Tree Pollen Signals the Onset of Spring

The beginning of spring can be a time of awakening and a much welcomed reprieve from the cold and gloomy winter weather. However, for many of us, springtime also means the beginning of allergy season. For those that suffer from pollen allergies, the effects can start to appear as early as January in the southern US states while those in the north won’t feel it until until May or June. Trees are the earliest producers of pollen and trigger the first onset allergy symptoms in those that have a sensitivity to pollen. In fact, the pollen count is currently so elevated in some areas of the United States that people without a known allergy to tree pollen can feel some allergy symptoms.

Interesting Tree Pollen Facts

  • The earliest seasonal allergen of the year
  • The oak is the most common allergenic tree
  • Tree pollen is similar to proteins found in some varieties of nuts, fruits, and vegetables. This means there is a higher chance for someone that has tree allergies to also have some food allergies
  • The World Health Organization and the International Union of Immunological Societies (WHO/IUIS) allergen nomenclature subcommittee have established 53 different allergens associated with trees.
  • The onset, length, and severity of pollen season is affected by changes in weather

When To Expect Tree Pollen Season In Your Area

As seen on the map below, tree pollen season rolls out as early as January in the southern states and lasts into June. This season begins starting a little later the as you move north up the map. The best region for those with tree pollen allergies is in the northern states as tree pollen is usually only active for about 4 months out of the year. In the southern states it gets warmer earlier in the year and tree pollen can be in full force for a six whole months.

tree pollen season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which Trees Are The Biggest Culprits?

Pollen allergens are viewed as a significant health factor responsible for allergic rhinitis and asthma, so there have been and continue to be numerous in-depth studies regarding this subject. Allergenic trees can basically be divided into into four orders that have been determined to be the most potent sources: Fagales, Lamiales, Proteales, and Pinales. There is a pattern of geographical distribution for each order and allergenic trees are found in almost every part of the world. Below is an outline of the basic details of each order of allergenic tree and the typical location of each within the United States.

tree pollen is the most common allergen that can begin as early as January
Geographic distribution of allergenic Fagales, Lamiales, Proteales, and Pinales species. The distribution data were extracted from maps provided on www.eol.org. Photographs of florescences of members of the Fagales (birch Betula verrucosa), Proteales (plane tree Platanus acerifolia), Lamiales (lilac Syringa vulgaris and olive Olea europaea), and Pinales (mountain cedar Juniperus ashei and Japanese cedar Cryptomeria japonica) were obtained from Fotolia.
  • Fagales
    • come in tree or shrub form
    • may have cylindrical or spiked flowers
    • grow in more temperate climates
    • found mainly in eastern and extreme western US
    • types include Birch, Alder, Hornbeam, Hazelnut, Beech, Chestnut, and Oak
  • Proteales
    • drops leaves annually and grow laterally
    • produce ball shaped flowers
    • located mainly in Arizona, New Mexico, and California
    • types include American Sycamore, California Sycamore, Arizona Sycamore, Western Sycamore, American Plane, and Buttonwood
  • Lamiales
    • flowering shrubs or trees
    • scattered widely across the United States
    • includes over 23,000 species, four of which have been noted to contain allergenic proteins
    • types include European Ash, Common Privet, Olive, and Lilac
  • Pinales
    • produce cones
    • the most widespread group throughout a majority of the US
    • there are seven families within this order, but only one genera (Cupressaceae) has been marked as allergenic
    • types include False Cypress, Japanese Cedar, Arizona Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress, Japanese Cypress, and Junipers

Dealing With the Symptoms

You probably have a tree pollen allergy if you find yourself sneezing and sniffling at the start of spring, or even earlier if you in the southern US states. Many times, the symptoms of a pollen allergy are referred to as hay fever. These symptoms include:

  • sneezing, runny nose
  • congestion, stuffy nose
  • red, itchy, watery eyes
  • swollen or puffy eyes

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

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

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 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.

Air Purifiers – Are They Worth It?

Energy Efficiency, Indoor Air Quality, Air Cleaners and Air PurifiersThe popularity of air purifiers, also known as air cleaners, has grown since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Everyone is looking for the healthiest indoor environments, bit it at work or at home. There is a lot of information out there, some better than others, regarding air purifiers and their ability to further protect us and our families from contaminated air. Here’s what you need to know.

