Biological Pollutants Facts and Impacts

Biological pollutantsBiological pollutants are in our walls, in our food, in the water, even in the air around us. These pollutants are living organisms (i.e. enzymes, fungi, bacteria, viruses) or their byproducts which can be hazardous to human (and animal) health if they are swallowed, inhaled, or otherwise enter the body. The growth and spread of these biological contaminants are affected by nutrient sources, temperature, air movement and relative humidity. These pollutants can contaminate the indoor air in various situations: when living, dead, or debris from dead organisms are distributed by ventilation systems. Here’s what need to know about biological pollutants and how can you protect yourself and your family.

Sources of Biological Pollutants

Biological contaminants are living organisms themselves or the byproducts produced by living organisms. They are often found in areas that provide their preferred food and moisture. These areas include humidifiers, condensation pans, unvented bathrooms or cooling coils – these are all areas that can be breeding grounds for mold. Drapes, carpet, bedding and other dust collecting areas may also attract/accumulate biological pollutants. According to the EPA the following are the main sources of biological contaminants:

  • pollen (from plants)
  • viruses (transmitted via people and animals)
  • mold
  • bacteria (carried by people and animals, soil and plant debris)
  • household pets (saliva and animal dander)
  • droppings and body parts from cockroaches, rodents and other pests or insects
  • airborne dried protein from rat/mice urine
  • Contaminated HVAC systems (can breed mold, mildew and other biological contaminants, distributing them throughout your home)

Health Effects

The health effects felt from exposure to biological pollutants are extensive. Allergic reactions can include asthma, allergic rhinitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Illnesses such as chicken pox, measles and influenza are spread through the air while mold and mildew release disease causing toxins. The symptoms of exposure to biological pollutants may include coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, watery eyes, fever, dizziness, tiredness and even digestive problems.

Reduce Exposure to Biological Pollutants

The main rule in reducing your exposure to these pollutants are to keep up with your general housekeeping (dusting and vacuuming), as well as properly maintaining your HVAC system. Ventilation and air circulation are also important as well as controlling the relative humidity level in your home. By keeping the humidity at 30-50%, the growth of mold, mildew, dust mites and insects is inhibited. You’ll also want to:

  1. Install exhaust fans that are vented to the outdoors in your kitchen, bathroom and make sure your clothes dryer is vented outdoors.
  2. Ventilate your attic and any crawl spaces to prevent moisture from building up.
  3. If you use humidifiers, be sure to clean the appliances and fill them with fresh water every day.
  4. Water damaged carpet or building materials should be thoroughly cleaned and dried or removed or replaced if water damage is severe.
  5. Maintain regular housekeeping. Dust mites, dander, pollens and other allergens can be greatly reduced by regular cleaning.
  6. Take steps to reduce biological pollutants in basements by cleaning and disinfecting the basement floor drain. Run a dehumidifier in your basement if the humidity levels are above 50%.
  7. Change your HVAC system’s air filter regularly and check for any standing water in the condensation pan that is not being flushed out.

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 reduce biological pollutants, 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 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.

Thermostat Tips for Each Season

programmable thermostatAs we get closer to Spring, fluctuations in the weather may have you switching from heat to air conditioning within the same week depending upon where you live. Constantly monitoring and adjusting the temperature inside your home can become cumbersome during these months. The good news is, there is a way to make it easier on you, and save you money: a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats help you manage your energy usage for when the cooling or heating system is needed most, and they take the guess work and human error out of the mix. Shockingly, a Lawrence Berkeley National Lab study showed that nearly 90% of Americans say that they’ve rarely, or never have, programmed their thermostats because they don’t know how. The good news is it’s not hard and its worth learning to do as it can save money on your energy bill. According to energy.gov, you can save as much as ten percent (10%) a year on heating and cooling costs by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.

The first thing to do is figure out the right thermostat to fit your scheduling needs. The goal is to “set it and forget it,” enabling you to get the maximum amount of savings.

Programmable Thermostat Types

7-day programming: This type of thermostat lets you program a different heating and cooling schedule for the entire week. It is by far the most flexible option, so if you have a busy schedule, this one is worth considering.

5-1-1 programming: The programming on this thermostat breaks apart the 5 weekdays from the 2 weekend days. You set one heating and cooling schedule for Monday through Friday, and then different heating and cooling plans for Saturday and Sunday individually.

