How to Buy the Best Air Filters For Your Allergies

While air filters are primarily intended to protect the health of your HVAC equipment, they can play a foundational role in keeping allergens out of the air in your home. Some air filters are designed to trap microscopic particles that can cause an allergy attack or make your allergy symptoms worse. These air filters come in all shapes and sizes for use in both HVAC systems and standalone purifiers.

Which air filters for allergies are the best for allergies? Let’s take a look at the options.

Key Takeaways 

  • Choose air filters with a MERV rating of 8 or higher for optimal allergy relief. 
  • Identify allergy triggers through observation, testing, and elimination strategies. 
  • Look for air filters with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters for effective allergen capture. 
  • Maintain air filters by replacing them every 90 days or as needed for improved air quality. 

How to Choose the Best Air Filters for Allergies and Asthma

Living with allergies and asthma can make indoor air quality a top priority.  The right air filters can significantly reduce allergens and irritants in your home, improving your breathing and comfort. Here's what to consider when choosing air filters for allergies and asthma.

1. Understand MERV Ratings

Look for filters with a MERV rating of 8 or higher. Higher MERV ratings trap smaller particles, which are more likely to trigger allergies and asthma. However, be sure to check your HVAC system's manual to ensure it can handle the airflow restriction of higher-rated filters.

READ MORE: All about MERV Ratings
SHOP MERV Filters 

2. Consider HEPA Filters

For the most effective allergy and asthma control, consider High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. HEPA filters are known for their ability to capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. HEPA filters are especially effective for individuals with severe allergies or asthma, as they can remove most airborne allergens.

READ MORE: About HEPA filters (EPA)
READ MORE: About MERV filters (EPA)

4. Maintenance is Key

Regardless of the type you choose, regularly replace your air filters.  Follow the manufacturer's recommendations, but generally plan to replace disposable filters every 1-3 months, and washable ones every 2-3 months.

By considering these factors, you can choose an air filter that not only alleviates symptoms for those with allergies and asthma but also contributes to a healthier indoor environment for everyone.

We have thousands of air filters in stock because you never know what type and size will be needed. 

How To Buy The Best Air Filters For your Allergies - Image shows a button to shop now for HVAC air filters

Air Filters vs. Air Purifiers for Allergies

HVAC air filters: Clean your whole house, good for general allergy control (MERV rating shows effectiveness).
Air purifiers: Target specific areas with HEPA filters (effective for bedrooms or living rooms).

Which Should I Choose?

Choosing between an HVAC air filter and an air purifier comes down to your specific needs. If you're looking to enhance overall air quality and protect your HVAC system, a higher MERV-rated filter might be the answer. For targeted allergy relief, a high-quality air purifier with a HEPA filter could be more effective. In many cases, combining an upgraded HVAC filter with one or more air purifiers can offer the best solution for improving indoor air quality and managing allergies. Regular maintenance and timely filter replacements are crucial for maintaining optimal air quality, regardless of the option you choose.

READ MORE: Air Filters vs Air Purifiers

Other Ways to Allergy-Proof Your HVAC System

Using home air filters for allergies isn’t the only way to clear allergens out of the HVAC system. There are a few other things you can do to lower the HVAC allergen count.

Maintain the HVAC System

In addition to increasing the life of your HVAC system, proper maintenance is the key to minimizing allergens circulated in your home:

Add a Humidifier or Dehumidifier

  • Ideal range: 30% - 50% relative humidity
  • Consider a humidifier in drier climates (helps with dust mites)
  • A dehumidifier may be needed in summer for humid regions (helps with mold)

How To Buy The Best Air Filters For your Allergies - Image shows woman sneezing from home allergies

Other Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

There are some additional things you can do outside the HVAC system to allergy-proof your home:

  1. Periodically open a few windows or doors to let fresh air circulate in on days when the allergy count is low.
  2. Keep long-haired pets groomed, especially in the summer when they are more likely to shed.
  3. Never smoke inside the house.
  4. Use air vents while cooking on the stove.
  5. Vacuum frequently, including upholstery and curtains.
  6. Wash bedding frequently.
  7. Remove shoes before coming inside.

