The Importance of MERV Ratings

How Air Filters Work and MERV RatingsMERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Developed in 1987 by ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning), the MERV system is a scale used to measure the effectiveness of air filters. With the MERV ratings system in place, consumers are able to easily compare the effectiveness of the different air filters available. Although there may be some differences in the material, quality and construction of air filters, the MERV system provides clarity in what level of filtration can be expected from an air filter with a specific MERV rating. This basically means that any MERV 8 rated air filter will filter the same as another with a MERV 8 rating.

Ranging from 1-16, MERV ratings score the performance level of a filter related to the removal of airborne particles from 0.3-10 microns in size. Used as the measurement for airborne particles, a micron is 1/1000th mm which is equal to 1/25,000ths of an inch. Typically, particles are visible to the human eye beginning around 20 microns; however, in the right conditions, it is sometimes possible to see particles as small as 10 microns. To put that into perspective, a dot (.) is just about 600 microns.

Comparing MERV Ratings

The table below shows a low-level comparison of MERV ratings. Check out our MERV Rating Comparison chart for a more in depth look at the differences.

System Protection Level Dust Control Level Allergy Concern Level
MERV 8 Good Good Mild
MERV 11 Better Better Moderate
MERV 13 Best Best Severe

Buying Filters with High MERV Ratings

Logic would make it seem that you would want to buy a filter with the highest MERV rating possible, right? Oddly, that is not necessarily the case.

You now know that air filters with high MERV ratings means the filter is very effective in preventing harmful airborne particles from circulating throughout your home. However, a high MERV rating filter could also be overly effective which, in turn, can prevent the air itself from being to circulate. This is a bad thing and the result may be poorer air quality in your home. Also, if the air is unable to circulate due to more resistance, your HVAC is doing more work than it should be. The result is an inefficient HVAC system, high energy bills, and it can even lead to costly repairs in the long run.

What MERV Rating Should I Buy?

This really all depends upon your individual HVAC system, but for a typical home the ideal MERV rating would be between 8 and 13. The most important thing when choosing an air filter, regardless of MERV rating, is that is compatible with your HVAC system. You may think that selecting high MERV rating filters will remove more of the harmful particles from your home, but too high of a MERV rating could actually reduce the air quality of the air you breathe in your home. Filters with higher MERV ratings also have to be changed more frequently than those with a lower MERV rating.

Filters with MERV ratings higher than 16 are available, however, they are thicker and denser and your typical residential HVAC system cannot readily handle them. And, as stated before, they can actually interfere with the airflow by restricting it. This in turn could actually reduce the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems and can even result in damage to the HVAC equipment. You should consult with an HVAC professional to make sure that your HVAC system can handle filters with MERV ratings higher than 16 before buying and installing one.

If you still want the filtration of a MERV 16 but your HVAC system can’t handle it, there are additional units that can be installed along with your HVAC system that are designed for air filtration and purification. These air cleaners can provide an additional step “on top” of the regular filtering, thus cleaning your air even further.

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, 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 filter available! 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.

When to Choose Custom Size HVAC and Air Filters

Custom Air FiltersWhile there are many standard and commonly used air filter sizes, the HVAC industry as a whole has not standardized air filter sizing. Most of the time, air filter sizes are determined by the manufacturer of your HVAC unit, based off the finished size of the unit itself, instead of the standard size air filters available. This can be quite an inconvenience for many homeowners. Some will recommend your focus should be on the type of air filter you use. While this is important, when choosing custom size air filters, your main concern should be determining the exact size you need. The type of filter you use is irrelevant if it does not fit properly. 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.

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. US Home Filter keeps a vast array of standard sizes, including many uncommon hard-to-find sizes, in stock and can make any custom size air filter that you may need!

