How Dirty Air Filters Affect Your Home

dirty air filtersHave you ever wondered why we emphasize the importance of changing your air filter regularly? You may be surprised by the answer. You may think that dirty air filters simply contaminate the air; however, that is not the complete answer. Air filters do much more than remove particles from the air and prevent them from returning into the air you breathe. They also block particles from causing damage to the inside of your air conditioner. When an air filter is dirty, it is unable to do its job efficiently. So, what are the real reasons you need to change your air filter once a month? Here are the top 4 ways a dirty air filter can affect your home.

#1: Dirty Air Filters = Feeling Less Comfortable

The air filter may appear to be a small component of your HVAC system, but it plays a big role. Clean air filters allow air to flow through your home efficiently. If your air filters are dirty, airflow is restricted, affecting the amount of cool air circulating throughout your home. When this happens, there isn’t enough air being put back into your home to keep you cool or warm. You may also start to notice hot and cold spots throughout your home and a feeling that the temperature you feel does not match the thermostat reading. If this is the situation in your home, a dirty air filter may be the culprit; however, discomfort is the least of your worries

#2: Air Conditioner Leaks

To cool the air in your home, air conditioning systems use a refrigerant that, as it is circulated, changes from a gas to a liquid. During this process, the heat from your home is trapped and expelled.  As the refrigerant is evaporated in the indoor evaporator coil, it absorbs the heat from air blowing over the coil. When the air filter is dirty, warm air becomes limited. This could cause the coil to freeze.

As the coil thaws, water could begin to leak into your home, causing structural damage. If you notice condensation or water around your HVAC system, a frozen coil is the culprit, and there may be other issues within the system as well. Changing your filter monthly prevents this from happening.

#3: Higher Energy Bills

An air filter that is not replaced on a regular basis will become clogged with large amounts of airborne particles. With further neglect, it will become completely blocked, forcing dust and mold back into your indoor air. Dirty air filters also restrict air flow putting strain on your HVAC equipment as the fan has to work even harder to try to bring in the right amount of air. As the system works harder, it uses more energy, therefore increasing your energy bills. Make sure you check your filter monthly and clean or replace it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Changing your air filter every 30 days is one of the easiest ways to lower your monthly utility bills!

#4: AC/Heating System Damage

HVAC systems were designed to take in a specific amount of air each time they cycle. When airflow is impeded, the system components have to work harder. More wear and tear on a system in a season may mean your HVAC system will fail you when you need it most. It is important that the airflow not be constricted or impeded, or the strain placed on your furnace/AC unit will cause less efficiency and can eventually lead to damage to multiple components of your unit.

Air filters do come at a price, but that cost is much less than an emergency call to your local HVAC company. Change your air filters regularly and have your HVAC system inspected annually to ensure it is running properly. Looking for a heating and cooling contractor to inspect your HVAC system? The Department of Energy website offers instructions to help you find the right contractor for your needs.

Selecting the Right Air Filters

Selecting filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. Although not exactly rocket science, choosing the best furnace filter to replace your old one can be a bit of a challenge. What MERV rating is best for my family? Is there an advantage to getting a higher-rated filter? Am I paying the right price? At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have.

Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

If you have any questions about furnace filters (or any other questions about AC, custom air filters, Whole House filters or Grille filters), we have an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We carry humidifier filters and pads for all major manufacturers (including Air King, American Standard, AprilaireGeneralAire and Honeywell). We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Pollen…it’s Coming!

spring allergy season is hereThe beginning of spring can be a time of awakening, a refreshing time, and welcomed relief from the harsh elements and gloomy winter weather. However, as the sun is shining and the weather is starting to warm up, spring is also the beginning of allergy season. Pollen is the most common and widespread wind-borne allergen that can be found almost everywhere, not only outdoors but indoors as well. It is estimated that as many as 35 million Americans are allergic to pollen. Those that have an allergy to pollen may experience seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever. There are three main pollen categories – tree, weed and grass – and you can be allergic to one or all of them. Those that suffer from pollen allergies in the southern United States begin to feel the effects as early as January while those in the north may not be affected until May or June. Trees are the earliest producers of pollen and cause the first signs of allergy symptoms in those that have a pollen sensitivity. In fact, the pollen count is so elevated in some areas of the United States already that even those without an allergy to pollen are feeling some of the allergy symptom effects.

Facts About Pollen

Pollen grains are the reproductive cells that come from flowers, grasses, trees, plants and weeds. From the start of Spring through the Fall, pollen grains are released by these plants and are carried by the wind in hopes of fertilizing other plants. Pollen is also spread by water, animals and bees. Some interesting facts about pollen:

  • Rather than producing bright, colorful flowers, plain varieties of trees, grasses and weeds are shown to be the largest contributor to pollen allergies. These produce the lightest pollen grains that are carried the furthest by the wind and can remain airborne for long distances.
  • Pollen counts are the lowest after a heavy rain. They are the highest in the morning and when it is dry, hot and windy.
  • One ragweed plant can release as many as 1 million grains of pollen each day
  • Particle size varies by plant, but the majority range from 10-100 microns. The producer of the smallest pollen grains, at .006 microns, is the Forget-Me-Not while the largest pollen produced, measuring as large as 150-750 microns, comes from Spanish Moss.

