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.

Protecting Your Home from the Flu

preventing home fever and fluFlu season is here and avoiding the flu virus can be tricky. In addition to getting a yearly flu vaccine, health officials urge everyone to wash their hands regularly as it may be the best way to stop the virus from spreading. The CDC also recommends the following everyday actions to prevent the spread of germs:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people if possible
  • While sick, limit contact with others
  • If you have flu symptoms, do not go back to work or school for at least 24 hours AFTER your fever is gone
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Your home (and office) has multiple surfaces that are popular areas for viruses and germs to land. Children’s toys, doorknobs, sinks and telephones are all areas to clean and disinfect regularly. The germiest thing in the home, though, is the remote control. The flu virus spreads though touching something a sick person has touched or sneezed on. The remote control is touched by everyone in your house at some point, especially when sick. Disinfect your remote controls! Unfortunately, you may still find yourself exposed to the flu virus be it by co-workers or school-aged children. The good news is that there are further steps you can take to protect your home from the virus taking root in your house.

Tips to Flu-Proof Your Home

Humidify Your Home

A 2013 study found that the ability of airborne viruses that cause flu infections was greatly reduced when humidity levels were increased to 43% or above. In fact, low humidity environments resulted in 70-77% of viruses retaining their infectious nature, and that number dropped to only 14% when the humidity was increased to 43% or more. A 2009 study resulted in the same conclusion: humidity limits the transmission of the influenza virus. The fact is bacteria and viruses are not able to travel well in moist air. Adding a humidifier to your home could be the difference between remaining healthy this winter or getting the flu.

However, even with all the humidifier benefits, they can become a source of bacteria and mold if they aren’t cleaned regularly. To make sure the humidifier is working for you and not against you, be sure to:

  • Use demineralized or distilled water. Minerals found in tap water can build up in your humidifier and increase growth of bacteria.
  • Clean once a week. The longer you wait between cleanings, the harder it will be and there’s a higher risk of mold and bacteria build up.
  • Change filters regularly! Not all humidifiers have filters, 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. Too much humidity can be just as problematic as not enough humidity. You can measure the humidity in your home with a hygrometer, available at home improvement and electronic stores. The ideal humidity range for your home is between 40-50%.

Ultraviolet Air Cleansing

Another option to protect your home from the flu virus and other germs is to add a UV light air purification to your home. A UV light air purification system usually combines a traditional filter with a UV lamp. A traditional HVAC or furnace filter’s main purpose is to trap dust and other particles from the air, not allowing them back into the air you breathe. When you combine a traditional with a UV lamp, both the removal of particulate matter from the air and the killing of germs and bacteria is maximized.

UV light air purification is by no means a replacement for the regular disinfection in a home or office. However, when used in conjunction with traditional cleaning methods, UV light air purification enhances any system in place that reduces the spread of diseases.

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 or humidifier pad 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 KingAmerican StandardAprilaireGeneralAire 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.

Air Cleaners and Filter Publications

Energy Efficiency and Indoor Air Quality and Air CleanersIt is a proven fact that the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is by removing the sources of pollutants and ventilate with clean air from outside. Filtration, in conjunction with ventilation, is the best way to control these indoor air pollutants. The two main ways of doing this is by using a portable air cleaner and/or changing the air filter in your furnace or HVAC unit.  Portable air cleaners, also called air sanitizers or air purifiers, filter the air in one single room or small area. HVAC or central furnace filters filter air throughout your home. While HVAC filters and portable air cleaners can greatly reduce indoor air pollution, they are not able to remove all pollutants from the air you breathe.

The best way to protect your family from indoor air pollution is to understand filtration and how it works. That way you can make an education decision on what filter is best for your home. Did you know the EPA provides downloadable resources regarding home air cleaners and HVAC/furnace filters?

Portable Air Cleaners, HVAC and Furnace Filter Publications

Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home

This guide focuses on indoor pollutants and the importance of clean air in the home. It is specifically for consumers and includes information on the difference between and how to select portable air cleaners, HVAC and furnace filters. It explains that portable air cleaners, also known as air sanitizers or air purifiers, are designed for single room filtration while central furnace and HVAC filters are designed for whole home filtration. The guide also has an extensive common questions and answers section on air cleaning and filtration.