The Purpose of Air Filters: Why Size Matters

An air filter’s main purpose is to keep the air we breathe as clean as possible. They also prevent atmospheric dust and other airborne particles from building up on heating and cooling system’s fan motor, coil and drip pans. If your air filter isn’t clean, your furnace or AC system cannot operate properly, leading to costly repairs and replacements. It is imperative to ensure your air filter fits your unit properly so the air can move THROUGH the filter, not around it. If you have the wrong sized air filter in your unit, dust, allergens and pollutants will not be filtered from your indoor air, as the air is bypassing the filter, entering into the ventilation and returned back.

This is where custom air filters can be extremely beneficial. Once you have determined the filter size you need, it is important to change your custom air filters on a regular basis. By doing so, you will have a constant flow of clean air coming into your home, avoiding respiratory difficulties, allergies, and illness.

Custom Air Filters Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

According 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 preventing indoor air quality. This is where custom sized air filters are essential. As we stated before, the air should move through the filter, not around it, so those indoor air pollutants are caught in the filter.

After you’ve figured out the exact dimensions you need for your custom air filters, then you can choose the type of filter you want/need. This selection will depend on your budget as well as the level of filtration you want. At US Home Filter, we have a step by step process that does just this, helping you find correct air filter dimensions for your HVAC system and we deliver your custom air furnace filters straight to your door!

US Home Filter is Here for You!

A properly fitting air filter is necessary to keep your home safe and the air you breathe clean. It also increases your system’s performance and longevity, decreasing energy bills. There are hundreds of air filter sizes and US Home Filter is here to help you get the correct filter as easily and efficiently as possible. No need to spend hundreds of dollars re-engineering your HVAC system when you can make the exact custom size filter your AC needs. Take the frustration out of ordering custom air filters with affordable prices and quick lead times. Prices start at only $9.49 per filter in our MERV 8 rating! We make all our custom air filters in our own manufacturing facility right here in the USA! See our measuring guide to help choose the right custom air filter size for your application.

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

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!

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 Clean Air Filters Save You Money

dirty air filters vs clean air filtersAir filters may seem like a bit of an investment, especially when some can cost upwards of $20 each. A lot of times, when we purchase higher priced items, we expect them to last longer. The general recommendation is to change your HVAC filter at least once every 3 months, which can equate to anywhere from $40-$80 per year, per HVAC unit in your home. But can clean air filters actually result in saving money? The answer is yes, and here’s why.

Clean Air Filters = Energy Savings

The Department of Energy reports that replacing dirty filters with clean air filters can reduce your energy consumption up to 15%. When you take that and combine it with the fact that your heating and cooling system is responsible for nearly half your energy usage, you could potential save 7.5% each month.

This means that if your energy bill is $100/month, you could save $7.50 on each monthly bill just by changing your air filter! Is your energy bill in the $200, $300, $400 range? You’re looking at even more savings – upwards of $30 every month. So, is it worth regularly maintaining your HVAC system with clean air filters? In this scenario, yes, but there are ways it saves you money as well.

Clean Air Filters and HVAC System Health

Think of your HVAC system as the virtual lungs of your home, working to filter out dust and debris from the air you breathe. Just as when our lungs aren’t able to do their job when in poor health, clogged air filters aren’t able to either and become the leading cause of heating and cooling system problems.

Dirty air filters put strain on your HVAC system and end up using more energy to cool or heat your home. Just like you change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles to keep your car running smoothly, regularly changing your home’s air filters is your first line of defense in protecting your HVAC system.

If your furnace is working harder, the more likely it is to break down or need repairs. HVAC repairs can be very costly, especially if you end up needed a whole new system. Major component repair can cost anywhere between $300-$700, if not more, with a new unit running close to $4,000. So, think of it like this – by spending $40-$80 per month and changing your air filters regularly, you are saving money on energy bills and preventing an even more costly breakdown to your HVAC system.

