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Spring Cleaning Your HVAC Unit

Spring Cleaning your HVAC unitSpring is around the corner and “Spring Cleaning” has become a tradition in many households throughout the country. As you open up your windows, both letting the fresh air in and dusting off everything that has been in winter hibernation, it’s important not to forget your HVAC system! The weather will gradually get warmer, and when it does, you’ll want your A/C unit working at its peak performance. Proper maintenance of your HVAC system ensures that your unit is running efficiently and doing its job. When this is done, you’re able to maximize your use of energy which is not only good for the environment, but also good for your monthly power bills.

Steps To Take To “Spring Clean” Your HVAC System

Change Your Air Filter

We cannot stress enough the importance of a clean air filter, as you may have noticed from several of our previous blog posts (like winterizing your HVAC unit). Clean air filters keep the air in your home free from harmful pollutants that are potentially hazardous to your health and that of your family. Since all of the the air that circulates through your HVAC system eventually passes through the air filter, it’s so VERY important to keep your air filters clean and change them regularly. Dirty, clogged air filters can:

  • Cause severe HVAC system malfunctions and equipment damage.
  • Reduce airflow inside the HVAC system.
  • NOT remove particulates and contaminants as effectively as they should. (These are then released back into the air that you breathe).
  • Result in duct work build up and damage.
  • Cause the HVAC equipment to work harder, increasing your energy usage and therefore your monthly electric bill.

Air filters should be checked at least a minimum of once a month and if they are dirty they should be removed and changed out for a fresh, clean air filter. A helpful tip to know if your filter is dirty or not: hold it up to a light source – if you can’t see the light through the filter, then it’s time for a new one.

Air Duct Cleaning

During the fall and winter months, as the heat passes through your HVAC system, most of the contaminants are trapped in the air filter; however, some do pass through which can lead to a build up in the duct work over a period of time. To prevent potential air flow blockages and indoor air quality problems, plus keep the temperature in your home consistent, vacuuming out the air vents is highly recommended. According to, a thorough cleaning of the air vents is recommended if the ducts are clogged with an excessive amount of dust and debris or if there is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. If this sounds like your home, call a professional to clean your air ducts. Otherwise, a quick vacuuming may be sufficient.

Clean Standing Water By Your HVAC Unit

Moisture is one of the main requirements needed for mold to thrive and molds can grow and multiply in temperatures between 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If there are standing pools of water near your HVAC unit, the mold will grow and increase as the temperature rises and result in the moldy and musty smell to start blowing into your home. Standing water will also do swift and severe damage to whatever it touches, so its very important to get any areas cleaned up, preventing water damage to your HVAC unit and keeping the air in your home free from mold and mustiness. Here are some reasons you may find water around your HVAC unit:

  • PVC drain line is plugged
  • Filter is plugged
  • Drain pan has a leak
  • Condensation pump issues

Remove Plants And Weeds From Around Outside Unit

As spring approaches, plants and weeds start to grow and they also grow around your outside HVAC unit. Trimming back these plants is one of the easiest ways to keep your energy bills low. If plants and weeds grow too close to your HVAC unit, it can restrict air flow to your system causing higher bills and shorter equipment life. You should have at least 24 inches (or two feet) of distance between your landscaping and your air conditioning unit. This allows enough adequate air flow to the unit, keeping it cool and preventing your HVAC unit from possibly overheating. It also reduces overall electrical consumption. So be sure to add ground clearing around your AC unit to your spring cleaning list!

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 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.


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Myths About Pet Allergies

Did you know that over 60% of homes in the US own at least one pet? It is estimated that about 161 million of these pets consist of cats and dogs, the most popular domesticated household pets. Americans do love their pets, but about 15% of us are allergic to them. So if you enjoy having a furry companion but suffer the side effects caused by a pet allergy, you are definitely not alone. If you are fortunate enough not to be affected by pet dander, you most likely have a friend or family member that is. There is quite a bit of resourceful information available on the subject of pet allergies. And like most other subjects, you can find some inaccurate information that causes confusion. Here are some of the most popular misconceptions about allergies to animals.

Myth #1 Animal Hair Triggers Allergic Reactions

It is a common belief that animal hair is the cause of an allergic response to animals. While pet fur can certainly add to the problem and steps should be taken to keep the home as hair-free as possible, it is most important to recognize the actual source of the allergen. The proteins secreted in the saliva and skin of warm-blooded animals, not just cats and dogs, is the root cause of the allergy. These proteins are transferred onto the animal hair and surrounding surfaces, especially during the grooming process. So while more hair will result in more surface for the protein to adhere to, the hair in and of itself is not the source of the allergy.