What is an Air Purifier?

Air purifiers are installed in your home’s HVAC system ductwork and provide an additional layer of trapping and removing indoor air pollution on top of your pleated air filter. Air cleaning devices use a variety of means to further clean your indoor air via UV light, high efficiency mechanical filters and even electrostatic force. These different methods aid in the removal of pollutants, allergens, and microscopic particulates.

Benefits of Air Purifiers

As we’ve stated in past posts, the EPA reports that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks. People who suffer from asthma and/or allergies can be greatly affected, sometimes life-threateningly, from indoor air pollutants. If you, your children or loved ones suffer from severe reactions to indoor air particulates or allergens, you want to do everything in your power to remove the source from your home.

Small particulates that easily pass through a standard air filter are trapped and ionized by air purifiers. These particulates include:

  • dust mites
  • molds
  • bacteria
  • viruses

Some air purification systems may also destroy gaseous pollutants (such as cigarette smoke) as well as offgassing. Offgassing, sometimes called outgassing, describes the release of gases, chemicals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air from building materials, cleaning products, paints, adhesives, varnishes, carpets/upholstery and even printers.

Types of Air Purifiers

There are two main system categories for air purifiers: filtration based and “other”. The “other” system category includes those with UV-light and UV light enhanced systems, like ozone generators. The EPA website is a great tool for air purifier information and available products.

Are Air Purifiers Worth It?

Air cleaning devices can vary in their effectiveness and cost, especially the ones that are integrated into your HVAC system’s ductwork. The easiest way to implement a new air purifier within your HVAC system is to do so when a new system is installed, rather than adding one into an existing unit. Although effective, the best thing to do is try to eliminate source of the pollution or allergen. Deep clean your home, remove mold and other pollution/irritant sources first, then try adding an air purifier or high-MERV air filter system if removing the pollutants was ineffective or impossible.

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) 435-9600 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.

Pet’s Impact on Indoor Air

pet's and home allergensHaving pets makes home and health maintenance critical. This is especially important when we learn about how pets can affect the air your family breathes. One of the leading causes of indoor air pollution is pet dander, and it can cause major problems on both immune systems and HVAC systems. Pet allergens are exceptionally light weight and small and can remain suspended in the air for a long time. Even longer than allergens from dust mites and cockroaches. The American Lung Association reports that 27% of homes in the United States have pet cats and dogs are in 32% of homes. Due to all these factors, it is important to understand how your pet’s dander can affect your home and health.

Your Pet’s Dander

Pet’s dander is equivalent to human dandruff, however, as stated above, these skin cells are much smaller and lighter than most of the other allergens in the home. Due to their microscopic size and sticky texture, they can stay airborne longer and cling to the surfaces in your home. Pet’s fur carries the dander and releases them into the air, they eventually settle on everything in your home – your floors, furniture, bedding, walls – and can retain their potency for months.

Even though roughly 15% of Americans are allergic to dogs and/or cats, 1/3 will still own one of the two animals, if not both. This is most concerning for people with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory sensitivities, especially since Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors. Other ways pets can impact household irritants are:

  • HVAC systems circulate allergens throughout the home after grooming.
  • Filters clog quicker from increased hair and dust.
  • Contaminants increase with litter box waste, odors, and dried saliva.
  • Outside allergens such as mold, pollen and others are carried in from outside on our pets.

If possible, keep pets away from bedding and furniture. Regular cleaning is also essential, especially changing your air filter on a regular basis. Don’t forget that pet owners may need to change their home air filters twice as often as a home without pets!

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 to keep your indoor air quality clean and your heat 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 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.

Naturally Improve Your Home’s IAQ

As you probably know by now, the MOST effective way to improve your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) is to regularly change your air/furnace filters. However, in addition to that very important task, there are other ways to further clean your indoor air.

How to Increase Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality…Naturally

Improve Your Home's indoor air quality IAQ

Houseplants

Houseplants are not only a great addition to your home’s décor, but they also help to improved indoor air quality as well! NASA’s 1989 Clean Air Study reported that houseplants help with the removal of chemicals from your home’s indoor air. Plants remove chemicals such as ammonia, xylene, trichloroethylene, benzene and  formaldehyde, all of which have been linked to negative health effects like eye irritation, headaches, and nausea. For best results, one plant per 100sq.ft. is necessary for the most effective air cleaning.