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, 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 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 Dirty Air Filters Affect Your Home

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

#1: Dirty Air Filters = Feeling Less Comfortable

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

#2: Air Conditioner Leaks

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

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

#3: Higher Energy Bills

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

#4: AC/Heating System Damage

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

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

Selecting the Right Air Filters

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

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

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

Furnace Filters

We are well into winter and our furnaces are working hard to keep our homes and families warm. This is also the time of year we get questions coming in from our customers regarding their furnace filters. The two main questions asked are:

  • Is a furnace filter the same thing as an air conditioning filter?
  • I just learned my furnace has a filter. How do I change it?

If you find yourself asking the same questions, read on to see the answers!

Is a furnace filter the same thing as an air conditioning filter?

Furnace Filters - What are they and how do I change them?The answer to this question is YES if your house or home has central heat and air conditioning. It is also YES if your house or home has a separate cooling (HVAC or AC) unit and heating (furnace) unit as they both typically share the same air-handler. Since the air-handler is the exact area your air filter resides, both systems share the same filter. Air will flow through your air-handler whether you’re cooling your home in the heat of the summer or warming it during the winter months. It is important that the airflow not be constricted or impeded, or strain will be placed on your furnace/AC unit, causing less efficiency and can eventually lead to damage to your unit.

In many newer homes and houses and those that are located in climates that only require moderate cooling and heating, a heat pump may be installed which is your AC/heating unit. More efficient than traditional separated AC and furnace systems, the heat pump model uses the same compressor and the same air-handler. So, in this case, the answer to this question is YES once again! Your heating and air conditioning filters are one and the same.

During this time of your it is important to remember to replace or change your furnace/AC filter to make sure you continue to be prepared for the cold weather. Also commonly known as whole house air filters, you want your furnace filter to be clean in order for it to continuously provide you and your family with the freshest air possible without issue during the winter months.

I just learned my furnace has a filter. How do I change it?

This question is most often asked by homeowners who don’t have central air conditioning systems. In older homes, especially across the Northern states and sections of the US, many houses do not have a central heating and air conditioning system, rather they have individual wall-mounted AC units (or no air conditioning at all) and a separate furnace.

In these cases, here are the proper steps to change your furnace filter:

  1. First and foremost, turn the furnace off! Next, find where your filter is housed. It will either be located inside your furnace, or sometimes it is located inside of the air return vent. Before removing, take notice of the little arrow on the filter (before removing) which indicates the direction of the air flow. We recommend taking a non-erasable marker/pen and marking the air flow direction on the outside of your furnace to make sure you always remember the correct way to re-install future furnace filters. You can proceed to remove the existing filter.
  2. When removing the old filter, take a look on the frame of the filter for the size. If you happen to find that there is no filter in place, follow these measurement guidelines to make sure you purchase the correct sized filter.
  3. Purchase the right filter for your furnace. A quality filter will make sure that dust, pollen, and smoke are removed from the air, plus ensure that you and your family breathe the freshest air possible while your furnace is in use.
  4. You are now ready to install your new filter. If covered with a plastic wrapper, be sure to remove the wrapper before installation. Looking for the markings that indicate the airflow direction and simply slide the new filter in place. Close or replace any cover that was previously over it. To make sure you know when it’s time to change the filter again, it’s a good idea to write down the date you changed your filter in your records or even right on the filter itself.

Selecting the Right Furnace Filter

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

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

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

 

 

 

HEPA FILTERS

The HEPA Filter and the home environmentWhat Is a HEPA Filter?

The acronym HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and is a type of air filter. They were initially commercialized in the 1950s with the term HEPA becoming a registered trademark and later a generic term for high efficiency filters. The acronym can also stand for:

  • High Efficiency Particulate Absorber Filter
  • High Efficiency Particulate Arresting Filter
  • High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance Filter

In order to qualify as HEPA, a filter must meet the requirements set by the United States Department of Energy. These qualifications state that for a filter to qualify, it must remove 99.97% of particles that are greater than or equal to 0.3 µm (macrometer) in size.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has further rating classifications for HEPA filters relating to their local and total retention capabilities. The NIOSH categories regarding local retention are:

H13 > 99.75%
H14 > 99.975%
U15 > 99.9975%
U16 > 99.99975%
U17 > 99.9999%

HEPA Filters Uses

Today HEPA filters are used in many commercial applications, but they mainly used for medical purposes, and in high-tech industries like aerospace and integrated circuit manufacturing, as well as in both the automobile and aircraft industries. There are also HEPA filters used in water purification systems; however, in these applications the term HEPA air filter is moot as the filters are used for the removal of contaminates found in water and not the air.