Spring Allergy Symptoms:

If you’re finding yourself sniffling and sneezing at the start of spring, or earlier if you live in the southern US states, it is most likely due to tree pollen. Symptoms include:

  • swollen, watery eyes, conjunctivitis
  • itchy eyes, nose, throat
  • dark circles under the eyes called “allergic shiners”
  • runny nose, sinus congestion, sneezing
  • coughing, sore throat
  • headache, fatigue

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends the following treatments:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal corticosteroids
  • Leukotriene receptors
  • Cromolyn sodium nasal spray
  • Immunotherapy

Natural Spring Allergy Relief:

If you prefer to try natural remedies for your allergy symptoms, be sure to look into the following:

  1. Raw, local honey
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Probiotics
  4. Stinging nettle
  5. Neti Pot
  6. Quercetin
  7. Essential Oils

Additionally, the following lifestyle changes can also bring extra allergy relief to sufferers.

  1. Wash clothes and bedding once a week
  2. Shower before bed to wash off any pollen on your skin or in your hair
  3. Wipe your pets down after they’ve gone outside
  4. Limit your exposure to the outdoors on days with high pollen counts
  5. Keep windows in your home and car closed to reduce the amount of pollen getting inside
  6. Keep your HVAC system fan running to allow the air to be filtered continuously
  7. Dust, vacuum and mop at least once a week
  8. Remember to change your air filters!

US Home Filter Offers AC Filters to Help Reduce Allergens

No matter which type of HVAC system your home has, every unit needs a quality air filter that fits properly in order to maximize your indoor air quality, reduce spring allergy triggers and keep your unit running efficiently. US Home Filter can provide you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter in your furnace is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter offers filters to fit all heating and air conditioning units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filtersgrille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Particle Pollution

Particle pollution is not something on everyone’s radar, but it is very common and potentially very harmful to our health. The EPA defines particle pollution, also known as particulate matter or PM, as a “general term for a mixture of solid and liquid droplets suspended in the air. Particle pollution comes in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of a number of different components, including acids (such as sulfuric acid), inorganic compounds (such as ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, and sodium chloride), organic chemicals, soot, metals, soil or dust particles, and biological materials (such as pollen and mold spores)”.

Particle matter is created by a number of day-to-day activities, not only outdoors, but also in your home. From cooking dinner for your family at home to driving your car and the burning of fossil fuels at a local power plant, particle matter is released into the air almost continuously. These particles pose dangerous to your health as they can be inhaled into the lungs and penetrate deep into the body’s respiratory system, causing numerous health issues, especially in those suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). PM has also been connected to eye and throat irritation as well as more serious conditions such as low birth weight, heart attacks and lung cancer. A 2017 study found that more than 8 million people per year die early from air pollution exposure.

Particle Size Matters

The EPA also reports that the size of the particle matters most when talking about particle pollution. It is the smaller particles (10 micrometers and under in diameter) that cause greater health risks than larger ones as these tiny particles can enter the lungs much easier when inhaled via the nose or throat. Some are so small, in fact, that they can even enter the bloodstream. The agency estimates that 13,000 deaths could be prevented annually in the United States by reducing fine particle pollution by 10%.

Particle pollution is divided into two different categories:

  • Inhalable coarse particles: These are typically found in industrial areas or near dusty roadways. Their diameter is smaller than 10 micrometers and larger than 2.5 micrometers. Grinding operations and dust from traffic that is stirred up are the main sources of this size of particle pollution.
  • Fine particles: These are found in haze and smoke. They can form from forest fires or when the gasses from cars or power plants meet the air which produces a chemical reaction.

Protecting Yourself from Particle Pollution

Particle pollution is all around us, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the EPA’s Air Quality Index. This is reported daily on weather websites, apps and broadcasts and should be checked regularly.
  2. Change your plans to spend more time indoors. If you see the Air Quality Index is expected to be problematic, try not to plan any outdoor activities that cause heavy breathing (e.g. take a walk instead of a jog) and avoid busy roads with heavy traffic.
  3. Take extra care of those most susceptible. Babies, children, the elderly and those suffering from lung or heart conditions are most affected by particle pollution. Take extra care to be sure to protect those that fall in these categories.