The clean air study also found that some plants are better at purifying the air than others.  Spider plants and Boston Ferns are two of the best at air purifying as they ward off xylene and trichloroethylene which are known to cause nausea, headaches, and dizziness among other symptoms. Bring a Peace Lily and Chrysanthemum into your home and it battles all 5 indoor air pollutants, although they may require extra care.

Salt Lamps

Salt lamps are made from Himalayan pink salt and are natural air purifiers due to salt’s natural hygroscopic qualities. Hygroscopic means that it attracts water molecules from the surrounding air. It is this quality of salt crystals that reduces airborne irritants, allergens and pathogens by attracting the water vapor and toxins out of the air and then neutralizing them. Salt lamps not only improve air purification when they are turned on, but they also work when turned off too!

Essential Oils

Essential oils have been around for centuries, but in recent years have grown in popularity. They are the final natural air purifier on our list. Essential oils such as tea tree, grapefruit, lemon, thyme, cinnamon, oregano, clove and rosemary can eliminate indoor air of bacteria, mold, viruses and fungi. Thieves Oil, a blend of pine needle, cinnamon, thyme, eucalyptus, lemon and grapefruit, has shown to kill 99.96% of airborne bacteria. Essential oil diffusers can be purchased almost anywhere.

US Home Filter Carries HVAC Filters to Fit All Units

No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly to keep your indoor air quality clean and your heat and AC running at its maximum efficiency. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filters 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 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 Reasons to Use Humidifiers

humidifiersDuring this winter season, the air has become increasingly cold and harsh. Running the heat keeps us warm, but it also depletes the moisture from indoor air. This can cause many individuals’ discomfort as excessively dry air can result in dry skin, irritated eyes, nose, and/or throat, respiratory tract inflammation increasing risk of cold, flu, and infection, static electricity – flyaway hair, clingy clothes, getting shocked, brittle, warped, cracked wood surfaces, gaps or creaking in floors, loosened furniture joints or window frames. Humidifiers are invaluable during this cold, dry season. They increase indoor comfort, soothe dry skin, and can even reduce your heating costs! On top of that, humidifiers have another important purpose: keeping you healthy. If you aren’t using a humidifier already, here are the main reasons you should start right now.

Humidifiers Help Stop the Spread of Flu and Other Viruses

Germs and viruses, including the flu and COVID-19, survive and spread in dry air conditions. Keeping your indoor humidity level in the appropriate range means these germs are less able to survive and be passed to those around you. A2013 study reported that the ability of airborne viruses to cause infections was significantly reduced in indoor areas with humidity levels 43% or above. In low humidity environments, 70-77% of viruses retained their infectious nature, and that number decreased to only 14% when the humidity was increased to 43%+. This was also confirmed in another study completed in 2009 that resulted in the same conclusion: humidity decreases the transmission of the influenza virus.

Humidifiers Help You Breathe

The flu, runny nose, cough and congestion, and sore throats often make breathing seem difficult in dry conditions. Humidifiers add the moisture back into the air you breathe moisturizing your nasal, throat, and lung passages, letting air pass through easier. Whenever you or a family member are sick, run a warm mist humidifier to soothe symptoms and for increased comfort.

Humidifiers Help You Recover Faster

Since humidifiers make your indoor environment more comfortable, they allow you to relax and fight off whatever germs/viruses faster. Dry air also plays a role in snoring which increases with dry sinuses and throats. Humidifiers put that moisture we need back into the air to soothe throats and sinuses. They also make your house feel warmer and more comfortable, encouraging a good night’s rest.

Humidifiers Help Prevent Future Illness

Our noses are equipped with cilia which are tiny hairs inside the nasal canals. Cilia protects the nasal and respiratory passages from bacteria, germs, dust, and other foreign particles which, if let through, can possibly trigger illness. When nasal passages are dry, the cilia can’t do their job effectively. Humidifiers ensure your nasal airways stay moist and help these tiny hairs continue to do their job of warding off germs and bacteria.

Don’t Suffer This Winter – Try a Humidifier!

Humidity is simply the level of moisture in the air. Utilizing a humidifier increases the level of indoor humidity, decreasing the level of dryness in the air. As noted above, there are many immediate improvements that come from the use of a humidifier. A stand-alone unit is less expensive and easier to set up than a whole house humidifier. If you’re unsure about committing to a whole house unit, a stand-alone unit is the way to start enjoying the results immediately!