There are products out there that will use terms such as “HEPA-type”, “HEPA-like”, “HEPA-style” or “99% HEPA” on their marketing materials but these do not, in fact, meet the requirements to qualify and they most likely have not been tested in independent laboratories.

HEPA Filters for Home Air Conditioning Use

It is uncommon and generally not recommended to use a HEPA air filter in a traditional home HVAC system. There are some homes that have been built to accommodate their use, however, a typical home air conditioning system would require costly modifications in order to handle the installation of a true HEPA system. The whole Air Conditioning system would need to be redesigned the typical home AC system’s duct work and air-handler would not be able to handle the increased air flow resistance of a HEPA filter. Not to mention the cost and size of HEPA filters would be exorbitant.  The good thing is that if you want a highly effective filter for your home, the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) reports that AC filters with a 7 – 13 MERV rating are as “likely to be nearly as effective as true HEPA filters”.

The HEPA Filter For Home Use: The Bottom Line

With all of the false advertising out there, many people may think they have or can have a HEPA filter in their home. Unfortunately, there is no inexpensive or easy way to have actual HEPA filtration in the home as it is more than just an air filter, it’s an entire system. There is a particular configuration needed to run the system and the buildings they’re installed in have to have a positive-pressure seal. You’ll know this is installed when you hear a whooshing sound as the doors are open and closed, like in a hospital.

HEPA filters are also made to order in a sterile lab and individually tested for each customer. There are numerous other variables that come into play before production can even begin, such as factory testing requirements, media capacity, frame materials, gaskets and sealants. There is no HEPA filter created that can be sent by regular ground mail; each one must be sent with a private carrier. Their cost is well out of range for home use as well with each filter costing anywhere between $200 to over $1000, plus freight. For all these reasons, it is apparent that HEPA filters are not intended for home use. Although not impossible to have a HEPA system in your home, it is a specific and cost-prohibitive option that is not easily accomplished unless your home is built from the ground up and constructed under HEPA requirements.

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

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

HVAC Maintenance Tips for Fall and Winter

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

1. Clean or Replace the Air Filter

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

2. Clean the Air Vents

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

3. Add or Replace Insulation

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

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat

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

5. Have Your HVAC System Inspected

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

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

How Often Do You REALLY Need to Change Your HVAC Filter?

how often do you really need to change your air filterOne of the most important things you can do on your own to take good care of your HVAC system is to simply change your air filter on a regular basis. This keeps everything working properly and also helps to keep your energy bills low. Unfortunately, it is a task that is easily forgotten by many homeowners for months at a time, leading to higher energy bills and future maintenance issues. But how often should you change your air filter? How often should you change your furnace filter? Well, it depends. Here are some general rules and recommendations to help you figure out what time frame is best for your HVAC system.

How Often to Change Home Air Filters

It is a general recommendation that you should change your air filter in your home every 30 days when using less expensive fiberglass filters. High-end pleated filters can last as long as 6 months, but these typical guidelines assume average use and don’t take into account the size and type of filter.

As a general rule, you’ll want to replace pleated air filters and furnace filters in your home every 90 days. The longer the filter is in place, the more dirt, dust and allergens are trapped clogging the filter and decreasing their efficiency. If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you’ll want to replace your filter more often than may be recommended. Find out below if perhaps you should be replacing your filter more often than you may think.

Does anyone in your house have allergies and/or asthma?