Residential Air Cleaners – A Technical Summary

This publication comes from the EPA, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, Indoor Environments Division. Like the Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home, it also focuses on residential air cleaners, not those that are used in commercial or industrial settings. The document provides a much more in depth look at the types of indoor pollutants, the different air-cleaning technologies and devices available, metrics to compare them and their effectiveness in removing pollutants indoors. There is also study results on the effects air cleaners can have on your health.

New Guidance for Residential Air Cleaners

Written by members of the ASHRAE (The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), this guide is mainly for professionals, but is also a resource for non-professionals who want to learn more about residential indoor air quality (IAQ). Like the publication above, it is a much more in-depth look at the effective ways to clean indoor air, what steps to take if those ways are not possible or don’t work, as well as information on portable air cleaners and central HVAC systems.

US Home Filter Offers AC Filters for Every HVAC System

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 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.

Understanding Air Filters and How to Choose the Right One

How Your Air Filter Work and How to Choose the Right OneThe air filter in your home HVAC unit is a critical component of the whole system. Made from mostly cardboard and fiber, they may not seem elaborate, but air filters greatly affect your unit’s performance. Not only do they play a big role in indoor comfort, but they also have a major impact on HVAC equipment. Here is what you need to know about air filters, how they work, and why they are so important in maintaining your home’s heating and cooling systems. Hopefully, it will also aid you in selecting the right filter to best fit your needs!

How Air Filters Function and Work

Air filters are typically manufactured with one of these two materials: spun fiberglass material or pleated paper/cloth. The material is enclosed in a cardboard frame, then made into different sizes to fit all the various HVAC systems available. The filter’s primary function is to trap and hold all different kinds of particulates and contaminants in the air that circulate through your heating and cooling system. Most of which affect your health and comfort. A few of these contaminants include:

  • Mold & spores
  • Pollen
  • Hair & animal fur
  • Bacteria/Microorganisms
  • Dust and dirt
  • Fibers and lint
  • Metal, plaster or wood particles

The air filtration occurs when the disbursed air is “sucked” back into the HVAC system where it is conditioned and then used again. During this process, air is forced through the air filter. The spun fiberglass or pleated paper/cloth traps the particulates and contaminants, removing them from the air. These particles are now no longer able to be recirculated into the air you breathe.

MERV Ratings and Filter Efficiency

As with almost all products we purchase, there are lower-end, mid-level and high-end choices available. Not all products are created equal. Not all air filters will clean your air with the same efficiency. The higher the quality, the more contaminants that will be removed from your indoor air. Keep in mind that these higher quality air filters are usually cost a bit more.

This is where the filter’s MERV rating comes into the picture. MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value”. It is a numeric value for rating and comparing the filter’s efficiency and performance. The range for standard MERV values is typically from 1 to 16; the number indicating how well the filter will remove material from the air. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration.

MERV 1-4: Common standard filters. Basic filtration. Low cost.
MERV 6-8: Good filtration and typically used in residential settings. Made of cloth or pleated paper.
MERV 9-12: Middle of the road filters with relatively high efficiency. Can trap particles of 1 micron or larger.
MERV 13-16: Highest efficiency, best standard filters available. Can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns or larger.

There are filters available with MERV ratings higher than 16; however, they are thick and dense, and a typical residential HVAC system cannot readily handle them. In fact, they can interfere with the airflow by restricting it. This reduces the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems and can even result in damage to the HVAC equipment. Make sure that your HVAC system can handle filters with MERV ratings higher than 16 before buying and installing one.

There are also additional units that can be installed along with your HVAC system that are designed for air filtration and purification. These air cleaners provide an additional step “on top” of the regular filtration, cleaning your air even further.

Air Filter Maintenance

All the air that circulates through your HVAC system, to heat or cool your home, will eventually pass through the air filter. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep your air filters clean and change them regularly. Dirty, clogged air filters can:

  • Cause HVAC system malfunctions and equipment damage.
  • Reduce airflow inside the HVAC system, making the fans work harder and wear out quicker.
  • NOT remove particulates and contaminants as effectively as they should, therefore releasing these back into your indoor air (the air that you and your family breathe).
  • Cause contaminates to build up in your duct work.
  • Cause the HVAC equipment to work harder, increasing your home’s energy usage and your monthly electric bill payments.

Air filters should be checked at least once a month. If they are dirty, change them out with a fresh clean air filter. To check if your air filter is dirty, remove it from the air filter and hold it up to a light source. If you can’t see the light through the filter, then it’s time for it to be changed.

US Home Filter Offers AC Filters for Every HVAC System

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 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.