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All Units

No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly to keep your indoor air quality clean and your heat 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 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 Winter Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Improve Your Homes Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)You might expect some relief from allergens and the allergies that they cause during the winter months. However, the colder months have proven to be very a very challenging time for those that suffer from indoor air allergies. Indoor air allergies are caused by dust and the allergens that are contained/associated with it. Weather you can see them or not, pollutants, allergens, and other debris are lingering in your air. Improving your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) during the winter months can make a big difference, especially to those with allergies and respiratory issues. The EPA reports that the air that we breathe in our homes, in schools and in offices can put us at risk for health problems. Improving your IAQ will reduce allergens such as dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and other impurities and help your family breathe a bit easier.

Five Tips for Improving Your Winter IAQ

Circulation – The most beneficial thing you can do during the winter months (when your home is typically closed up) is keep the air circulating, which is a form of air replacement. On a “warmer” winter day, let some clean fresh air in to circulate throughout your home. This refreshes your indoor air and allows the allergens that are “trapped” inside your house a chance to move outside, increasing your home’s IAQ.

Humidity – As the air becomes more and more dry, increased humidity is often desired in the cold, dry months. However, many allergens, such as dust mites, mold, and bacteria thrive in overly-humid conditions. Turning on your humidifier is definitely necessary, but make sure to keep the relative indoor humidity level around 35%-50%. Also important – replacing your humidifier filters with fresh humidifier pads or filters about twice per season. When using the bathroom, especially when enjoying hot sowers, use the bathroom exhaust fans to keep the moisture level down. Keep an eye on basements and storage areas as well, as these are ideal locations for potential moisture.

Smoke – A tiny vapor particle that, in any form, will affect your indoor air quality. Examples include: smoke from tobacco, fireplaces, cooking, and even burning candles. Some of these produce a desirable scent or cozy atmosphere, however, they do not improve the quality of the air you breathe. Continue to enjoy and use your fireplaces and candles, but be aware that smoke particles can be bothersome to those respiratory conditions.

Air Filtration – Your furnace filters are a huge help with improving IAQ as their function goes beyond the basic purpose of just protecting your HVAC system (their main job). In fact, they add a level of defense by cleansing your air of impurities. Always keep on a regular schedule with changing your air filters as well. This allows your system to function optimally and continuously provides new surface areas for dust and allergens to collect on.

Regular Cleaning – Maintaining a clean home will only help keep the level of contaminants and dust to a minimum. Once dust and debris has settled, it is more difficult for them to be picked up by your furnace filter unless the area is disturbed. Regular vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning of surfaces will re-disperse the dust, allowing another opportunity for it to be captured by your filter before settling again.

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

Humidifier Season is Here

Humidifier PadDid you even know there was a humidifier season? It occurs during the driest months of the year, which is October through March (for most of us). Humidifiers and humidifier pads, also known as humidifier filters, can be very beneficial during the cold, dry, fall and winter months. While our heaters are working hard to keep us warm, air filters and furnace filters clean contaminants from indoor air. Adding a humidifier unit to these elements will make your environment even more enjoyable when cold weather settles in.

Do You Need a Humidifier?

As the weather transitions from fall to winter, the air becomes increasingly cold and harsh. Heaters are being run constantly to keep us warm, but they are also depleting the moisture from the indoor air. This can cause many individuals’ discomfort as excessively dry air can result in a number of issues. The signs that your indoor air is too dry are:

  • Dry, irritated skin, eyes, nose, and/or throat
  • Inflammation of respiratory tract increasing risk of cold, flu, and infection
  • Increased static electricity – flyaway hair, clingy clothes, getting shocked
  • Brittle, warped, cracked wood surfaces, gaps or creaking in floors, loosened furniture joints or window frames

Benefits of Humidified Air

Luckily, these dry-air side effects are not ones you have to put up with. Increasing the level of humidity in your home can provide a significant amount of relief. What can you expect when moisture is added to your air?

  • Soft, supple skin
  • Relief from nasal passage and throat dryness
  • Less risk of sickness and infection
  • Improved healing times
  • Reduction in static electricity
  • Wood surfaces and flooring protection

Humidifier Types

There are two main categories of humidifiers: whole-house and stand-alone. Both perform the same function of adding moister to the air to increase humidity levels. 

