Go Back

The Best AC Filters for Allergy Season: What Every Homeowner Needs To Know

How To Pick a Top Knotch Air Filter To Fight Off Allergens

For folks with allergies, summer can be absolutely miserable. Between the blooming flowers, growing plants, and budding trees, the outdoors quickly becomes a danger zone for allergy sufferers. A home should be a safe place to recover and stay away from allergens all year round, but too often, that is not the case. Finding and using the right HVAC filter for a home’s air conditioner and heater can help alleviate the presence of allergens in the house. Read on to find out about three standard filter options and how they can help keep the summer allergies at bay.

Understanding Filter Ratings

Before exploring filter options, it’s essential to understand how a filter’s performance is rated. Most air filters are rated by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers using the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale. This scale defines how well a filter removes particles from the air and how large of particles it removes. The scale ranges from 1-16, where 1 is the bare minimum, and 16 can remove bacteria, viruses, and even smoke from the air. 

Best Affordable Option: Fiberglass Filters

MERV Scale: 1-4


Let’s begin with the most commonly used filter on the market; fiberglass. These inexpensive filters have been around since the early 1900s for use in a home’s HVAC system. Fiberglass consists of reinforced plastic and glass fibers woven into a screen of fabric. 

These filters are the cheapest on the market, with most costing less than $20. However, they are not a good option for allergy sufferers. Fiberglass filters only remove some particles from the air, typically larger ones like dust mites and carpet fibers. They are not known to improve indoor air quality. Additionally, they require more frequent replacements, resulting in increased cost over time. 

Best Eco-Friendly Option: Washable/ Reusable Filters

MERV Rating: 1-4

Reducing and recycling are popular words in the home industry these days. Everyone wants to find a way to reduce their carbon footprint and be greener for the environment. Washable and reusable filters are one way many homeowners are achieving that goal. These filters are reusable for up to a couple of years and requiring only a single washing every month for proper maintenance. They cost more than the average fiberglass filter but are considered moderately priced compared to HEPA models. 

These filters do not provide exceptional air cleaning capacity. Their MERV rating is on par with fiberglass filters, meaning they only remove the largest particles of contaminants from the air. While they may be eco-friendly, they certainly are not allergy-friendly. 

Best All-Around: HEPA Filters

filter For allergy sufferers everywhere, HEPA filters are the best option around. Why? Because these filters have a MERV rating of 16, meaning that they remove 90% or more airborne contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and allergens from the air. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends the use of HEPA filters because of their efficiency. 

Granted, HEPA filters do run more expensive than their less-efficient counterparts. But when it comes to producing cleaner air, they rank far better than cheaper variants. HEPA filters are even able to remove mold spores and tobacco from the air! Keep in mind that while they are excellent for removing allergens, they do not work against gas or fumes.

Anyone looking to find the best air filter for their situation should reach out to a local HVAC expert for help. There are dozens of filter models on the market, and there’s one for just about any budget and living situation. 

About RupCoe Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning

The team at RupCoe Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning is ready to keep the air in South Plainfield flowing freely and cleanly! With over four decades of experience in the industry, their experts have the know-how to handle any HVAC situation with ease. RupCoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning always tailors an HVAC project to your needs. Give them a call to learn more about professional AC filter replacement today!