What Indoor Air Filter Is Best for Allergens?

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As a homeowner, you probably think the air inside your home is clean and safe. However, this isn’t always the reality. Many types of airborne contaminants — from dust mites to pet hair and pollen — can impact the air quality in your home, worsening your asthma or allergy symptoms in the process.

If you have allergies or asthma, you want your home’s air to be as comfortable and safe as humanly possible. One way to improve your indoor air quality is by investing in a high-quality air filter.

Of course, there are many types of filters on the market. Since these filters are available in different sizes and thicknesses, they’ll be capable of filtering out different types of airborne particles.

It can be challenging to find the best air filter for allergies — especially if you don’t know what to look for. Below, we’ll go over different options and help you understand what indoor air filter is best for allergens.

Understanding Air Filter MERV Ratings

In order to fully understand what indoor air filter is best for allergens, it’s important to know how filters are evaluated. When it comes down to it, every HVAC air filter is given a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. This MERV rating will tell you what size particles the filter is capable of trapping.

Below, we’ll go over different types of MERV ratings. Hopefully, this easy guide will give you a better understanding of what these filters can do for your indoor air quality (and what they cannot).

MERV 1-4

The lower the MERV rating, the lower the efficiency of the filter. Air filters with a MERV rating of one to four are only capable of capturing larger-sized particles, such as pollen and dust mites.

While these filters aren’t completely ineffective, they aren’t the best solution for people with allergies and asthma. Additionally, they aren’t suitable for most HVAC systems. If you aim to remove smaller particles from the air, you’ll need to invest in a filter with a higher MERV rating.

MERV 5-8

Filters with a MERV rating of five to eight can be used in commercial and residential buildings. They can help remove pollen, dust mites, mold spores, dust lint, and more from the air.

Of course, these air filters also have their limitations. While they can help with some pollutants, they typically aren’t the best solution if you have pets and suffer from allergies or asthma. These filters tend to be on the more affordable side, but it’s most likely a good idea to invest in a filter with an even higher MERV rating.

MERV 9-12

Are you looking for a filter that is affordable but also has high effectiveness? If so, you might want to purchase a filter with a MERV rating of 9 to 12. Some homeowners consider these the best air filters for allergies because they are capable of filtering out particles that are even smaller than the filter above. Along with the airborne pollutants we already listed, these filters can help remove furniture polish, lead dust, and coal dust — among others.

When discussing what indoor air filter is best for allergens, it’s important to note that your needs might differ from your next-door neighbor’s — and that’s completely fine. If you’re searching for an option that’s on the less expensive side, you might find that this filter is the best choice for you and your needs.

MERV 13-16

Filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher are typically utilized in medical settings and some commercial buildings. Although these filters are known for being incredibly effective — removing up to 90 percent of airborne particles in some cases — their bulky design and high price make them unsuitable for homes. Replacing filters of this size isn’t exactly cheap.

Plus, it’s also worth noting that this type of filter is incredibly inefficient in residential buildings. Since these filters are capable of trapping incredibly small particles, they can end up limiting airflow in the process. Poor airflow can put a serious strain on your HVAC system — negatively affecting your comfort and utility bills in the process.

The Importance of HEPA Filters

When it comes to HVAC air filters, there is a limit to how much they can handle. These filters can’t remove particles of incredibly small size (smaller than 0.3 microns) because limiting the airflow to such an extent can cause the HVAC system to experience problems.

So, what does this all mean for you? Along with a high-quality HVAC air filter, you might want to invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter. Most air purifiers come with HEPA filters, but it’s important to note that not every air purification system is created equal.

HEPA Filters & Airborne Pollutants

HEPA filters can filter out all the typical pollutants (dust, pet dander, pollen). However, many of them are capable of removing contaminants that are of even greater concern — such as tobacco smoke and mold spores. They can also be paired with activated carbon filters for enhanced filtration and odor removal. 

If you’re strictly concerned with finding the best air filter for allergies, it’s impossible not to mention HEPA filters. While they can be on the more costly side, these devices can provide homes with enhanced comfort and much-needed peace of mind.

How to Make Your Home Allergy-Free

There are countless ways to improve indoor air quality, and air purifiers are an excellent place to start if you’re looking for an easy, effective solution.

Although you might want to find the best air filter for allergies, there are many other factors worth considering when purchasing an air purifier. For example, you’ll want to keep track of the unit’s clean air delivery rate (CADR). The CADR will tell you how large of a space the air filter can handle. You’ll want to find a device that can handle the size of the room it’s treating. As you can imagine, it’ll be helpful to know how many square feet you’re dealing with.

Some air purifiers will have additional features that have to do with remote control connectivity, fan speed, and more. Before you make a purchase, also pay close attention to customer reviews — they can tell you what to expect. Consider these factors, among others, to find the best solution for you and your household.

Clean the Air in Your Home With Southern Goodman

Now that you know what indoor air filter is best for allergens, you can make a plan to tackle poor indoor air quality once and for all! Southern Goodman is here to help you achieve your goal. We offer many solutions, including air purifiers for allergies and dehumidifiers for sticky days.

We’re proud to be a trusted source for everything from indoor air quality services to duct sealing in Richmond. As a long-standing company, we understand that comfort comes first. We have solutions for everyone, including asthma and allergy sufferers. Contact us to improve your air quality in Richmond, VA, and the surrounding areas today!