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Which Air Conditioner Models Are Best for Allergies & Asthma?

If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or other breathing considerations, buying an air conditioner might be one of the best investments in your health you’ll ever make. That’s because quality AC units don’t just cool the air in your home — they purify it. In this article, we’ll cover how to know if your home is causing or aggravating allergies and asthma, how an air conditioner can help, and finally, which central air brands and models are proven to effectively filter air. 

Is My Home Giving Me Allergies?

Air quality matters for good health and easeful breath. Often, what folks label as persistent colds and sniffles is actually a case of allergies. Whether it’s seasonal allergens, such as pollen, or home allergens, such as dust, dust mites, or pet dander, there are a lot of foreign objects swirling around in the air. If you need proof, just look up from your phone or computer toward a sunny spot in the house. You’ll likely see specks of dust and other invaders dancing around the room! No judgment; we’ve been known to skip vacuum day, too.

Allergens accumulate naturally throughout the days, weeks, and months — through no fault of the homeowner. If you have a pet, dander and fur will fly. Bits of fall goldenrod will waft in through open windows. And living with these allergens over time can cause sensitivity, even in those who don’t consider themselves to be allergy sufferers. For people with asthma, these air quality disturbances are easy to discern and harder to manage. That’s why AC models with a focus on air purification are so helpful. Let’s take a deeper dive.

How Can an Air Conditioner Help With Asthma and Allergies?

An air conditioner functions by pulling in surrounding air. This makes sense; the air isn’t created or fabricated within the AC model. The first thing air does when it enters the unit is pass through a filter. This is important for two reasons. First, it keeps dust and particles from damaging the other parts of the air conditioner, such as the coils and compressor. Second, it ensures that when the air leaves the unit and re-enters your home, that air is clean — in other words, it’s been stripped of allergens and respiratory-aggravating objects.

Although medications and medical supervision or intervention can help greatly with allergies, asthma, and other breathing conditions, such as COPD, the first line of defense is clean air. In other words: When you breathe clean air, you’re working on a solution at the root of the problem rather than treating symptoms. Regularly changing your AC air filter is the key to an efficient unit, but you’ll also want to choose the best model for the job.

Which AC Models Are Best for Breathing Considerations?

changing out an air filter

We’ll be honest: Air filter quality and cleanliness are the best way to ensure pure air. The specific model of AC isn’t quite as important as the quality of your air filter. That said, the brands of choice for top-quality ACs here at Blanton’s Air are Armstrong, Lennox, and Honeywell. All offer a variety of AC types that can suit the unique budget and air quality performance needs of the consumer.

As the consumer, you should know the different types of air conditioner filters available.

  • Fiberglass filters are inexpensive and disposable. They do a great job at protecting your unit, but they aren’t as efficient in purifying air.
  • Pleated filters, which are made from polyester and/or cotton are better at trapping respiratory disrupters.
  • There are also washable air filters, which can be a smart choice for the eco-conscious consumer, as they create less waste over time.
  • A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter traps the greatest percentage of particles, although there are differing opinions on whether they reduce the efficiency of the air conditioner’s other functions, due to the excess amount of dust, mold spores, and other objects in the filter.

No matter which air conditioner unit you have, a dirty air filter will make allergies and asthma worse. This makes it important to choose a high-quality air filter that works best for your situation. We recommend choosing HEPA filters and replacing them sooner rather than later to keep your AC running in peak condition and your air as clean as possible.

The best advice for consumers is to talk to a HVAC specialist about your challenges, needs, and desires for an air filtering system.

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