5-2 programming: This follows the same programming functionality as 5-1-1 except Saturday and Sunday cannot be scheduled separately – they will have the same heating and cooling schedule.

1-week programming: Here you set one schedule and that heating and cooling plan will be used for the entire 7 day week.

With all of the programmable thermostat types above, you’ll also need to set a program for the heat in the cooler or chillier months as well as the air conditioning in the warmer months. You also want to be sure to figure out what type of equipment your HVAC system uses. If you choose a programmable thermostat that is not compatible with your equipment, you may end up actually causing damage and not see any of the energy savings that the correct thermostat could provide.

Programmable Thermostat Tips

Update the Factory Settings

When you purchase a programmable thermostat, it usually comes with pre-programmed settings. These settings are based on the typical American family, which may or may not fit your family’s needs. This may seem intimidating, but the good news is that you’ll only have to do this once. Again, set it and forget it!

Programming options are based on:

  1. Wake Time
  2. Sleep Time
  3. Leave Time
  4. Return Time

The Department of Energy suggests the following settings as an energy-saving rule of thumb:

Winter months:
Set the thermostat to 68°F while you’re home and awake. When you are asleep or away from home, lower the temperature by at least 10°.

Summer months:
This follows the same strategy as the winter months – just flip flopped. You’ll want to keep your house warmer than normal when you are away and cooler when you are at home. While you are home, set the thermostat to 78°F. When you are away, set the temperature as high as comfortably possible, keeping in mind that you also need to control the humidity. Note: The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.

Set-It-And-Forget-It Tips:

  • Turn off the heat or air conditioning 20-30 minutes before you leave
  • Turn on the heat or air conditioning 20-30 minutes before you come home
  • Reduce the heating or cooling temperature 1 hour before you go to sleep
  • Increase the heating or cooling ~30 minutes before you wake up in the morning

It may take a few days of tweaking your program to get it exactly where it needs to be to fit your needs. Also, it’s important to note that lowering the temperature while you’re away does not cause your furnace to work any harder to warm up your house when you arrive back home.

Consider a Wifi-Enabled Programmable Thermostat

Wifi-enabled programmable thermostats allow you to control your home’s temperature from anywhere. This is especially useful when you’re on vacation and you need to create a new program. Two of the newer Wifi-enabled thermostats available are:

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat: This thermostat has a large color interface that has a simple menu that literally walks you through the custom heating and cooling  programming steps. It’s also a smart device! The thermostat learns when your home and also sends you personal notifications if the temperature isn’t right or if the power has gone out. Price: Ranges from $70-$200 depending upon features and model selected.

The Nest Learning Thermostat: This thermostat uses motion detection technology to create a custom heating and cooling schedule for your home and will automatically adjust itself to your comfort level. It now also includes Farsight technology. When this technology spots you across the room, Farsight will light up and show you the target temperature or the time, in a digital or analog clock view. The Nest Thermostat also alerts you on you systems safety status. Price: Around $250.

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. 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.

How to Protect Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Improve Your Home's IAQ Indoor air quality has grown increasingly important as more time is being spent indoors. We typically think of allergens as an outdoor issue, but they are alive and rampant in our homes and other indoor spaces as well. According to the EPA, the air that we breathe in our homes, schools and offices can put us at risk for health problems. By protecting the indoor air quality in your home, you are working to reduce common allergens such as mold spores, pollen, dust, pet dander and other impurities. So, what can you do to protect your home’s indoor air quality? The following are tips from the EPA to help you take immediate steps to protect your home’s IAQ and prevent IAQ problems.

Steps to Protect Your Home’s IAQ

Test for Radon

Radon is a chemical you can’t see or smell and one that can greatly affect your home’s IAQ. It is a naturally occurring chemical that comes from dirt and rocks in the ground. This means that there is always some amount of radon in the air around us. It can become a problem when the radon gas from underneath your home leaks into your indoor space through cracks and gaps. When this happens, the levels of radon gas begin to build up and get trapped indoors. The radioactive particles from radon gas can get trapped in your lungs and over time, can cause lung cancer. Testing for radon in your home is easy – simply pick up a radon test kit from your local hardware store. If levels are too high, contact your state radon office. They will direct you to a local expert for advice on addressing the issue. You may be able to fix radon problems with simple solutions at low or no-cost to you. If you have a big radon problem, a specialist, called a mitigation contractor, will need to come out to fix the problem.

