If you or anyone in your Dixon, CA, home has allergies, the approach of allergy season likely fills you with dread. It means that itchy eyes, runny noses, and sneezing fits are on the way. The good news is that there are ways to prepare your home for allergy season to substantially cut down on the allergy symptoms people inside it experience. The most effective among these is the use of air filtration to remove allergens from your home’s air. Since there are countless air filter options to choose from, we put together this guide on choosing the right air filter to prepare for allergy season.

HVAC Air Filters

If your home already has a forced-air HVAC system, you already have an air filter that should help cut down on your allergy symptoms. However, the standard air filters most HVAC systems come with aren’t meant for allergen capture. For that, you’ll need to upgrade your filter to one more suited to the task.

Before you go shopping for a new HVAC filter, though, there’s something you must do first. It’s to schedule a maintenance appointment for your HVAC system. With the stock air filter installed, the inside of your HVAC is likely covered by a layer of dust and dirt that escaped the relatively porous filter. So, you will want the inside of your HVAC cleaned out, or even an upgraded filter won’t do much good. It will only prevent additional dirt accumulation, but what’s already there will still spread throughout your home when your HVAC runs.

Plus, if it’s been longer than three years since you’ve had your home’s ductwork cleaned, you should consider doing that, too. A professional ductwork cleaning will remove as much dust and dirt from your ducts as possible, so your new filter gets to start with a clean slate. Not only will this cut down on how much particulate matter and allergens recirculate in your home’s air, but it will help your new air filter last longer before requiring replacement.

With your HVAC system prepared, your next task is to choose an appropriate replacement air filter for your system. To do that, you must first figure out the size and type of the one you currently have. You’ll need its length, width, and thickness. Plus, you’ll need to know its MERV rating, which should be printed on the filter itself. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. It tells you how effective a given filter is at removing particulate matter from your home’s air. Most residential HVAC systems have filters with MERV ratings between 8 and 10.

To remove the most allergens from your home’s air, you can typically upgrade to an HVAC filter with a MERV rating of up to 13. A filter of that type will capture more than 90% of particles at least 3 microns in size. That’s enough to remove the majority of common allergens from your home’s air. Depending on what you’re allergic to, a MERV 13 filter might be enough to relieve your symptoms.

However, if you’re considering a filter with a higher MERV rating, beware. Air filters beyond MERV 13 will interfere with your HVAC’s airflow. If you want to install a filter with a MERV rating of 14 or higher, consult with one of our HVAC technicians first. They may need to adjust your system to compensate for the decreased airflow.

Whole-House Air Filters

If an upgraded HVAC air filter isn’t enough to minimize your allergy problems, there are other options. You could instead opt for a whole-house air filter. It’s a purpose-built air-cleaning system that works in concert with your HVAC to remove the majority of particulate matter and other harmful substances from your home’s air. In many cases, whole-house air filters will include filtration technology like active carbon or HEPA filtration, which is vastly superior to standard HVAC filters.

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, and such filters remove 99.97% of all particulate matter down to .3 microns from the air that passes through it. They’re the kinds of filtration systems you’ll find in hospitals and other sensitive spaces. If you install a whole-home filtration system that includes a HEPA filter, it will substantially improve your home’s indoor air quality and have a massive positive impact on your allergies.

There are other types of whole-house air filtration systems you might choose, as well. One popular option relies on electrostatic filtration. Those systems use an electrically charged plate to ionize air as it passes through, trapping contaminants and allowing purified air to continue on its way. The big benefit of electrostatic systems is that you don’t need to buy any replacement filters for them. Instead, you simply remove and wash their charge plates with soap and water every few months. However, electrostatic air filters produce small amounts of ozone as they work, so if you’re sensitive to that, they may not be an option for you.

Finally, some of the latest cutting-edge whole-house air filtration systems also include UV lights that sterilize your home’s air as it passes through your ductwork. They’re especially effective against mold and inhibit its growth in your HVAC system. If mold is one of your primary allergens, a UV light filtration system might be a good fit. Plus, they also deactivate airborne viruses, so they will keep everyone in your home healthier, too. It’s worth pointing out that it’s possible to combine more than one of the above technologies to design an air filtration system that fits the specific needs and sensitivities of everyone in your home.

Your Local Air Filtration Experts

For over 30 years, Greiner Heating, Air, and Electric has been the go-to provider of air filtration systems for homes in Dixon. We offer comprehensive indoor air quality services, including the installation and maintenance of air filtration systems, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers. Plus, we offer duct cleaning services, too.

We also offer HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance, as well as water heaters and electrical services. We’re your one-stop shop for all of your home’s infrastructure needs. And as a Better Business Bureau-accredited business with an A+ rating, you can count on us for exemplary work at all times. We even offer financing on approved credit to help you afford the air filtration systems your home needs. So, if you’re looking for an air filter to relieve your allergies in Dixon, call Greiner Heating, Air, and Electric today!

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