Fighting Fall Allergies

allergiesThe fall season is here. Summer blooms have come to pass and made way for autumn shades, cool evenings, and more time spent indoors. Although fall is a favorite time of year for most people with its vibrantly colored foliage, milder temperatures, and delicious comfort foods, many live in fear of the itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose this season brings them. That means the “fight against fall allergies” that afflicts numerous individuals is in full force.

In addition to the beautiful elements that many look forward to, the autumn weather also welcomes in a new season of allergies for others that can be particularly bothersome. Some allergy sufferers will find relief from summer allergies as fall rolls in, while others may be preparing to take their turn. Those that are the least fortunate may have to battle with various forms of allergens throughout the changing seasons.

Common Fall Allergy Triggers

Ragweed – Ragweed continues to pollinate and cause misery to its victims in the form of hay fever or allergic rhinitis right up until the first hard freeze. Ragweed is one of the most abundant and widespread types of pollen, with each plant being capable of producing up to 1 billion grains of pollen each season. There are many other types of weeds that generate pollen, such as sagebrush and goldenrod, that vary depending on the different regions of the country.

Mold – When mold levels are high, mold allergies can be especially troublesome and cause allergic responses for those who are not normally bothered by mold. Mold levels increase with warmer weather and greater levels of moisture. Wet surfaces such as tree bark, brick walkways, and leaf piles provide an ideal breeding ground for mold.

Indoor Allergens – Most have a habit of spending more time indoors during the fall season. If you’re lucky enough to have a home that is a biotechnology clean-room, then you should have no issues. But on average, no matter how hard a person tries to create a contaminant-free environment, you will still be exposed to some degree to the most common indoor allergies – dust and pet dander.

Knowledge is power. Those with allergies or sensitivities to these allergens are accustomed to practices that minimize exposure and help defend against the effects of these airborne irritants. If allergies are a new concern for you, there is an overwhelming amount of tips and advice online, but there are a few basic points to become familiar with.

Allergy Prevention/Reduction Recommendations

Check the pollen count – Pollen count fluctuates daily, even multiple times during each day. Pollen can have a significant impact on those who are allergic. Those allergic to pollen often look to numerous online resources and apps that are available to plan their outdoor activities around the anticipated pollen count. Find one that you like and remember to use it when planning YOUR outdoor schedule.

Minimize mold When the conditions are right, mold can grow anywhere indoors or outdoors. Mold only has two basic requirements to grow – moisture and food. Moisture can be in the form of humidity, condensation, standing water, or water leaks. Mold’s food comes in the form of a surface where the mold can grow on. Ideal surfaces for mold growth are natural or organic in nature such as leaves, paper, wood, and clothing.

Do away with dust – Dust is nearly impossible to get rid of completely as it must be controlled at the source. Despite strong efforts to remove it, dust is extremely difficult to remove as there are numerous sources of dust and its constantly reintroduced into the environment.

Hold back the humidity – The air tends to be more dry in some areas during this time of year, but some regions have a higher level of humidity. Mold and dust mites thrive in more humid environments. Dehumidifiers are very helpful in removing moisture from the air, making it the least ideal conditions for the dust mites and mold to multiply. If you already use a dehumidifier at home or at work, remember to change the humidifier pad regularly.

Improve your IAQ – IAQ refers to Indoor Air Quality. One of the most important things you can do to assist with keeping your air clean is regularly change your air filters (including your air conditioning, furnace and whole house air filter). Your air filter provides an added level of defense against dust. It not only protects your HVAC system components and keep your unit clean, but it also removes dust and allergens from your air.

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.

MERV, MPR or FPR?

merv vs mpr vs fpr ratingFilters can be complicated to understand. Some HVAC systems have the recommended type of filter written on a label that is stuck right on the side of the unit. Other systems leave it up to you to decide what filter you want to use. With all the different sizes available, thicknesses, and types, it’s easy to get confused. On top of it, there are acronyms on the filters that are also part of a filter’s rating system. We’ve talked before about MERV ratings, what they mean and how it relates to the filter you buy. But there are two other acronyms that appear on some filters as well: MPR and FPR. This confuses things even more. What do they stand for? How do you make sense of them all when comparing filters? Is one more efficient than another?

MERV vs. MPR vs. FPR Rating

MERV FILTERS

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Developed in 1987 by ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning), the MERV systems provides standardized ratings consumers can use to compare the effectiveness of the different air filters available. It provides clarity to what level of filtration can be expected from an air filter with a specific MERV rating. In other words, this means that any MERV 8 rated air filter will filter the same as any other filter with a MERV 8 rating.