Reduce Asthma Triggers

In America, we spend up to 90% of our time indoors. Indoor allergens and pollutants are a significant source of asthma attacks. Triggers of asthma attacks are anything that cause an asthmatic reaction, be it an episode, attack or just making asthma worse. Triggers are not the same for everyone, so if you have asthma it’s important to work with a doctor to figure out what your triggers are. They can also help you come up with a plan to reduce exposure to your asthma triggers, specifically indoors.

Prevent Mold Growth

Mold thrives in humid conditions, so the first step is to reduce the humidity level in your home to below 50%. Keep air circulating with fans or proper ventilation, and close windows when it is raining outside. When conditions are right and moisture is available, mold will begin to grow in 24-48 hours. High-efficiency pleated air filters should be used to help remove airborne mold spores which eventually settle on surfaces and potentially begin to multiply. Mold can enter your indoor air through doors, windows, and can be transported on your skin, clothing, shoes, and pets. With proper circulation and a quality furnace filter or air conditioning filter, you can drastically reduce the number of mold spores floating in your air. Adding indoor room air cleaners is another option to prevent mold growth if you have a sensitivity to mold. They provide additional relief and protection from microorganisms such as mold that drift through your air.

Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Like radon, carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that you cannot see or smell. It is so toxic, in fact, that carbon dioxide can kill you before you’re even aware it is in your home. The effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide varies greatly from person to person, dependent on concentration/length of exposure, age and overall health.  The average level of carbon monoxide in homes without gas stoves ranges from 0.5 to 5 parts per million (ppm). In homes that have (properly adjusted) gas stoves, levels are usually 5 to 15 ppm and those near poorly adjusted stoves can reach 30 ppm or higher. Carbon Monoxide alarms will alert you immediately if you are being exposed to this toxic gas in your home.

Use and Maintain Your Ventilation System

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 through ventilation. Your home’s HVAC system is forced to work harder than it needs 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. When your home is properly ventilated, contaminated air and excess humidity are vented out of your home year-round.

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. 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 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.

Top Three Home Allergens

home allergensMost of us are familiar with outdoor allergens and even hear about pollen counts on the local news. However, many people suffer from indoor allergies as well. For indoor allergy sufferers, the colder months provide little relief from these allergens due to the increased amount of time spent indoors. The sneezing and itching continue, and the allergens can lead to more severe symptoms such as wheezing and respiratory infections. To combat indoor allergens, it’s important to understand where they’re coming from and how to control them to make sure you stay healthier in your home, not only this season but year-round.

The 3 Most Common Home Allergens

#1 Mold

Mold thrives in damp environments. This makes bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms or anywhere with unseen leaks mold’s favorite place to grow. Once mold grows, mold spores are released into your indoor air, contributing to dust and allergy/asthma symptoms.

What You Can Do:

  • If you or a family member has a mold allergy, carpet is not the flooring for your home. Instead, select flooring that dries easily to reduce moisture. Also deter anyone with allergies from spending time in rooms that you know are damper.
  • Check for moisture in typically unseen but susceptible places, such as your home’s foundation and windows. Clean affected surfaces regularly.

#2 Pet Dander

You may think that those allergic to animals that it’s the animal’s hair that is the problem. This is not the case. The allergic reaction comes from the pet dander, which is the animal’s dead skin cells, similar to human dandruff. Animal saliva and other bodily substances also are causes for allergic reactions. There are some breeds that produce less dander than other, but there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic animal.

What You Can Do:

  • Try to keep your pets off the furniture and out of the bedrooms if at all possible. Wash blankets and floors regularly to keep the dander at bay.
  • Use an HVAC air filter specifically for pet dander and replace it regularly. Also make sure your home has proper and efficient ventilation.

#3 Dust Mites

This is one of the most common household allergens. Dust mites are tiny insects that feed on human skin and although they can survive anywhere, they prefer bedding and cloth materials like carpeting. Dust mites don’t bite, rather they themselves and their waste can cause serious respiratory problems.

What You Can Do:

  • Invest in dust an allergy control covers for your bedding and pillows. Wash linens, rugs and any stuffed animals in hot water every week.
  • Consider a HEPA filter for bedrooms and any other rooms those with allergies spend time in. Change your HVAC filter regularly to keep dust mites from circulating through the air in your home.
  • Monitor and adjust the humidity in your home. Relative humidity inside and out contributes to the survival of dust mites in your home. The American Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reports that dust mites thrive in temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius) and like humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent.