Myth #2 Hairless Pets Are Hypoallergenic

Nice thought, but no. If it is warm-blooded, grooms itself or sheds skin, it can trigger an allergic response. Again, less hair certainly means less surface to collect dander and the proteins that cause the allergy, but there is no specific cat or dog that is certified as allergy-free. The levels of proteins (for example, Fel d 1 in cats) is unique to every individual cat. So finding that one particular cat does not inflame your allergies does not mean that all cats of that breed will produce the same results.

Myth #3 Pet Dander Is Only Present In Homes With Pets

That would seem logical and wonderful at the same time, but is unfortunately untrue. In fact, according to an in-depth study of the presence of animal allergens in the environment, cat and dog allergens can be detected in all variations of indoor environments even when a cat or dog has never been there. So this includes new construction, schools, museums, offices, and vehicles to name a few. Why would a brand new home or a school test positive for levels of these allergens when an animal has never been inside them? Due to the sticky nature of pet dander it is introduced to all of these unsuspecting environments due to the transfer effect, meaning it is carried on clothing or objects that have come in contact with an animal in another setting and then deposited in a new setting. Of course, the level of concentration of these allergy-causing proteins will be much higher in a home with pets. The highest levels are found in homes with pets that are primarily kept indoors.

Myth #4 The Only Pets That People Are Allergic To Are Cats And Dogs

Sometimes when there is a known allergy to cats or dogs, it may seem like a great option to get another type of animal such as a ferret or hamster. The truth is that every warm-blooded animal out there, domestic or wild, can have dander. All dander has the potential to trigger an allergic reaction as the protein that causes the symptoms is secreted through the skin and saliva. In some animals, such as birds and reptiles, allergens are transmitted through feathers and droppings. So all animals, including fuzzy guinea pigs, farm animals, and wild animals, can produce allergic reactions.

Myth #5 Pet Allergies Aren’t That Big Of A Deal

It’s a pretty common belief that the only thing you have to worry about if you have pet allergies is itchy eyes and sneezing. That’s a belief held mostly by those who do not suffer from a pet allergy. It would be wonderful if all you got was a little sniffle after cuddling with your fat, furry cat. Most of us that are allergic to cats, dogs, and other animals experience a greater number of symptoms. Sometimes, the range of reactions can be quite bothersome and severe. Some individuals react only after close and prolonged cuddling with an animal while others can simply exhibit symptoms just by being in the same home with one. While the idea of cat or dog allergies can be minimized by some, this list of possible reactions certainly matters to those who experience it:

  • sneezing, runny nose
  • itchy, red, swollen, watery eyes
  • sinus congestion, coughing
  • disrupted sleep
  • difficult, labored breathing
  • tightness in chest, wheezing
  • allergic dermatitis
  • eczema, hives

Myth #6 Removing The Animal Will Provide Immediate Relief

Obviously, the less exposure the less intense the symptoms will likely become. But if the symptoms are still going strong after the pet has been removed, don’t be surprised. It can take up to several months before symptoms improve or disappear. It will require a high level of filtration and deep cleaning to remove the dander as it is capable of attaching to almost any type of indoor surface and over time becomes embedded in cloth surfaces such as furniture, bedding, carpeting, and window coverings.

Myth #7 If You Have a Pet Allergy, You Must Get Rid Of Your Pet

Sometimes, this is the very unfortunate truth. But it is not absolutely the only choice in every situation. In certain cases you may be forced to rehome your pet, but there are times where it can depend on personal choice and being fortunate enough to find successful ways to reduce and manage the symptoms so you and your companion can remain together. Here are a few tips on balancing your allergy symptoms and keeping a pet:

  • use free-standing room air cleaners to add extra filtration to rooms where your pet is most often
  • use high-efficiency pleated air filters to keep your indoor air as clean as possible
  • make your bedroom a “no pet zone” to minimize the concentration of dander where you sleep
  • wash your hands often to prevent the transfer of dander to other surfaces as much as possible
  • saving the most fun part for last, when it comes to dander you cannot clean too much!

At US Home Filter, we enjoy helping our customers solve filtration issues and we are here to answer your questions about your indoor air quality and allergy concerns. We recommend our highest-rated MERV 13 pleated filters for your home or business if you desire the cleanest air possible and suffer from severe allergies such as those that can be triggered by your loving pets. Whether you need AC or furnace filters, a specialty Whole House filter, a Grille filter, or even a custom air filter size, we have a professional and helpful staff ready to take care of you!