The problem of particle pollution can be particularly dangerous indoors, as not only do outdoor particles seep inside but indoor activities can cause more particles, including fireplaces, candles, and wood-burning stoves.  In order to reduce the risks of particle pollution indoors, you want to make sure you are utilizing the best air filtration in your home. Make sure you are using an air filter that is made properly and fits correctly in your homes HVAC system. All filters are not created equal. Some do a good job of initially filtering out dangerous particles but quickly degrade, making them no longer effective. Others are made to be useful and effective long term while reducing harmful airborne particles. With your health on the line, it is a good idea to invest in an air filter that will work efficiently long term – after all, you can’t put a price on good health and safety.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly in order to keep your indoor air quality clean and your unit running at its maximum efficiency, trapping as many particle pollutants as possible. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter in your HVAC system is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Are You Allergic to Your Home?

preventing home feverWith the amount of time we spend indoors increasing, so are our allergic reactions to indoor allergens. The allergens we are exposed to change daily, weekly and seasonally; however, we are exposed to indoor allergens year-round. That means that those affected by indoor allergens are suffering constantly. Back in 2011, a report was done by Allergy UK (a charity which supports people with allergies, chemical sensitivity and food intolerance) to better understand the effects of indoor allergies. Questioning 1,600 people, the survey looked at the “home fever” phenomenon, a range of reactions to dust mites and other allergens in the home. The most common symptoms of this “fever” are sneezing and runny noses. The most common symptoms of this “fever” are sneezing and runny noses, much like those of hay fever. However, unlike hay fever which is seasonal, “home fever” can present at any time of the year.

Home Fever Symptoms

One question the report asked the allergy sufferers questioned was what triggered their symptoms the most. The top answer was dust mites, followed by pets, cleaning supplies and mold, respectively. Symptoms that occurred 60% of the time in those surveyed were runny nose, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. In looking to find out if different areas of the home caused symptoms more than others, the survey found that the most common area participants experienced allergies was in the bedroom. This makes sense as the average bed can harbor around 2 million dust mites.

Overall, it is estimated that 10-20 percent of the world population suffers from similar indoor allergies.  Luckily, there are ways to control indoor allergens and home fever symptoms.

Bedding and Flooring

Washing your bed linens once a week and at a temperature hot enough to kill them (the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) is important. You can also vacuum your mattress to remove dead skin cells (aka dust mite food) and replace your current mattress every 7-10 years. Flooring is also the other primary factor that traps dust, dead skin cells and harbors dust mites. Regardless of the type of flooring that you have in your house, you’ll want to have a high-quality vacuum cleaner that sucks up the dust and dirt, efficiently trapping it so it isn’t released back into the air that you and your family breathe.

“Green” Cleaning Supplies

Many cleaning supplies or household cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals that cause irritation to eyes and throat, cause headaches as well as many other health problems. Some of these products even release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other dangerous chemicals. VOCs are found in cleaning products like glass cleaner, air fresheners, dryer sheets, bleach, among others, all of which have been shown to cause allergy and asthma-like symptoms. Switching to, or even making your own, green cleaning products containing natural and plant-based ingredients eliminate these “home fever” triggers.

Reduce Pet Allergens

No matter how much we love our pets, it’s a fact they are a large contribution to indoor allergens in our homes. To combat these allergens, try to create a specific area in your home for your pet that is easy to clean. Keep pets off furniture and beds and regularly wash any linens your pets use. You may also want to consider investing in a filter with a MERV rating of 8-13 to keep the air free from pet allergens – these filters can reduce pet allergens in the air substantially. Lastly, make sure to vacuum regularly and bathe your dog twice a week (using a pet shampoo that contains natural and plant-based ingredients).

Regulate Heat and Humidity

Dust mites and mold both thrive in moist, humid conditions so keeping your house at the humidity level and temperature makes a huge difference in allergy control. Keep your house nice and dry, using a dehumidifier if necessary. You can also remove humidity by opening your windows for one hour per day when the weather is dry and pollen levels are low. You also don’t want your home humidity level too low as this can cause allergens to circulate in the air. It is recommended to keep your home between 68°F-72°F with 40% humidity whenever possible.

Change Your HVAC Filter Monthly

All of the air that is used to cool or heat your home circulates through your HVAC system, eventually passing through the air filter. Make sure you choose the right air filter for your HVAC system and change it regularly to help reduce the allergens in the air that cause home fever. An air filter’s main purpose is to trap and hold all the different kinds of particulates and contaminants in the air that circulate through your heating and cooling system. Checked your filters at least once a month – if they are dirty, they should be changed with a fresh clean filter to minimize home allergens.

US Home Filter is Here for You

Reducing the dust in your indoor air is no doubt highly beneficial for everyone – family members and visitors. The air you breathe in your home can have a huge impact on allergy symptoms, asthma triggers, and your overall level of comfort. At US Home Filter, we take pride in helping our customers find the best filtration solutions to fit their individual needs. Whether you need help with one of our standard stock size air filters, a Whole House Air Cleaner replacement filter, Grille filters, or a custom size air filter built to your specifications, we will be happy to personally assist you with any of your filtration needs! For personal assistance or questions about your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to help you in selecting the perfect filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Improving Air Quality in the Home During the Winter Months

winter indoor air qualityAs the cold air continues to blow and you bundle to keep warm, you may also be apt to keep all your windows and doors shut tightly as well. While this helps keep the heat in, it also leads to stagnant air and dry, stuffy indoor environments. Dust and other pollutants are also trapped, accumulating in the air you breathe and causing particular irritation to those suffering from asthma and allergies. Moisture levels within the home are also of concern. To alleviate this throughout the winter months, it is important to take the proper steps to improve the indoor air quality in your home as well as manage the amount of moisture in the air.