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 fall 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.

All About Dust & Dust Mites

dust and dust mitesHave you ever finished cleaning only to turn around and see dust particles on the surfaces that you just cleaned? Every home has dust and, unfortunately, there isn’t a way to totally prevent or eliminate it entirely; however, you can control it. Dust and dust mites are one of the primary causes of indoor household health issues that include asthma, allergies and respiratory problems. So, what can you do to minimize and manage the dust in your house and improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality?

What is Dust?

There are many factors that contribute to the production of dust, but first it’s important to understand what dust is. According to BusinessDictionary.com, dust is “airborne particulate matter ranging in diameter from 10 to 50 microns, generated by activities such as cutting, crushing, detonation, grinding, and handling of organic and inorganic matter such as coal, grain, metal, ore, rock, wood.”

Controlling the level of dust indoors is a continuous struggle for nearly everyone. Dust originates from numerous sources and persistently collects on almost any surface. The most effective way to minimize dust is to tackle it at its source. While you can noticeably reduce the amount of grime, dirt, soil and filth that originates from these sources, dust will still be very difficult to eliminate.

Outdoor sources: dirt, wind, sand, gravel, streets, sidewalks, garages/driveways, construction, industrial areas

Indoor sources: clothing, dryers, skin flakes/dander, ventilation, carpeting, furniture, linens/drapery, electronics, pets, attics, basements, closets, storage areas, remodeling projects

What are Dust Mites?

Within dust, there are also tiny bugs called dust mites that survive on the skin cells shed from humans. They are commonly found in rugs, carpets and upholstered furniture, as well as commonly seen in bedrooms. Dust mites are one of the most common year-round triggers of asthma and allergies and in a warm, humid house, dust mites can survive all year long. With excess dust in the home, and humans shedding on average 1.5 grams of skin each day, it’s important to keep that dust under control in order to help reduce and minimize the amount of dust mites living in your house.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dust mite allergy symptoms caused by inflammation of nasal passages include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
  • In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose

If your dust mite allergy contributes to asthma, you may also experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • An audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • Bouts of coughing or wheezing that are worsened by a respiratory virus such as a cold or the flu

How to Control Dust and Dust Mites

There are four main or primary problems that can contribute to dust in your home. Luckily, there are ways to remedy these issues which can help reduce the dust in your house.

1. Air Filters

If you have excessive dust in your home, the most likely culprit is a dirty HVAC filter that isn’t working efficiently to effectively clean the air. A clean air filter that is working properly prevents dust and debris from collecting on the mechanical parts of your HVAC system, minimizing the dust levels in your home’s air. Using a high-efficiency pleated filter provides a large surface area with high dust-holding capacity. Pleated filters trap and hold several grams of dust that would otherwise be blown into your ducts and back into your air, settling on the surfaces you just cleaned.

To control average levels of dust, we recommend a minimum of a MERV 8 rating on your home air filter. For greater protection from smaller dust particles (fine, suspended dust), a higher MERV rating is recommended. As the MERV rating increases, the finer the particles that are captured by the filter, therefore a higher percentage of dust and microscopic particulate matter is removed.

Battling dust that continues to reappear on bookshelves, tables, window treatments, and decor is a constant point of frustration for many people. It is virtually impossible to totally eliminate the dust because there are so many sources, but your air filter is a great supporter of your fight to reduce dust as much as possible.

2. Leaky Ducts

If you have efficient, clean air filters and are still battling large amounts of dust, leaky ducts may be your actual problem. If there is a leak in your ducts, they could be releasing dusty, unfiltered air back into your home. When you turn on an HVAC system that has ducts with holes or leaks, the ducts suck up the dirt, dust, and other contaminants in and around your crawl space/attic. This dirt and dust then get blown out of the air vents in your home, reducing your indoor air quality and increasing your energy bills. If you notice that your energy bills are higher, have hot and cold spots in your house or see dirty/lint covered vent registers, you may have leaky ducts.

The best way to resolve this is to call an HVAC technician who can perform a pressure test that will tell them if the ducts need to be resealed. Getting your ducts cleaned and resealed by a professional will save you money in the long run by controlling your indoor temperature, reduce energy costs and most importantly, reducing the amount of dust in your home.