Whole house: These humidifiers are installed in line with your heating system. They disperse moisture into the air in your home through the air vents during heating cycles.  

Stand-alone: As their name implies, these humidifiers are separate from the HVAC system. They come in various sizes, a tabletop unit for use in certain rooms, and larger console units that humidify larger areas in your home.  

No matter the type of humidifier, they all require a humidifier pad. The humidifier pad (or humidifier filter) is responsible for helping the HVAC unit distribute moisture evenly into your home’s air. They can also be called wick filters or evaporator pads. Humidifier pads should be changed every 2-3 months, or at minimum once per season.

The Ideal Humidity Level

During the winter season, humidity levels in the home should be between 30-40%, varying based on the outdoor temperature. Humidity levels that are too high will result in condensation on your windows and facilitate the growth of moisture. This also provides the ideal living environment that dust mites thrive in. On the flip side, humidity levels that are too far below the recommended range will cause dry air effects such as itchy skin and irritated airways. Humidity levels are easily monitored with a hygrometer, found at home improvement stores and are relatively inexpensive.

Don’t Suffer This Winter – Try a Humidifier!

Humidity is simply the level of moisture in the air. Utilizing a humidifier increases the level of indoor humidity, decreasing the level of dryness in the air. As noted above, there are many immediate improvements that come from the use of a humidifier. A stand-alone unit is less expensive and easier to set up than a whole house humidifier. If you’re unsure about committing to a whole house unit, a stand-alone unit is the way to start enjoying the results immediately!

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All Units

No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly to keep your indoor air quality clean and your heat 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 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.

Analyzing the Air We Breathe

analyzing the air we breatheRecently, many people began thinking about the air we breathe, especially indoors, and the quality of that air. On top of that, it’s also important to understand the process of breathing and what the air we breathe is made up of. This seemingly insignificant subject actually has a great deal of interesting data, including the important role that air filters play in the air quality of our indoor spaces. Spending a lot of time in the unhealthy indoor environment can result in symptoms like a tight chest, wheezing, sore throat, eye, and nose irritation and in some sever cases, dizziness, and nausea. Pleated air filters used in HVAC systems is a highly beneficial way to scrub the pollutants and allergens that cause those symptoms from indoor air. Here’s what you need to know about how we breathe, the makeup of that air and the benefits of air filters.

Did You Know?

  • An average adult inhales and exhales approximately 400 cubic feet of air everyday
  • We average 17,000 – 23,000 breaths per day
  • Oxygen makes up about 20% of our air and our body only requires 5% of that
  • If Earth were compared to an apple, the layer of atmosphere containing the air we breathe would be the skin of the apple

The Anatomy of the Air We Breathe

Air is a combination of multiple gases: 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% argon, carbon dioxide, and trace amount of other gases. There are particles and gases within the air that come from many sources, both nature and man-made. Much of what we breathe is filtered and exhaled, however, there is a host of contaminants that can directly impact our health and our surroundings. Whether the source is indoor or outdoor, naturally occurring or result from a man-made process, all particles are fall into two categories: aerosol or gas. Many types of particles can be captured with the air filters used in HVAC systems.

Aerosols – a suspension of a solid or liquid particle in the air which can be a solid, liquid, or compound:

  • Dust – a solid aerosol resulting from the reduction of a larger material or solid particle. Dust can be created by drilling into a surface (e.g. wood or concrete) or from natural occurrences (e.g. a volcano or sandstorm)
  • Mold – a bioaerosol derived from indoor and outdoor sources such as soil, plants, and moist surfaces such as walls, insulation, clothing, or carpet.
  • Bacteria and viruses- also bioaerosols with millions of varieties that are transported by air currents 
  • Fumes – created from vapor condensation from processes like combustion or welding
  • Fog – a liquid created during water vapor condensation
  • Mist – a suspension of liquid droplets that can include oils, paint, acids, and chemicals
  • Smoke – created from the burning or combustion of organic matter such as wood, coal, or tobacco
  • Smog – air pollution caused by industrial or chemical processes

Gases – a material that can expand indefinitely and fully occupy the space it is in. Gases exist in the form of molecules and include vapors and the gases that make up the composition of air. Gases can be odorous, toxic, and corrosive in nature. The presence of most gases will be recognized, but some (like carbon monoxide) are not detectable by the sense of smell. Gases may originate from chemical, manufacturing, and biological processes.

