Maintaining a clean and healthy home environment is essential for everyone, especially those with dust allergies. Changing your furnace filter regularly every one to three months is a great way to reduce dust and other particles in the air inside your home. Filters also help prevent dust from accumulating in ducts or entering other rooms in the house. In recent years, this air cleaning function has become more important for homeowners, and manufacturers have designed filters that use their heating and air system to remove microscopic particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, plant spores and mold, and even smoke from the air of their home.
There are thousands of portable air purifiers that can help, but the best ambient air filter for dust is a HEPA filter. Unlike household air filters for an HVAC system, highly efficient HEPA air filters work great in a standalone air purifier. Air cleaner replacement is mentioned by all HVAC system manufacturers as a critical form of maintenance. HVAC air filters work as the first line of defense against dust, dirt and other particles in the air.
They effectively block the entry of air particles so that the interior of this equipment remains clean. This allows all components to work optimally. However, the overall effectiveness of an HVAC air filter lasts only a few months, depending on the indoor environment. In some homes, air cleaner replacements will need to be performed more frequently.
Flat filters and more advanced media filters are physical barriers that trap particles as air moves through the filter. And of course, an old, clogged filter won't do the job of filtering out ambient dust particles as well. Homeowners who clean or replace furnace filters at the start of the year's first cold snap also eliminate the source of many winter allergies. Most people are familiar with the basic filters a furnace has, but there are much more advanced whole-house air filtration systems that will actively remove particles from circulating air, including HEPA-level air filters. Among board-certified allergists, you'll hear some differences in their opinions about furnace filters and dust allergy.
You may now think that an air filter with a MERV 20 rating will be the best air filter for dust, but it's not normally recommended. One of the most important maintenance tasks to reduce this odor and keep a furnace running efficiently is to replace or clean filters regularly. That means that the best air filter for your dust allergies will likely have a higher MERV rating than what you're currently using. Many filters will have a MERV rating, giving you an idea of the size and percentage of particles the filter will capture. As a result, homes with dirty HVAC filters tend to cause more problems for people with dust allergies than homes where filters and furnaces are properly maintained. Many people don't think much about their home air filter; they just opt for something similar to what they already have when it comes time to replace the air filter.
In addition to changing air filters more frequently, you may want to think about improving the quality of the air filters you currently use. Particulate capture efficiency increases as the filter becomes dirty; buildup in the fibers reduces the openings through which air passes and allows the filter to capture more particles.