3. Humidity Level

The humidity level both on the outside and inside of your home is another main cause of dust. If you live in a dry climate, or perhaps in a dry season, this can affect the amount of dust in your home. Relative humidity inside and out also contributes to the survival of dust mites, so is related to the amount of dust mites in your home. According to the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), dust mites thrive in temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius). They also like humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent. So, to put it simply, there will be a lot of dust in the desert, but relatively no dust in the rain forest.

If your indoor air is too dry, you’re going to see more dust in the air. The solution for this is to invest in a humidifier that will help you find a balance in the humidity level in your home. It’s also important to note that dusty and dry air may be a signal that there is a problem with your HVAC system, so if the dust is excessive, you’ll want to get your system checked out.

4. Flooring

The last primary factor that affects the amount of dust is the type of flooring in your house. If your home is carpeted, research has found that carpet harbors dust and dust mites; however, it also holds in the dust making it easier to vacuum it up. Controversially, hard floors don’t hold onto dust and dust mites, but they do contribute to the stirring up of the dust and getting it back into the air when vacuuming, sweeping or simply walking through the house. 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.

US Home Filter is Here for You

Nobody wants to breathe dirty air. There’s no doubt that reducing the dust in the air in your home is highly beneficial for everyone – family members and visitors. The air that you breathe can have a significant impact on allergy symptoms, asthma triggers, and your overall level of comfort. Your air transports allergens and contaminants, allowing them to be inhaled or to settle on surfaces where they can spread to other areas. Minimizing dust improves your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). Using high-efficiency pleated air filters is a great added level of defense in helping to clean your home’s air from allergens and dust. Using a minimum of a MERV 8 rating will help to collect large amounts of dirt and debris, not only protecting your HVAC system, but going above and beyond by capturing common allergens such as pet dander, dust mite debris, pollen, and mold spores. Upgrading to a higher level such as MERV 11 or MERV 13 is recommended for those who desire a greater percentage of dust collection and trapping the smallest allergens.

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. 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. 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.

Standard Stock Size Air Filters

Facts About Standard Sized Air FiltersHave you heard the term “Standard stock size” air filter? This merely means that your HVAC unit has a filter that is a common size that is mass produced and easily found. For example: 16x20x1, 20x20x1, 16x25x1, 20x20x1 are all standard sized air filters. Every unit has a specific sized filter which allows the it to perform correctly and efficiently. Most AC and HVAC units use standard sized filters, but some do require a custom size air filter to be purchased and installed. But why is filter size important? According to EPA.gov, incorrectly sized or installed filter frames can cause air seepage, which significantly decreases filter effectiveness. Also, if there is any air flow resistance caused by using a filter that is not correctly sized, it can result in unnecessary stress on the HVAC unit itself, potentially damaging your system equipment and increasing your energy bills.

Standard Size Air Filter Facts

  1. There are only about 10 of the most common air filter sizes available at retail locations. US Home Filter makes over 80 standard stock sizes that local stores do not have the shelf space for, nor the inventory capacity to keep them in stock. We do manufacture and stock them all because that’s our business! So take a look at our stock filters, from the most common 16x20x1, 20x20x1, 16x25x1, 20x25x1 to other sizes like 8x16x1 to 30x36x2 to 25x29x4 to 20x25x6. If we don’t have it, we can make it!
  2. Nominal Size: This is the approximate size, such as 16x25x1. All 16x25x1 filters are designed to fit standard 16x25x1 filter slots.
  3. Exact Size: This can vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. The die-cuts (filter frames) are manufactured in bulk and purchased as a raw material for making air filters and determine the exact size of the air filters. The exact size is always slightly smaller than the nominal size to allow the filter to properly fit in the slot or housing. For example, a stock size of 20x20x1 may have exact dimensions of 19-1/2 x 19-1/2 x 3/4. This is completely normal and is the standard in air filter manufacturing.
  4. Slight variances in size may make a difference in certain situations. For instance, you may find that the stock size at your local hardware store is just a bit too big to fit your housing slot; however, you may be able to find the same stock size online by a different manufacturer that is slightly smaller size and it fits perfectly.
  5. There are thousands upon thousands of possible exact air filter sizes that can be used in an HVAC unit. Because of this, you will not always be able to find a filter at a store or online as you are able to find regular stock sizes. If this is your situation, you will need to order a custom size air filter. Custom filters are not made to a nominal size, with a smaller actual size as stock sizes are made. At US Home Filter, we make your custom size filter according to your HVAC manufacturers specifications.