The Micron

Particles are measured in micrometers (also referred to as a micron), and have the abbreviation “μm”.  A micron is a unit of measurement that is the millionth part of a meter. One inch is equal to 25,400 microns. To put that into perspective, the average human hair is approximately 50 microns and the human eye is only able to see particles that are at least 5 microns in size. Particles measuring less than 1μm make up over 98% of the particles found in the outdoor atmosphere while only 0.005% consist of those measuring 20 μm.

The Role of Air Filters

Air filtration provides a way to attain a higher level of indoor air quality. Originally air filters were intended to simply shield the components HVAC systems and protect them from harmful dust build-up and extending its life. The manufacturing process of air filters has evolved over the decades and filtration media has become more refined and specialized. This allowed us to go beyond system protection into cleaning contaminants, allergens, and other bothersome particles from the air with the use of high-efficiency pleated air filters. The result was a significant improvement in indoor comfort and cleaner air in our homes and businesses.

For the best indoor air quality select the level of filtration based on the types of particles that you aim to capture with your air conditioning  and furnace filters. Choose a MERV rating that targets specific types of particles like pollen, mold spores and pet dander. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particle that can be captured. A general guideline for MERV ratings is:

  • MERV 8 – for mild allergies and average dust particles
  • MERV 11 – for moderate allergies and smaller dust particles
  • MERV 13 – for severe allergies and the finest dust particles

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 to keep your indoor air quality clean and your heat 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 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 is the Best Air Filter for My Home?

Which Air Filter is the Best for Your Home?Typically, if you need of a new air filter you go to the nearest hardware store, grocery store or wholesale warehouse and pick a filter that fits into your HVAC system. Picking out a random air filter, however, may not save you money nor improve your home’s indoor air quality. Just like other purchases you make, there are many factors that go into selecting the right air filter for your home. The filter should perform efficiently and cost effectively.

Before making your selection, the first thing to understand are MERV ratings. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiently Reporting Value. It is a numerical value that rates the effectiveness of an air filter. MERV ratings are calculated by measuring the number of particles trapped in a filter compared to the total number the particles in the air trying to go through the filter. This means that if there are two filters in the same room, the filter that traps fewer particles will have a lower MERV rating.

MERV ratings aren’t the only factor involved in choosing the right filter for your AC unit. Selecting the filter with the highest MERV rating may lead to purchasing an air filter that potentially makes your HVAC system less efficient as it will block too much air flow. If this happens, the system is unable to heat or cool enough air to correctly maintain the temperature in your house. This means higher energy bills and the entire system could overheat.

The answer is BALANCE. The best choice is a filter that removes the most pollutants (MERV rating) and allows your HVAC system to perform efficiently. The following are the four different types of filters, their material makeup, their MERV rating and additional information that will help you make a decision.

Fiberglass Filters

Made from spun fiberglass and typically blue in color, these filters are one of the most popular types. They’re MERV rating is between 1 and 4 (low) and they trap 80% of particles 50 microns and larger/25% of particles between 3 and 10 microns. They do a great job of protecting your HVAC unit from large dust particles; however, they do not trap mold, pollen or other small particulates and are not recommended for people with allergies.

Pleated Air Filters

Comprised of folded sheets of cotton or a polyester-blend fabric, pleated filters are folded accordion style that allows for a larger fabric surface in a smaller area. The pleats make it easier for the air to pass through the filter making them more efficient. These air filters have a MERV rating between 5 and 8, trapping 80-95% of particles 5 microns and larger. If you find a cotton/polyester filter with lots of pleats and a MERV value of 6 or greater, this could be an ideal air filter solution. With these ratings, the filter removes a large number of pollutants AND keeps your HVAC system working at max efficiency.

Pleated air filters are also found with high MERV ratings from 11 to 13, trapping particles as small as 0.3 microns. At this efficiency level, they are approximately 2″-5″ thick and fit into box-like housings mounted onto the air handler.