MERV ratings (ranging from 1-16) score the performance level of a filter in regards to the removal of airborne particles from 0.3-10 microns in size. A micron is the measurement used for airborne particles. One micron is 1/1000th mm which is equal to 1/25,000ths of an inch. The human eye can see particles beginning around 20 microns; however, in perfect conditions, it is at times possible to see particles as little as 10 microns. To put that into a visual, a dot (.) is just about 600 microns.

The MERV system is the only nationally regulated and independent filtration system.

MPR FILTERS

MPR stands for Microparticle Performance Rating. This rating is exclusive to filters that are manufactured and sold by the home improvement brand 3M in partnership with Filtrete. These filters serve the same function as all other filters – cleaning the air being brought into your HVAC system of allergens, dirt and debris before returning the air back into your home.

MPR ratings (ranging from 300-1900) also gauge the size of the particles they will remove from the air, but only from 0.3-1 micron in size. Filtrete (3M) filters are the only filters that carry the MPR rating and there is currently no independent third-party testing available for comparison to MERV rated filters.

FPR FILTERS

FPR stands for Filter Performance Rating. This rating is also exclusive, but to filters that are manufactured and sold by the Home Depot. Unlike MERV and MPR ratings, the Home Depot does not supply a size range for the particles these filters will remove. Instead, filters are assigned an FPR number (such as FPR 10) for the particle removal measurement.

FPR ratings range from 4-10, with FPR 4 being economy filters and FPR 10 being premium filters. The Home Depot does provide a guidance chart to compare the contaminants the filters will remove; however, FPR ratings to not clarify what a large particle is versus what what a small particle is. Home Depot brand filters are the only filters that carry the FPR rating and there is currently no independent third-party testing available for comparison to MERV rated filters.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

The biggest difference between these ratings is the makers of the filters themselves. Just remember, the most important thing when choosing an air filter, regardless of rating, is that it is compatible with your 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, your unit running at its maximum efficiency, and your energy costs down. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filters available and all are labeled with the nationally regulated MERV rating. 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.

Defining the Different Filter Types

How to determine if your air filter type is the correct size for your unitAccording to the EPA, indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks. Making sure your air filter fits properly within your system and regularly cleaned is imperative to keep your furnace or AC system operating properly and protecting indoor air quality. Before ordering or purchasing an air filter, make sure you look at your HVAC unit and measure the space for the air filter to determine the size and type of filter you need. US Home Filter specializes in many different filter types, including AC air filters (for all major brands), Whole House Air Filters, Furnace filters, Grille filters and even Humidifier pads. We offer a vast selection of standard sized air filters, as well as custom sized AC filters. With all the different options available, how do you know which filter type you need? What is the difference between them? Here’s what you need to know.

Filter Type Differences

Air Filters

Air filters are used to protect the vital components of your HVAC system from accumulating dirt and debris. They improve your indoor air quality by capturing and reducing dust and allergens such as mold spores, pollen, pet dander, and even odors. Whether you have central heating and air conditioning or separate heating and cooling units, the same air filter will be used for both. This is because they (typically) share the same air-handler. Standard air filters are 1″ and 2″ in size and need to be changed every 1-3 months. Regularly changing your air filters is also the easiest way to maintain your HVAC unit.

Whole House Air Filters

Another filter type is Whole House Air filters. These filters also work to remove particles from the air, improve indoor air quality and protect your HVAC system. They are also known as also known as Residential Air Cleaners, Media Filters, and Whole House Air Cleaners. The difference between these and regular Air Filters is that Whole House Filters are larger in size and only need to be changed every 6-12 months due to the greater surface area. Any filter 3″ or thicker is designed to be a whole house filter. Their increased filter media also allows for a much higher airflow rate.

Custom Air Filters

Custom air filter sizes are not stocked on shelves or found at local stores. There are tens of thousands of possible size combinations for filters so there is no way to keep each size in stock. However, you can get the exact size you need by building a custom air filter. If you’ve measured your air filter housing slot and are unable to find a standard sized air filter within 5/8th-inch smaller than the housing slot, then your unit requires a custom sized air filter. US Home filter can make custom air filters in 1″, 2″ and 4″ depths.