Finding the Right Fit

The filters don’t need to fit with an “airtight” seal, but you should be able to easily install and uninstall your filter without a struggle. Your filter should be a bit smaller on each side of the filter housing slot, allowing you to slide the filter in and out with ease. For most systems you can use a standard sized filter within 5/8 of an inch smaller than the air filter housing.

US Home Filter is Here for YOU

Hopefully this information helps you better understand what your AC/HVAC system requires for optimum performance. It’s also important to remember that using the correct size filter for your system protects your AC/HVAC unit from malfunctions and damage, allowing it to continue to perform correctly and keep your air cleaner and your family and home safer. Take a look at our air filter measuring guide for steps on figuring out the correct size filter for your system. If you’re still unsure, US Home Filter is here to help! Call us at 855-237-1673 or contact us online.

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.

How to Properly Insert a New HVAC Filter

arrow on air filter for air flowChanging your home air filters seems to be an easy task; however, it’s one that is easily forgotten. Clean air filters matter. It is extremely important to regularly monitor and change them according to the manufacturer’s directions. When air filters become clogged with dust, dirt and debris, they are no longer able to their job of improving the indoor air you breathe. Dirty air filters also force your HVAC system to work harder than necessary, decreasing equipment’s life and increasing your energy bills. In fact, Energy.gov reports that replacing a dirty, clogged air filter with a clean one can lower your central air conditioner or furnace energy consumption between 5 and 15 percent! So, you go to change your air filter, but you end up a little confused. Not really paying attention to small details, you take the old filter out, grab the new filter, but which way does it go in? There’s an arrow on the filter with the words “Air Flow”, but what does that mean? How do you know which way the air flow is going? Here’s what you need to know to properly insert a new filter into your HVAC system.

The Arrow and Air Flow Direction

To properly insert a new filter, look for the arrow! The arrow on your filter should always face the unit and away from the return air duct that carries the air that will be heated or cooled. HVAC systems push the cool or warm air out and pull spent air in, recirculating the air throughout your home. This means you want the spent air that is being pulled in to flow through your air filter before being pushed back out into your home. Still confused? A simpler way to figure this out is to always make the arrows face the ceiling or wall. If your filter is on the wall, the arrow should face the wall. If your filter is on the ceiling, the arrow should face the ceiling.

If you find yourself with an air filter that doesn’t have an arrow on it, check it again, as nearly all filters have it. Still not finding the arrow? In this case you’ll need to look at each side of the filter. The side with the wire frame should be facing outward and the side without it will be inside closer to the unit.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve got it figured out, draw the airflow direction arrow on the HVAC housing or ductwork with a permanent marker. The next time you change your filter, match up the arrows’ directions and viola, you’ve properly changed your air filter.

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. 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 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.

Benefits Of Home Air Filters

How Air Filters Work and their benefitsThe list of benefits that come from the use of home air filters can be outlined easily; however, the list contains three very valuable benefits. You may not think about it often but having a full understanding of the true advantages of these relatively simply items will make you realize their importance. Air filters come in a vast number of sizes and several MERV ratings. No matter the size difference or the types available, all air filters are designed to fill these main purposes. The filter size you need is determined by the HVAC unit installed in your home, but there is flexibility in selecting the MERV rating that is best for you regarding desired level of dust control and reduction in allergens. So, what are these three top benefits of home air filters?

Top 3 Home Air Filter Benefits

#1 HVAC System Protection

The lack of maintenance is the most common reason for HVAC system malfunction or failure. Dust is often the culprit as it can build up on the integral parts of the unit. Once the dust has accumulated to a high enough level, there will inevitably be problems. These problems; however, can almost always be prevented by regular maintenance. One of the simplest ways to maintain your system and preserve its life is to use an air filter that fits properly and change your air filter regularly. By doing so, a proper rate of airflow will be circulated around your home so it can be heated or cooled to your desired temperature. This also provides your HVAC system with a protective barrier against dirt and debris; the original and primary reason for home air filter use. Air filters, although inexpensive in comparison to the cost of your HVAC unit, carry a high level of responsibility in keeping your system running efficiently and smoothly. Your air filter traps dust and dirt particles before they can reach and accumulate on the internal and moving components of the unit. The following parts can be contaminated with dust build-up when a poorly-fitting, low quality, or dirty filter is used:

