Allergy-Proof Your Home with an Allergy Furnace Filter
Most Americans don't know that the air inside their homes or offices can be up to ten times worse than the air outside. Some underlying reasons for indoor air pollution might include the following:
- Dust mites and pollen
- Dander and hair from pets
- New building insulation technologies which can reduce air circulation and indoor ventilation
- Concentration of organic materials such as carpeting, curtains, and sofas
- Chemicals from common products such as formaldehyde from paint, chlorine, and pesticides
Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, the above contaminants can worsen allergic reactions like hypersensitivity pneumonitis, asthma, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, hay fever, and other respiratory disorders. Increasing indoor ventilation and choosing "green" products can help temporarily alleviate allergy symptoms, but investing in a low-cost allergy furnace filter may also keep allergic reactions at bay.
How an Allergy Furnace Filter Can Help
Allergy furnace filters are inexpensive, high-efficiency air filters that are often over 90% effective at capturing larger particles such as dust from the air. They are perfect for asthma or allergy sufferers, as they do not use harmful ionizers or ozone to remove pollutants.
They are also easy to install and require little to no tools - the filter is simply inserted into the filter opening of your home furnace or air conditioning unit. Some furnace filters can be washed or reused, while many models are actually disposable and can be tossed when dirty.
What to Look for in a Filter
The two parts of a furnace filter are usually a frame and filter media. The frame allows the filter to withstand the pressure created by the air conditioning and heating system. When choosing a high-efficiency allergy furnace filter, look for models with highly specialized, synthetic filtration media, such as those from AllergyZone.
This kind of media provides a combination of electrostatic and mechanical filtration to ensure lasting performance. The gradient layer of the media effectively captures particulates while minimizing airflow resistance, and this should not absorb moisture which supports the growth of microorganisms like bacteria, mold, or fungi.
Another factor to consider when choosing a furnace filter is the MERV Rating or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Derived from a test method developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, the MERV rating measures a filter's ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns. It's extremely helpful in comparing the performance of different furnace filters. The higher the filter's MERV rating, the more effective it is at trapping specific types of particles.
Other Things to Consider
Of course, while it is true that allergy furnace filters are very effective at trapping harmful particulates, they are best used in combination with an air purifier as part of a campaign to reduce allergens in the air.