Disposable Electrostatic Filters

Boasting a MERV rating of 10+, these filters are very effective at decontaminating indoor air. Electrostatic filters are composed of multiple layers of self-charging, polyester-blend fibers that create a static charge which attract particulates out of the air. They are framed by a polyester mesh that is positively charged. As air passes through the outer material, particulate matter becomes positively charged which is attracted to the negatively-charged inner material. Electrostatic filters are usually more expensive than fiberglass or pleated air filters.

Washable Electrostatic Filters

These filters are made of washable material, cased in aluminum mesh and framed in aluminum and MERV ratings of up to 10 or higher. For max efficiency, they need to be washed about every 3 months and their quality varies with cost. Higher quality washable electrostatic filters can last up to 8 years! There are some, however, that aren’t high efficiency and its difficult to determine the difference. After the filters are washed, they must be dried completely. Even the littlest bit of moisture left on a filter that is placed back in the air exchange can grow mold and bacteria that is recirculated back through your home.

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 to keep your indoor air quality clean and your heat 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 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.

 

Can HVACs Spread COVID-19?

COVID-19 and HVAC SystemsWe are in the dead of summer across the country, which means our home’s HVAC systems are in full swing, cooling our indoor air. The United States is also in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. With more time being spent in our homes, have you ever wondered if our indoor air can circulate and spread the COVID-19 virus? There are a few things to understand first before coming to a conclusion on the topic: how the coronavirus is spread and how HVAC systems work. Here’s what you need to know.

How COVID-19 is Spread:

The spread of the virus is still being heavily researched; however, right now droplet transmission is thought to be the primary method. When an infected person coughs, sneezes or even breathes, particles of breath or spit carrying the virus comes out of the persons mouth or nose. These particle droplets then spread into the air, up to 6 feet (if not more) and can transmit the virus by coming into contact with another person’s mouth, nose, or eyes.

Another possible way the virus is spread is through aerosol transmission. This happens when an infected person sneezes or coughs and the tiny COVID-19 infected particles linger in the air and are carried around in air currents, spreading the virus further. There isn’t concrete evidence on to what extent aerosol transmission spreads the virus, but it is does occur and mainly in closed indoor areas.

This leads into the chance that air conditioning could potentially transmit the virus. Your HVAC system continually circulates the air throughout your home and could, potentially, suck in the virus particles expelled from an infected person and then blow these particles back out into the indoor air, much further than just the room you’re in. Other infectious diseases like smallpox, measles, SARS, chickenpox, tuberculosis and influenza all have been shown to spread through improperly used HVAC systems.

How HVAC Systems Work

HVAC systems don’t bring fresh air in from outside, rather they recirculate air in the home. When working properly, HVAC systems should improve your home’s IAQ (indoor air quality) by removing dust, dander, dirt, and other debris and by controlling the humidity in your home via ventilation. When your home is properly ventilated, contaminated air and excess humidity are vented out of your home year-round.

With forced air systems, air is passed through an air filter that traps volatile organic compounds (VOCs), airborne particulates, mold, dust, and allergens. Improving air filtration is the most beneficial thing that can be done to reduce the effects of poor indoor air quality. Air filtration provides a means to attain the desired level of indoor air quality.

HVAC Systems and COVID-19

Now that you know how the coronavirus is spread and how an HVAC system operates, the conclusion would be that yes, theoretically virus infected particles in the air could, in fact, be sucked into the AC unit and circulated around your home. However, definitive answers about this topic are not readily available as there has only been a little bit of research on the topic.

The main thing is to make sure your HVAC system is working properly and efficiently – especially regarding ventilation. During the summer months when we go indoors to find comfort in the air-conditioned rooms, there is less ventilation and more opportunity for the disease to spread. And it’s not really the air conditioner’s fault. It’s more about when inside a home or building, you are not socially distancing and re-breathing air that others around you just exhaled. Combine that with doors and windows being shut to keep the cool air inside, there is virtually no fresh air flowing and everyone is breathing and re-breathing the same indoor air. The good news is this is mainly more of a concern in public indoor places. When you’re at home, contracting COVID-19 via air conditioning units or through air currents is no more probable than the virus being spread by close contact with contaminated surfaces.

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 – especially when we’re all home due to COVID-19! 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 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! You can order directly online and have the air filters shipped to your door, safely distancing during this COVID-19 pandemic. Make it even easier and sign up for automatic shipments! You’ll never run out of air filters when you need them most. Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.