 12 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filters 20x25x1 6 Pack. This filter pack is rated MERV 12 electrostatic filter that rids the air of over 90% of the allergens. Its electrostatic properties attract the allergens and pollutants and trap them.
This product clears the air of 90% of particles of 0.3-10 microns, making it the best allergy air filter on the list. It is budget friendly and comes in a 6-pack so you won’t have to buy more for months. Pet owners can also enjoy it.
If your allergic symptoms are not very aggressive, or you don’t own pets, and you’re on a tight budget, the Aerostar 16x25x1 MERV 8 Pleated Air Filter is a right choice, especially if you live in a place with a low pollution rate.