Ready to get started taming the allergens in your home? Start with finding the perfect air filter

Frequently Asked Questions 

What kind of air filter is best for allergies?

The best air filters for allergies are those with a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating, ideally 8 or higher. These filters trap smaller particles that trigger allergies, like dust mites, pet dander, and pollen. Look for filters labeled "allergy control" or consider HEPA filters, the most effective option, which capture nearly all allergens down to 0.3 microns. Shop MERV air filters for allergies now.

Can the use of air filters eliminate allergy symptoms?

While air filters can significantly reduce allergens and improve air quality, they may not eliminate allergy symptoms. Combining their use with other allergy management strategies is advisable for optimal relief. 

What are some alternative methods to reduce allergens in the home? 

Alternative methods to reduce allergens in the home include regular cleaning to remove dust, using hypoallergenic bedding, installing wooden or vinyl flooring, and maintaining relative humidity levels below fifty percent. 

Can air filters help with other respiratory conditions like asthma?

Yes, air filters can significantly aid in managing other respiratory conditions like asthma. They remove airborne allergens and pollutants, which can trigger asthmatic symptoms, thereby improving indoor air quality and respiratory health.

Do air filters make a difference with allergies?

Yes, air filters can make a difference with allergies. MERV 8 and higher and HEPA filters, in particular, are effective at capturing allergens such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores from the air.

Which air filter is best for allergies?

The best air filters for allergies are those with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. Filters like the True HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter are considered the most effective as they can capture at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. It's also recommended to consider air filters that have been rated and certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for their effectiveness in reducing allergens.

What Is the Highest Rated Air Purifier for Allergies?

The HEPA air filter is considered the best for allergies due to its ability to capture up to 99.97% of airborne particles. This includes allergens like dust, mold spores, pollen, and pet dander, making it very efficient for people with allergies.

What Merv Rating Is Needed for Allergies?

A MERV rating of 11 or higher is recommended for allergies. Filters with these ratings can capture smaller particles, including allergens like mold spores, dust mites, pet dander, and pollen, providing relief for allergy sufferers.

Are Allergy Air Filters Worth It?

Yes, allergy air filters are worth it. They can significantly reduce the number of allergens in the air, which can help to alleviate allergy symptoms. This can lead to improved health and well-being, especially for those who suffer from severe allergies.

What Are the Negative Side Effects of HEPA Air Purifiers?

Negative side effects of HEPA air purifiers could include increased noise level due to the high-speed fan and potential ozone production, and they may also be more expensive to maintain due to the cost of replacing the HEPA filter.

Is There an Air Filter Better Than HEPA?

While HEPA filters are considered the gold standard, ULPA (Ultra Low Penetration Air) filters are technically more efficient. However, they are more expensive and can restrict airflow in residential HVAC systems, making them less commonly used.

Do Allergists Recommend Air Purifiers?

Yes, many allergists do recommend air purifiers, especially those with HEPA filters. They can be an effective part of an overall strategy to reduce allergens and improve indoor air quality.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter If You Have Allergies?

If you have allergies, it's recommended to change your air filter every 6 to 8 weeks. This can help to ensure the filter is effectively capturing allergens and keeping your air clean.

Does Sleeping With an Air Purifier Help Allergies?

Yes, sleeping with an air purifier can help with allergies. It can reduce the number of allergens in the air, which can help to alleviate nighttime allergy symptoms and improve sleep quality.

Is Merv 8 Good Enough for Allergies?

While a MERV 8 filter can capture some allergens, it's not ideal for those with severe allergies. A higher MERV rating, such as 11 or 13, is generally recommended for better allergen control.

What Merv Filter Should I Use in My House?

In general, a MERV rating between 8 and 11 is suitable for most homes. This range provides a good balance between filtration efficiency and airflow.

Is Merv 11 Too Much?

A MERV 11 filter is not too much for most situations. It can capture a high percentage of airborne particles, including allergens. However, it's important to ensure your HVAC system can handle a filter with this rating, as it can restrict airflow more than lower MERV filters.

Shop MERV air filters for allergies now.

How To Buy The Best Air Filters For your Allergies - Image shows chart on how to elliminate asthma and allergy triggers at home