  • fan blade
  • motor
  • coil
  • duct work and vents

#2 Reduction of Dust in Your Home

Your air filter works hard to minimize the dust levels in the indoor air you breathe by preventing dust and debris from collecting on the mechanical parts of your heating and air conditioning system. High-efficiency pleated filters provide a large surface area and a considerable amount of dust-holding capacity. Pleated filters trap and hold several grams of dust, preventing it from blowing through your duct work back into the air you breath and inevitably settling on the surfaces in your home. Battling dust that continues to reappear on bookshelves, tables, window treatments, and decor is a constant point of frustration. Although virtually impossible to eliminate, dust can be greatly reduced by your home’s air filter, assisting you in the fight against dust in your home. US Home Filter recommends a MERV 8 rating at the minimum on your home air filter to control average levels of dust. If you need greater protection from smaller dust particles (fine, suspended dust), then you would benefit from a higher MERV rating. As the MERV rating increasing, finer particles are captured and a higher percentage of dust and microscopic particulate matter (PM) is removed. It is this subject of filtering fine particles, even as small as attached bacteria and viruses, that leads us into the next benefit, a recently popular topic of discussion.

#3 IAQ Improvement

While system protection is the priority and dust reduction is a close runner-up, the importance of air filters related to our indoor air quality (IAQ) is the third on the list of benefits of home air filters. This has become increasingly important as the average person spends 90% of their time in indoor spaces where concentrations of pollutants are 2-5 times greater as compared to the outdoor levels. Wouldn’t you want the cleanest air in the areas where you spend the greatest amount of time? IAQ may be the most important factor in air filtration for those that have serious concerns such as severe allergies and sensitivities to certain particulates and contaminants, perhaps just as important as other items they use, such as allergy medication, to lessen the symptoms caused by allergens. A MERV 8 rating is enough for those that have mild allergies and sensitivities. We recommend a MERV 11 rated air filter when you experience a moderate level of allergy issues. If you are highly sensitive to particulates, pollution, contaminants and various allergenic elements, you should consider a MERV 13 filter which will scrub your air from the finest particles, keeping your air as clean as fresh as possible.

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. 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 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.

 

Improving Indoor Air Quality in Winter

energy saving in winter indoor air qualityHomes are built to be energy efficient, keeping the heat out in summer and keeping heat in during winter. When winter approaches, homeowners prepare by tightly sealing cracks and windows that could allow cold air into their home. This results in reduced ventilation due to the improved air sealing and insulation. It also prevents any fresh air from entering the home, increasing the concentrations of pollutants and allergens in the home. Add in the fact that more time is spent indoors (hobbies and projects come inside), the increased use of scented candles and cleaning products, and your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) is greatly reduced. Trapping air inside your home leads to unhealthy conditions, which is why ventilation and other systems are so important to refresh indoor air and improve your home’s winter indoor air quality.

5 Tips for Improving Winter Indoor Air Quality

According to the EPA, the air that we breathe in our homes, schools and offices can put us at risk for health problems. By improving your winter indoor air quality, you are working to reduce allergens such as mold spores, pollen, dust, pet dander and other impurities. So, what can you do to improve the indoor air quality in your home? Here are 5 tips that will keep you and your family comfortable and breathing a bit easier this winter.

Circulation: Circulation is a form of air replacement and is surprisingly beneficial during the winter months when you tend to keep your home sealed up. On a warmer winter day, allow some clean fresh air to enter and circulate throughout your home. This refreshes your indoor air quality, allowing the “trapped” allergens inside your home a chance to move outside.

Humidity: Adding humidity to the air is often the norm during the cold, dry months by use of humidifiers. However, many allergens, such as dust mites, mold, and bacteria thrive in overly humid conditions. It is important to keep the humidity level in your home in check, ideally around 35%-50%. If the humidity is too low, viruses maintain their infectious nature, too high and allergens multiply. Replace your humidifier filters with fresh humidifier pads or filters twice per season. Use bathroom exhaust fans to keep the moisture level down and keep an eye on basements and storage areas as well. These are ideal locations for potential moisture.

Smoke: Smoke from tobacco, fireplaces, cooking and even candles affects your winter indoor air quality (IAQ). Many of us love the scent of our favorite candle or sitting in front of the fireplace on a cold night, especially during the holidays, but they do not improve the quality of the air you breathe. This does not mean you shouldn’t enjoy these things during those snowy days and nights, but that it is something to be aware of as smoke particles can be bothersome to anyone who suffers from respiratory conditions.