According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA), “indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality. Outdoor air can contain harmful pollution. But indoor air can actually be worse than outdoor air.” If there is an asthmatic or allergy sufferer in your home, they are much more sensitive to airborne particulates than those that don’t suffer. If you answer yes to this question, you’ll want to change your filter every 6 weeks to keep your indoor air quality at its best.

Do you have any pets?

If you are a cat or dog owner you know all too well that odor can build up after time and that shedding is at its worst during the change of seasons. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll want to change your air filter every 2 months, especially when winter turns to spring and summer turns to fall.

Do you have younger children?

When you have young children in your home, you want to keep your indoor air quality at its best. To keep your air quality under control and your home clean, you’ll want to replace your filter at a minimal interval of every 2-3 months.

Things That Can Affect the Lifespan of your HVAC Air Filter:

1. How often you use your heating and cooling system

If you live in a mild climate and only use your AC or furnace a few hours a day, one filter could potentially last you a whole season or up to an entire year. On the flip side, if you’re running your HVAC system on a nearly constant basis, the filter will need to be changed every few weeks (especially if you are using fiberglass filters).

2. The size of your house

If you live in a “smaller home”, your air conditioners and furnaces are required to pump less air for the same amount of temperature change, which could mean fewer filter changes. However, the smaller the appliance used to cool the small space often come with smaller filters, therefore you may need to change the filter as often as a filter in a larger home.

3. The air quality in your home

Your air filter’s and furnace filter’s replacement cycle is also affected by the air outside and within your home. If you have poor air quality outside or pets inside, you’ll need to replace your air filter more frequently.

How to Tell When You Need to Change Your HVAC Air Filter

All of the air that circulates through your HVAC system, to either heat or cool your home, will eventually pass through the air filter. This is why it is so VERY 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 wearing them out more quickly.
  • NOT remove particulates and contaminants as effectively as they should, therefore releasing these back into your indoor air (or the air that you and your family breath).
  • Cause contaminates to built 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 and furnace filters should be checked at least once a month. If they are dirty they should be changed with a fresh clean air filter. When removing the air filter from the air-handler, if you hold it up to a light source you will be able to see if the filter is dirty or clogged – if you can’t see the light through the filter, then it’s definitely time for it to be changed.

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.

Air Filter Misconceptions

Air Filters MisconceptionsIn the United States, the most common way to stay comfortable indoors is through forced heating and cooling systems. As we’ve emphasized in the past, air filters are a crucial component to the overall function of your HVAC system. Air filters must be replaced regularly in order to keep your heating and air conditioning units working efficiently. It is also important to get the right air filter for your system. When searching for the right replacement filter, there are a number of things to consider. You may think that the brand of the filter matters, however, the best choice is the filter that removes the most pollutants (MERV rating) while allowing your HVAC system to perform efficiently. The following are some sommon misconceptions about air filters that will help you better understand their importance.

Seven Air Filter Misconceptions

Air Filters Just Keep Dust off the Equipment

Granted, as this was the original purpose of HVAC air filters, they’ve come to serve an even more important purpose: filtering out airborne contaminants and particulates from the indoor air we breathe. In other words – improving your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)!

Air Filters Don’t Need to be Replaced as Often as Recommended

If air filters are not cleaned or replaced regularly, they become ineffective which can lead to a multitude of problems. A neglected air filter that is not cleaned/replaced on a regular basis will become clogged with large amounts of airborne particles until it is completely blocked and the dust/mold is forced back into our indoor air. Dirty air filters also restrict air flow putting strain on your HVAC equipment, therefore increasing your energy bills. Make sure you check the your filter monthly and clean or replace it according to the manufacturer’s directions. For the best results, change your air filter every 30 days!

Pet Owners Don’t Need to Change the Filter More Often

If you own a pet, you may need to change the air filter up to twice as often, especially if you have multiple long-haired breeds. Pet hair and dander is an allergen found all over and throughpout homes with pets and can build up quickly, thus reducing the efficiency of the air filter. Try using free-standing room air cleaners to add extra filtration to rooms where your pet is located most often and high-efficiency pleated air filters to keep your indoor air as clean as possible.