Grille Filters

Grille filters are used in ceilings, grilles of walls and in the return air vents. They are not used in an air handler like those mentioned above. There should be at least a 7-in depth behind the grille, providing enough space for installation and airflow through the filter. Much like Whole House Air Filters, the increased surface area and depth of Grille filters provide greater airflow and efficiency compared to standard 1-in filters. This filter type should be changed every 6-12 months depending on environmental factors.

Humidifier Pads

Separate from HVAC and grille filters, humidifiers add moisture to your air, counteracting the drying effect that your furnace has during the cold months. Having a humidifier in your home can also help save on energy costs! When you add moisture back into the air it allows the air to feel warmer and more comfortable at a lower temperature. In other words, moist air feels warmer than dry air. On average, you can set your thermostat 2-3 degrees lower when you have a humidifier and achieve the same air temperature that you would without one. Humidifiers help those prone to sinus infections, asthma, allergies, and respiratory conditions. Humidifier pads facilitate the process that disperses moisture into your air. Wick filters, evaporator pads and vapor pads are other common names for humidifier pads.

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. This keeps 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. 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 so our 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 and low prices. Plus, enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Winterizing Your HVAC System

Preparing your hvac for winterIt may be the beginning of fall, but many parts of the United States are already experiencing winter-like conditions! This means that furnaces are already being turned on and are running hard to make sure we’re warm and cozy. With this sudden shift in weather, is your furnace ready for the challenges ahead? Take a look at the following tips to make sure your HVAC is running smoothly and efficiently this fall and winter.

Winter HVAC System Tips

1. Clean or Replace Air Filters

Keeping your air filter clean is an integral part of maintaining your HVAC system, which is why it is so important to understand air filters and how they function. Clogged, dirty air filters will cause your furnace to work harder than it should, driving up your energy bills for no reason. Dirty air filters can also cause major system malfunctions and equipment damage. Just as the southern states dread their AC’s going out in the middle of summer, those of us that are braving the cold don’t want to be without heat. Check your air filters at least once a month. If your air filters are dirty, change them out for a fresh clean one. US Home Filters has a huge selection of furnace filters to fit everyones needs! Order in bulk so you always have them on hand to take the stress out of monthly maintenance this winter.

2. Clean Air Vents

It is important to get the dust and particles off of the air vents, just as we do when we vacuum the floor and carpet in our homes. Most contaminants and particulates are trapped in the air filter as the air passes through the HVAC system; however, some do get through and over time, dust builds up in and on the duct work. Vacuuming out the air vents will help prevent blockages and indoor air quality problems, and help maintain a consistent temperature inside your home this winter. According to epa.gov, a thorough cleaning of the air vents is recommended if the ducts are clogged with an excessive amount of dust and debris. If this is the case in your home, call a professional to clean your air vents. Otherwise, a quick vacuum should be enough to keep things running efficiently.

3. Add Some Insulation

Insulation plays a large role in the overall efficiency of your home’s HVAC system. Insulation provides the thermal barrier for your home, keeping heat out when its warm and in when its cold. The more heat you keep in your house, the less work your furnace has to do to keep the temperature inside your house consistent. You should check your attic to make sure there is adequate insulation. If you think yours needs to be replaced or added to, don’t hesitate to call a professional to check and make sure your home’s insulation is adequate and efficient. The savings on your energy bill over time will most likely justify the cost of adding additional insulation to your home.

4. Check Your Thermostat

Thermostats should have a fresh set of batteries when cold weather hits. To save the most on energy costs, set your thermostat at a cooler temperature 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. Also consider investing in a programmable thermostat. These thermostats take guess work and human error out of the mix. You are able to set the time for the temperature to change every day and walk away without having to remember to adjust anything before you leave for work or go to bed. This also keeps your thermostat set on the most energy efficient settings all day and all season long.

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.

What to Check Before Turning on the Heat

turning the heat on for the first timeAs the temperature drops, you may switch on the heat without a second thought. However, after your heater has sat unused for most of the year, it’s not the best idea to just turn it on and expect it to work right away. In fact, there are a few important things that should be checked before you even turn the heater on for the first time to avoid system malfunctions and costly breakdowns. Here are the things to check before turning on your heat to ensure your home is safe and your furnace is well maintained.

Pre Heat Checklist

1. Change your air filter.

First and foremost, before you even try to turn on your heat, make sure your air filter is new and clean. We’ve talked numerous times in the past about the importance of changing your filters. How often you should change them depends on numerous factors like the type of filter, pets and allergies; however, in general filters should be changed every 1-3 months.  If you are unsure, monitoring your AC filter for a month. If it’s dirty at the end of the month you know you need to change it monthly.