Keep Humidity in Check

Winter is usually a time we think of as dry, leaving our skin begging for moisture. However, pumping up your humidifier is not necessarily the answer. Air that becomes too humid can become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew, further worsening your indoor air quality. There are a few key places in the home that moisture can accumulate during the winter. Signs that there is too much moisture in your home are condensation on the windows, discoloration on the walls, ceilings and floors, white powdery stains on concrete floors and musty odors. If you see any of these warning signs, check your homes ventilation system to make sure air is properly flowing through your house. You can also limit the use of humidifiers and set up dehumidifiers in the damper areas of the home, such as in the basement. Making sure your home is properly insulated can also help regulate not only the moisture but the temperature as well, further preventing mold growth. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is recommended to keep your indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. Depending on the dryness of your air, you can use both humidifiers and dehumidifiers to stay in this range.

Steer Clear of Aerosols and Chemical Cleansers

Aerosol sprays, including deodorants, hairsprays and household cleaners, deposit chemical residues around your home, inhaled by you and your family as you breathe. Chemical cleansers filled with synthetic ingredients and especially those that include fragrance emit a large amount of chemicals into the air. To reduce these negative effects on your indoor air quality you want to limit the sources of volatile organic compounds found in these common household products. WebMD suggests the following:

  1. Choose fragrance-free or naturally-scented laundry products and mild cleansers (no artificial fragrances).
  2. Eliminate aerosol spray deodorants, hairsprays, air freshers and cleaning supplies.
  3. Let the fresh air in! Open windows to let the toxic chemicals out and fresh air in. If there is an allergy issue, keep rooms ventilated with a filtered A/C system.
  4. Sliced lemons and baking soda will give you that clean scent in your kitchen.
  5. Add some houseplants to your home. Spider plants, ferns and aloe vera act as living air purifiers, absorbing the chemical pollutants released by synthetic materials.

Check your HVAC System

Changing your air filter is one of the easiest and most important things a homeowner can do to maintain their HVAC system, which is why understanding air filters and their function is so important. Furnaces have to work harder than they need to when air filters are dirty and clogged. They also lead to poor indoor air quality as the pollutants and allergens that are no longer being trapped in the filter are released back into the air we breathe. Be sure to check your air filters at least once a month during the fall and winter and change them with a fresh clean air filter if they are dirty. This is also a good time to check your air vents. Your HVAC systems air filter will trap most of the contaminants and particulates in the air that passes through, however, over time some are able to bypass this and build up in the duct work. Vacuuming out your air vents will help prevent blockages and indoor air quality problems, allowing warm air to flow freely, easing temperature regulation throughout your home.

With the proper humidity control and the knowledge of how to spot mold, insulation preparation, and finding the best air filter for your home, you will be able to find a way to breathe clean indoor air and stay healthy all winter.

Selecting the Right Filter for Optimum Indoor Air Quality

Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. Although not exactly rocket science, choosing the best filter to replace your old one can be a bit of a challenge. What MERV rating is best for my family? Is there an advantage to getting a higher-rated filter? Am I paying the right price? At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have.

Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

If you have any questions about furnace filters (or any other questions about AC, custom air filters, Whole House filters or Grille filters), we have an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We carry humidifier filters and pads for all major manufacturers (including Air King, American Standard, AprilaireGeneralAire and Honeywell). We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

 

Reasons for Room to Room Temperature Imbalances

temperature imbalances in the homeHave you ever noticed that when you enter a certain room in your house, it’s always warmer than all the others? Or have a room that you know has the coolest temperature in your house? No matter what you set your thermostat to, those rooms are always hotter or colder than the others. Your living room may be the exact temperature you want, but your bedroom upstairs is freezing. It can be aggravating and uncomfortable and, while these temperature imbalances are frustrating, they may be warning signs of a much larger issues. So why does this happen and what can you do to fix it?

First, check for the following common issues:

  • Air Duct Problems: If your air ducts are crushed or kinked, certain areas of your house won’t get sufficient air. Air duct leaks can also cause uneven temperatures, among other issues.
  • Dirty Air Filters: Clean air filters allow air to flow through your home efficiently. If your air filters are dirty, it restricts airflow therefore affecting the amount of cool air circulating throughout your home.
  • Open Windows: Cool, air conditioned air can escape out of open windows leading to uneven temps in your home.
  • Closed Vents: If a vent remains closed in a room, it restricts airflow leading to a warmer temperature than in other rooms of the house.

If it’s not one of the problems above, the next likely cause is an unbalanced air conditioning and heating system. You’ll need an AC company to balance it.

Air Balancing for Temperature Regulation

If you’ve checked all the issues above and all are okay, the cause of your temperature variances is probably an unbalanced heating and air conditioning system. Air balancing is a service that HVAC companies provide where they adjust the amount of heated and cooled air each room gets in your home.

When a system is perfectly balanced, each room in your home would be the same temperature at the same time. If this is not the case in your house, then you have an unbalanced system.