Air Filtration: Furnace filters are a huge help to improving winter indoor air quality beyond their basic purpose of just protecting your HVAC system. Filters add another level of defense by cleansing your air of impurities. Change your air filters regularly to allow your system to work optimally AND provide a new surface area to trap and collect dust and allergens.

Regular Cleaning: Maintaining a clean home will help keep the level of contaminants and dust in your home to a minimum. Once dust and allergens have settled, it is more difficult for them to be trapped by your furnace filter. When you clean, the area where the dust has settled is disturbed, re-dispersing the dust into the air, allowing for another opportunity to be captured. Unfortunately, dust always settles again and keeping it at bay is an ongoing battle. Regular cleaning of surfaces, dusting and vacuuming is the way to help tackle these issues and improve your IAQ!

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. 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 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.

Winter Energy Saving Tips

save energy and winter indoor air qualityFor many, winter is the most wonderful time of the year. It is a season filled with holiday cheer, gatherings with friends and family and holiday magic that only happens when the temperature drops. This is also the time of year when your energy bill tends to climb as the air cools and need to keep yourself and your loved ones warm and cozy indoors. The good news is, there are things you can do to limit the increase on your energy bill and stay comfortable inside. Here are a few effective tips to save energy this winter season that will hopefully make the cold a little more bearable.

Tips to Save Energy in the Winter

Open curtains and blinds during the day – Keeping your blinds and curtains open during the day, especially those on windows that let the most sunlight in, allows the sun to naturally warm your home. In turn, your heating unit won’t need to kick on as often as it would have to if the curtains were drawn. To continue to save energy after the sun goes down, make sure to close the curtains and blinds to help insulate the windows and keep the heat in.

Insulate windows – Unless you have heavy insulating drapes that fit tightly on your window, closing curtains is not the most effective way to keep the cold air out. A more popular, cost effective method is to install clear plastic film around the window frame, creating an airtight seal. The film can be attached directly to the frame or onto the wall. After attaching, simply use a hair dryer to shrink the plastic to seal out the cold air that can seep in through your windows.

Check the fireplace – Traditional fireplaces create a warm, inviting atmosphere we all enjoy, but they need to be properly maintained to save energy in your home. The chimney and fireplace should be inspected once a year, kept clean and sealed. Many people don’t realize that while fireplaces may warm you in the room you’re in, they also suck the heat out of home making it feel colder in other parts of the house. When not in use, close the flue but only AFTER the fire is completely out and there are no smoldering ashes. Closing the flue too soon after the fire is out can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. If you want your fireplace to actually heat your home, call a professional to have it fitted with glass doors and an exchange system that pushes warm air into the home and pulls cold air into the fireplace.

Add insulation – Adding additional insulation to the external walls, basement and attic increases the heat retention in your home. You can install it yourself or hire a professional. A additional layer or two of insulation can save you a lot on your heating bills over the life of your home.

Lower the thermostat – It’s a simple thing to do, but very cost effective. You will save around 2% on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat! According to the Department of Energy, you can easily save energy in the winter by setting your thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. They recommend turning your thermostat back 7°-10° for 8 hours a day to see the largest energy savings.

Install a programmable thermostat – Programmable thermostats help manage energy usage when the heating system is needed most, plus they take the guess work and human error out of the mix. Always make sure that your thermostat has a fresh set of batteries. As stated above, for the most energy savings, set your thermostat at a lower temperature when you are sleeping or not at home.

Check your heating vents – Take a walk through your home to check that all vents are unblocked and have space to push warm air out. It’s inevitable that over time, furniture and toys may shift or be placed in areas that block vents. If the warm air is being blocked from getting out, your HVAC system will have to work harder to get your home to the temperature set on your thermostat.

Clean and maintain the heating system – An annual cleaning and inspection of your HVAC system can do wonders for the unit’s performance when it’s working hard to heat your home. A dirty system causes your unit to work harder, costing you more money, and can also lead to equipment failure. Continue to change your air filters monthly, or according to the manufacturer’s directions. The Department of Energy also reports that replacing dirty filters with clean air filters can reduce your energy consumption up to 15%. With your heating and cooling system being responsible for nearly half of your energy usage, you’re looking at a potential savings on your energy bill of around 7.5% every month.

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. 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 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.