2. Check for obstructions near the unit.

This one is easy to forget as many heaters are located in areas we don’t regularly go into (e.g. the garage or attic) and share space with many other things. Make sure that your heater isn’t surrounded by flammable materials or chemicals to prevent any dangerous situations. The unit should be free from clutter on all sides, so it has ample room to operate properly.

3. Check your supply and return vents.

Go around to each room in your house and make sure they are open. Closed registers, even in unused rooms, don’t save money. In fact, they make your unit less efficient. If there is any dust or debris stuck to the grates, wipe them down or vacuum away the dust.

4. Is there a funny smell?

Once the clean air filter is in place, you’ve checked your furnace’s surroundings and the return and supply vents, you can now turn on your heat. You may notice a funny smell coming from your registers. This is actually burning dust that has settled on the heating components when they were not in use. Opening a few windows will get rid of the odor, or it will go away on its own after a while. If you’re still smelling the burning odor, check your filters and ducts for dust – they may need to be cleaned. If you see any fire or smoke, turn it off right away, extinguish the fire and call 911.

5. Check the current carbon monoxide detector reading.

If your home doesn’t have a carbon monoxide detector, we recommend purchasing and installing one. The alarm on the detector will go off if the reading is above 30. If this happens, turn off your furnace and call a technician right away. Open up the windows and don’t turn the heat on again until a technician has checked the system. You may even want to leave the house all together if the reading is above 30.

6. Is the furnace making strange noises?

If your furnace is making unusual noises or seems to be struggling to operate, it may mean that it needs a tune up. Check the breaker if it is not blowing warm air and make sure the unit is receiving power. Some heating systems rely on electric heat pumps that run a defrost cycle when the temperature goes below 40 degrees. Once the cycle is complete, the heat should turn on again.

Once you have checked #1-3 before turning on your heater for the first time, and followed #4-6, you should have a good idea if your furnace is running correctly or not. All appliances have the potential to be dangerous so take the appropriate steps ahead of time to be safe. A thorough check early in the season will take care of any issues that may be present before it gets too cold out, keeping your family safe and warm.

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 heat running at its maximum efficiency this Fall and Winter. 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.

How Leaves Affect HVAC Systems

Leaves and HVAC SystemsFall is officially here, and with that we get to experience the cooler weather and see the amazing change of colors around us. As beautiful as the leaves are as they turn from greens to oranges, yellows and reds, we also know that they will eventually be falling to the ground below. Unfortunately, falling leaves also bring with them new potential hazards to your homes HVAC system. It’s hard to believe that something so simple can wreak such havoc on an HVAC system; however, if you don’t protect your unit diligently, it could be in trouble.

The Problem with Fallen Leaves

The portion of your HVAC system that lives outside your home is a cabinet that contains the condenser coil and compressor. These components’ job is to expel latent heat that has been collected from inside your house. In order to do this, the cabinet also houses a powerful fan that draws cool air in from the sides and bottom of the unit. The warm air is then dispersed out through the top of the cabinet.

As you can see, air flow and circulation are critical for your outdoor HVAC cabinet to work properly. When leaves fall to the ground and accumulate at the bottom of the unit, they can block this crucial airflow, causing difficulty for your HVAC system to expel the latent heat.  As your HVAC has to work harder, it is no longer working efficiently. This leads to increased energy consumption, higher bills and potential damage to the condenser coil and compressor.

Protecting Your HVAC System in Fall

Protecting your outdoor HVAC unit is essential for preparing your home for fall and winter. Every home will likely have leaves, sticks, dirt, grass clippings, and other items gather up against the unit. The most important thing is to keep the condenser and the area that surrounds it free from any type of the debris. Make sure you:

  • Clear away any buildup of debris and trash from around the unit
  • Trim back vegetation and overhanging branches (within a minimum of 2 feet around the unit) to prevent leaves from falling though the vent fan.
  • Rake your yard regularly to keep it free from fallen leaves and other debris.
  • Make sure you inspect and keep the HVAC cabinet clean. If any leaves or debris are found inside, use an air compressor to blow them out.
  • Protect your HVAC unit with a cover when it’s not in use.

Energy.gov reports that heating and cooling accounts for more than half the energy use in a typical US home, so it’s important to keep it working as efficiently 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 this Fall. 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.