Unbalanced HVAC System Causes

There are many different factors that can cause an HVAC system to become unbalanced. During the system’s installation, larger ducts and additional supply vents are used to push more air into the rooms that need it. Dampers are also installed which help regulate the air flow and even out the temperatures throughout your home. These are valves that allow you to adjust the amount of air getting to each room or area of the house. They are installed near the inside unit of the AC unit on the main ducts, typically in a closet or in the attic.

If your ducts and dampers are properly installed, your system should be pretty balanced; however, there are many factors that can affect this balance. Here are some of the most common things that cause your system to become unbalanced:

1) Multilevel Homes

If your home has multiple levels, it can be difficult to properly balance the air due to the nature of hot air rising as well as the long duct runs that are required to get air to every room. If this is the case in your home, you may want to consider a zoned AC system. With zoning, your home is broken up into different areas, each of which has its own thermostat and temperature control/sensor that automatically adjusts the dampers in your duct system. Zoning also allows you to set different temperatures for different rooms, enabling you to even out the temperature in your home.

2) Long Duct Runs or Uninsulated Ducts

A lot of times, duct work will run through unconditioned areas such as your attic. When the air passes through these warm areas it gains heat, therefore causing rooms furthest away from the air conditioner much warmer (with rooms closer to AC much cooler). This can also be caused by uninsulated ducts – which is a simple solution to this issue. Adding insulation to your ducts will keep the cool air in and the warm air out. A much more complex solution would be to restructure all of the duct work in your home to more evenly distribute the air throughout your home.

3) Inadequate Return Vents

Return vents are what suck the warm air from the room, recycling it into the air conditioning system to be cooled and redistributed. If you have a large home that only has one return vent, it is not able to adequately grab the warm air from rooms that are far away, therefore there is a large amount of cool air mixing with warmer air, increasing the temperature in your home. One way to overcome this is to leave all the room doors in open, which can help with return airflow. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to add more return vents into your home.

4) Under or Over-sized Systems

Having an improperly sized AC system for your space can cause air balancing issues as well. If your AC system is too large, it shuts off quickly leaving certain rooms too cold or warm. If they system is too small for your space, it could potentially never be able to cool your whole home properly. If your home has an air conditioning system that is too large, use fans to help circulate the cooler are to those warmer rooms in the house. On the flip side, if your system is too small, consider installing an additional system or replace the current small system with a new bigger one that is able to cool your whole house.

5) Room Usage

How you use the rooms in your home may also cause an unbalanced system. For instance, a home office tends to be warmer due to the equipment running in it producing heat (e.g. computers, server, and other electronics). This can be solved by having an AC company regulate the airflow to those warmer rooms by adjusting the dampers in the air ducts, increasing the amount of cool air into the room.

6) Home Renovations and/or Additions

Adding rooms or remodeling can throw off your AC systems balance, especially when walls are added or removed. This could be an easy fix by just having the dampers adjusted in your ducts; however, you may also need to run additional ducts depending upon the renovations or additions that were done. In some cases, you may need to install a second air conditioner.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly in order to keep your indoor air quality clean and your unit running at its maximum efficiency in the fall and winter. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter in your furnace is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs.We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Understanding Your HVAC System

Tips for Winterizing your HVAC systemHVAC systems are a part of our everyday lives. But do you have a good understanding of what your HVAC system actually does and how it works? Do you know what HVAC stands for? Your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system’s primary jobs are to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, as well as maintaining the highest possible levels of air quality in your home. Understanding your HVAC system’s key roles and how it operates is important as a homeowner, allowing you to get the most out of your system without “breaking the bank”.

Heating

The bitter cold and snow has arrived in many parts of the country, so our HVAC systems are working hard to provide us with the heat and comfort we need throughout the cold days and frigid nights. Since this system is working overtime, knowing how your furnace works can help you to better troubleshoot problems if something does go wrong. According to the Department of Energy, heating accounts for around 45% of energy bills in the United States, so the more we know, the better.

It is the heating component of your HVAC system that provides the warmer climate for your home in the cold months. Most homes have a forced air heating system, but you may have a different type of system, such as a heat pump, broiler or active solar heating. Heating systems that utilize radiators and heat water are called boilers. Heat pumps function like an air conditioner, only working in reverse. Many furnaces run on natural gas, but not all of them. You may have an electric furnace or one that runs on heating oil or propane. No matter what the system your home has, all of them create heat at a central source and disperse the warm air throughout your home by different means.

  • Forced Air: With a forced air system, a furnace is used to heat the air, which is then distributed throughout your home through the duct-work and in-room vents.
  • Radiant Heating Systems: With radiant heating systems, a boiler or heating stove is used to disperse the heat throughout your home by way of hot water tubing or electric heating coils that are installed in the floors or ceiling.
  • Geothermal Heating: With geothermal heating, a heat exchanger is used to generate heat from the sun’s rays that are absorbed into the ground.

Ventilation

When working properly, your HVAC system should improve your home’s IAQ (indoor air quality) by removing dust, dander, dirt, and other debris and by controlling the humidity in your home via ventilation. When your home is properly ventilated, contaminated air and excess humidity are vented out of your home year round. Just like the heating element of your HVAC system, this can be done a multitude of different ways depending upon the age of your home and the system you have. Some ventilation is mechanical, while other times the system may rely on fans and windows, or use a combination of the two.

If you have a forced air system, air is passed through an air filter that traps volatile organic compounds (VOCs), airborne particulates, mold, dust and allergens. Improving air filtration is the most beneficial thing that can be done to reduce the effects of poor indoor air quality. Air filtration provides us with a means to attain the desired level of indoor air quality. Air filters were originally intended to simply shield the components of your expensive HVAC system, thus protecting it from harmful dust build-up and extending its life. As the manufacturing process of air filters evolved over the decades, filtration media became more refined and specialized which allowed us to go beyond system protection into cleaning contaminants, allergens, and other bothersome particles from our air using high-efficiency pleated air filters. This has allowed a significant improvement in indoor comfort and cleaner air in our homes and businesses.

If your home does not have a forced air system, filtering your air can also be done by the use of air purifiers, humidifiers, air cleaners, and dehumidifiers. No matter what, having a good understanding of how your home is ventilated and properly filtering your air is an important step to figuring out any allergy or breathing issues you or your family may be experiencing throughout the year.

Air Conditioning

Lastly, but certainly not least, in addition to heating and ventilating your home, your HVAC system is also responsible for keeping you cool during the warm summer weather. As with heating and ventilation systems, there are many different types of AC units. Central air is the most popular and is used in conjunction with your forced air system. There are also window AC units, portable AC units and split or ductless AC units, all which use a similar process to cool your home.

Your AC system uses a refrigerant that, as it is circulated, changes from a gas to a liquid as it traps the heat from your home and expels it. The warm vapor refrigerant is passed through the compressor where it turns into hot refrigerant vapor and moves into the condenser. The air of the condenser fan cools the hot vapor and as it passes over the finned coils it turns into a hot liquid. As the hot liquid is passed through an expansion valve, a low pressure, cool liquid mist is created which runs through the evaporator coil. As this mist evaporates, it absorbs the heat from the air inside your home and is then returned to the compressor, starting the process over again. The heat that is absorbed is pushed outside by your AC system, therefore cooling the air in your home.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into your HVAC system. Now that you have a better understanding of how all the components work, you can be better prepared to maintain your system and/or know when to call a professional in for help.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit Every HVAC System

No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly in order to keep your indoor air quality clean and your unit running at its maximum efficiency. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs.We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Humidifier Benefits During the Winter Months

humidifier benefitsCold dryer air is upon us already. As the fall transitions into winter, the air becomes increasingly cold and harsh. While the heaters in our homes and offices are running hard to keep us warm, the moisture in the air inside is depleted, causing many people discomfort. Excessively dry air can result in numerous issues. How can you remedy this? A humidifier. Humidifier benefits are numerous as they put moisture back into the air, creating a healthy indoor environment for you and your family.

Why a Humidifier?

In a 2013 study, it was found that the ability of airborne viruses to cause flu infections was greatly reduced when humidity levels were increased to 43% or above. It was in low humidity environments that 70-77% of viruses retained their infectious nature, but that number dropped to only 14% when the humidity was increased to 43% or more. Another study completed in 2009 resulted in the same conclusion: humidity limits the transmission of the influenza virus.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Not only can a humidifier help you ward off winter illness, but you can also reap other benefits such as softer, glowing skin and the preservation of any real wood furniture you have. Here are some additional benefits to using a humidifier in your home.

10 Humidifier Benefits

  1. Reduced infection risk: Bacteria and viruses cannot travel well in moist air. Add a humidifier to your home and it could be the difference between remaining healthy this winter or getting the flu.
  2. Soft, vibrant skin: Cold, dry winter air sucks the moisture right out of your skin. This can cause numerous problems such as accelerated aging, dryness, flaking and dullness. Adding moisture back into your air with a humidifier can help fend off these damaging effects, and will help you keep your skin glowing and vibrant.
  3. Sinus comfort: We’ve all experienced that tight, dry feeling in our nose during the cold winter months. The dry air during the winter can also deplete the moisture in your sinuses, leading to possible nose bleeds and a lowered resistance to viruses and bacteria. Humidifiers do wonders for your sinuses…and throat!
  4. No more raspy morning voice: Have you ever woken up and a raspy, dry voice in the morning? This is another effect of dry cold air that is affecting your vocal cords. Sleep with a humidifier in your bedroom to keep your throat moisturized while you sleep.
  5. Heal faster: If you do end up with a sinus infection, a cold or the flu this winter, adding a humidifier to your home will shorten your suffering. You will heal faster and reduce sneezing and coughing symptoms if you keep your nasal passages and throat moist.
  6. Healthier houseplants: Just as dry air can affect us, it can affect our houseplants too. Plants begin to suffer in dry, winter air when their soil becomes dryer than usual, making the leaves look withered and sad. Not only do plants rely on moist soil, but they also rely on moisture in the air. Adding a humidifier puts the moisture back in the air, helping keep your houseplants (and you!) healthy.
  7. Preserve wood furnishings: Just like our hands, dry air can cause wood furniture, moldings and doors to split and crack. A humidifier adds the necessary moisture into the air that helps preserve the integrity of the wood furniture and accents in your home.
  8. Lower heating bill: Interesting fact – moist air feels warmer than dry air. Using a humidifier to add moisture into your air will make it feel warmer, reducing your urge to crank up the heat and helping you save on your winter heating bills.
  9. Fewer electric shocks: Your kids may not be a fan of this one but adding humidity back into your air will reduce that static electricity shock we all experience in the dry weather.
  10. Better sleep. Have a partner who snores or snore yourself? Dry air plays a role in that too with snoring increasing if our sinuses and throats are dry. A humidifier will put that moisture back into the air we need for our throats and sinuses and make your house feel warmer and more comfortable, encouraging a good nights sleep.

Humidifier Precautions

There are so many humidifier benefits that make them a great for your home, but they can become a source of bacteria and mold if they aren’t cleaned regularly. Here’s what you need to know to keep your humidifier and your air clean.

  • Use demineralized or distilled water. Tap water contains minerals that can build up and in your humidifier and increase growth of bacteria. Using demineralized or distilled water will save you a lot of work, not having to clean your machine as often.
  • Clean once a week. The longer you wait between cleanings, the harder it will be. If you regularly clean your humidifier, it will be quick and painless and keep your home happy. If you let it go too long it will be harder to clean and you risk mold and bacteria build up.
  • Change filters regularly! Not all humidifiers come with a filter, but if yours does, change it following the manufacturer’s directions. US Home Filter has a FULL selection of humidifier pads!
  • Keep humidity levels ideal. Just as not enough humidity can cause issues, too much humidity can be just as problematic. Home improvement and electronic stores sell hygrometers that will measure the humidity in your home. Ideally, you want to keep the humidity in your home between 40-50%.

Don’t Suffer This Winter – Try a Humidifier!

Humidity is simply the level of moisture present in the air. We can utilize humidifier units to increase our level of indoor humidity, thus decreasing the level of dryness in our air. We have outlined many humidifier benefits that remove or drastically reduce some of the most annoying issues that we complain about when the air is too harsh and dry. A stand-alone unit is the least costly and easiest to set up, so if you are unsure about committing to a whole house unit, try this option first and start enjoying the results right away!

Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We carry humidifier filters and pads for all major manufacturers (including Air King, American Standard, AprilaireGeneralAire and Honeywell). We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

HVAC Maintenance Tips for Fall and Winter

Fall and Winter HVAC maintenanceIt’s officially fall and for a lot of the northern states in the U.S. it’s already feeling like winter. That means that furnaces are on and running hard to keep our homes warm as the temperatures are dropping and snow is falling. During these cold nights, your HVAC system becomes the most valuable piece of equipment in your home. Yet if it’s not running properly, you’ll experience less comfort and higher energy bills. One of the largest expenses for a homeowner is heating your home and producing hot water,  so you want to keep your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible to ensure your energy bill remains as reasonable as possible. Is your furnace ready for the season’s challenges? Here are some tips to keep your HVAC running smooth and efficiently, keeping you and your family warm and your heating bills down.

1. Clean or Replace the Air Filter

Changing your air filter is one of the easiest and most important things a homeowner can do to maintain their HVAC system, which is why understanding air filters and their function is so important. Furnaces have to work harder than they need to when air filters are dirty and clogged, unnecessarily driving up energy bills. When the air flow is blocked, it can cause system malfunctions and even equipment damage. Check your air filters at least once a month during the fall and winter and if they are dirty, change them with a fresh clean air filter. US Home Filters has a vast selection of furnace filters to fit your needs! Make sure you have some on hand to make monthly maintenance stress free so you won’t be without heat when you need it the most.

2. Clean the Air Vents

The same day you change the air filters is also a good time to check your air vents. Just as we vacuum our home to get the dust and particles off the floor and carpet, the same needs to be done to the air vents. Most of the contaminants and particulates in the air that passes through your HVAC system are trapped in the air filter, but, over time, some are able to pass through and build up in the duct work. Vacuuming out your air vents will help prevent blockages and indoor air quality problems, allowing warm air to flow freely, easing temperature regulation throughout your home. If your ducts are clogged with an excessive amount of dust an debris, epa.gov recommends a thorough cleaning of the air vents. If this what you’re seeing in your HVAC system, it’s probably best to have your air vents cleaned professionally. If you see just a little bit of dust, a quick vacuum of the air vents can be done yourself to keep things running smoothly and efficiently in the fall and winter months.

3. Add or Replace Insulation

Insulation is the thermal barrier of your home, keeping heat out during the spring and summer, and in during the fall and winter, therefore playing a large role in the overall efficiency of your homes HVAC system. The more heat you are able to keep inside your home, the less your furnace has to work to keep the temperature consistent. First thing to check is your attic to make sure there is adequate insulation. If you aren’t sure if your insulation needs to be replaced to added to, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. There are many types of insulation and a professional will be able to help you select the right one and make sure your home’s insulation is adequate and efficient. The cost of adding or replacing insulation in your home is usually off set over time by the savings on your power or energy bill.

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat

It is highly recommended to have a programmable thermostat installed in your home. They take the guess work and human error out of the mix and maintain a consistent temperature throughout the day without question. They enable you to set a time for the temperature to change at the same time everyday – before you leave for work or go to bed – helping keep your thermostat set at the most efficient and energy efficient setting throughout the fall and winter months. If you already have a programmable thermostat installed, make sure it has a fresh set of batteries. To see the most energy savings, a cooler temperature is recommended when you are sleeping or not at home. According to energy.gov, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.

5. Have Your HVAC System Inspected

Having our HVAC system inspected annually ensures it is running properly. Fall is the best time to have your system inspected to make sure it’s prepared and running efficiently for the demands of winter. Looking for a heating and cooling contractor to inspect your HVAC system? The Department of Energy website offers instructions to help you find the right contractor for your needs.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly in order to keep your indoor air quality clean and your unit running at its maximum efficiency in the fall and winter. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter in your furnace is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs.We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

The Eight Allergy Zones in the United States

Eight Allergy Zones of the United States

Allergies are a common condition not only in the United States, but all over the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. Allergies are defined as a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system that occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to what is normally a harmless substance. The allergen may irritate four of the five individual’s senses – smell, sight, taste and touch – causing inflammation, disability and in severe cases, even death. In order to avoid an allergic reaction, it is necessary to find out what you’re allergic to and then avoid exposure to that allergen as much as possible. However, this is not such an easy task as it may sounds, as each part of the U.S has different varieties of weeds, trees and grasses. This is where the eight (8) allergy zones come into play. Each zone is a different region of the United States, designed to help better identify the cause of a person’s allergic reaction.

The Different Zones

The eight allergy zones in the continental United States are defined as the Pacific, Mountain, Desert, Plains, Southwest, Great Lakes, South, and Northeast. Each zone has a distinctive ecosystem with unique varieties of common allergens present, as well as different allergy seasons. Factors including average temperature, humidity, elevation, precipitation, among others, are used to create the divisions and the common allergens found are fairly similar throughout each zone. Some of the most common allergens found in most of these regions include a variety of grasses, trees (such as oak and cedar), and ragweed.

Using Allergy Zones

Allergy zones were created in order to be able to better identify the triggers of individuals’ seasonal allergies. The zone map can be used as a reference to get more information on what is currently spreading pollen in your area and compare that against what you’re exposed to on a daily basis. Doctors will also use the allergy zone chart to determine which allergens to look for in an allergy skin test, which is used to determine the cause of your allergies. This test helps find the most effective treatments to effectively combat an individual’s allergy symptoms. Zones do have allergens in common, so if you move between zones and experience the same seasonal allergies, you’re probably allergic to something that is common in both zones.

The Most Common Outdoor Allergens in the United States

Southeast

The Southeast region of the United States is home to particular trees, weeds and grasses that cause more allergies than others, some blooming year round and others being active in specific months. One of the top year-round allergens is Bermuda grass which produces allergic reactions at virtually anytime of the year. Tree allergens are strongest and in full bloom from February and May – the main allergen culprits being oak, pecan and cedar. June through November, weed allergens are most active with nettle and ragweed being the most common.

Southwest

In the Southwest, the most prevalent grass allergy comes from redtop grass which is a perennial grass that blooms from May through July. This region is also home to tree allergens mainly from oak trees, but also from cedar and elm. July through September, chenopod blooms and causes the majority of weed allergies.

Northeast

If you’re visiting or living in the Northeast, there are specific trees, weeds and grasses to be aware of. Orchard and redtop bloom from May through August and are at the top of the list for grass allergies. If you’re allergic to tree pollen, oak, pine and birch are in high bloom from February through June. From August through October, ragweed and stinging nettle make weed allergies worse.

Midwest

One of the most common grasses in the Midwest that is likely to give you allergies is called Brome. It is a perennial grass that grows in the spring and blooms through July. Elder, elm and maple trees are the main culprits for tree allergies and bloom from early spring through early summer (March to June).

West

There are several common causes of allergies on the West coast. Grasses such as sweet vernal can cause severe allergies from March through November. From February though June, trees such as walnut and cedar are top allergen producers. Weed allergies are the worst from April through November with iodine bush and pigweed being the leading cause of seasonal allergies from weeds.

US Home Filter Offers AC Filters to Help Reduce Allergens

Family owned and operated for four generations now, we may not be doctors, but we certainly know about allergies and air filters! Over the years our experienced staff has help thousands of customers by answering the same questions that you may have.

At US Home Filter, we appreciate each and every one of our customers. We are here to help you choose the best solutions for your individual needs. Whether you need help with one of our standard stock size air filters, a Whole House Air Cleaner replacement filter, Grille filters, or if you are overwhelmed by choosing the right custom size air filter, we will be happy to personally work with you to help ensure you order exactly what you need and clear up any misconceptions! For personal assistance or questions about your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to help you in selecting the perfect filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.