All Filters are the Same

When choosing between air filters, the first thing to understand are MERV ratings. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiently Reporting Value and it is this number that tells you the effectiveness of your chosen air filter. MERV ratings are calculated by measuring the number of particles a filter can trap compared to the number the particles its trying to filter. Basically, this means that if there are two filters in the same room, the one that traps fewer particles has a lower MERV rating. However, if you simply choose by selecting the filter with the highest MERV rating, then you may be purchasing an air filter that can make your HVAC system less efficient by blocking too much of the air flow and eventually causing equipment damage, plus higher energy bills. The best choice is the filter that removes the most pollutants (MERV rating) while still allowing your HVAC system to perform as efficiently as possible.

High-Efficiency Filters Can be Used in any HVAC System

If you insist on using high-efficiency air filters, it may require some HVAC system modifications in order to increase the fan output to compensate for the restricted airflow. As stated above, if you choose a filter with the highest MERV rating (meaning the highest efficiency) that isn’t meant for your particular HVAC system, you could be making it less efficient by blocking too much of the air flow. Air filters with a MERV 8 filter could require this modification if your furnace came with a MERV 4 or lower filter.

All Filters are the Same Size

Each air conditioning system or HVAC unit has a certain sized filter that allows the filter to perform both correctly and efficiently. The filters don’t need to fit with an “air tight” seal, but you should be able to easily install and uninstall your filter without a struggle. Your filter should be a bit smaller on each side of the filter housing slot, allowing you to slide the filter in and out with ease. For most systems you can use a standard sized filter within 5/8 of an inch smaller than the air filter housing. Most AC and HVAC units use standard sized filters, but some do require a custom size air filter to be purchased and installed. Why is the filter size important? According to EPA.gov, incorrectly designed or installed filter frames can cause air seepage, which significantly decreases filter effectiveness. Plus any air flow resistance caused by using a filter that is not correctly sized can result in unnecessary stress on you HVAC unit, potential damage to your AC system and increase your energy bills.

Buying One Air Filter at a Time

Air filters may seem like something that you don’t need to keep in stock at your house, but if you stick to changing it monthly, the day sneaks up on you. Therefore – it’s wise to stock up. Buy a whole box of air filters. That way, you have a stockpile available when the time comes to change the filter. It’s easier to keep up on this task if you don’t have to make a trip to the store in order to change the filter.

We’ve outlined a few of the most common misconceptions when it comes to air filters. That being said, remember that one of the most important things you can do on your own to take good care of your expensive heating and air conditioning system is to simply change your air filter on a regular basis. The air filter in your unit is often one of the least expensive and easiest items to change. Additionally, replacing a dirty or clogged filter can have an immediate positive effect on the operation of the unit and its ability to keep the air in your home at the desired temperature without causing unnecessary strain on the moving components. A clean, fresh filter right before the approaching hot summer months will get you off to a great start!

US Home Filter offers FREE SHIPPING on any order!

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

Signs You Need to Replace Your HVAC System

HVAC SystemReplace my AC or HVAC unit? How do I know? Summer is approaching which means that your HVAC system is going to be working overtime. Air conditioning systems are one of the largest investments we make for our homes, so of course you want to get the most out of yours, right? Even if you keep your HVAC system well maintained, plus clean and change your filter regularly, it’s going to have to replaced at some point. Older or damaged HVAC systems can result in increased energy bills and poor indoor air quality (IAQ). The good news? Newer HVAC systems are up to sixty percent (60%) more efficient than most of the older models – saving you money in the long run. But while installing a new HVAC system is a terrific (yet pricey) investment, most homeowners will only get a new system when the old one stops working. But is that really a good idea? Or are there signs to look for letting you know its time to be replaced?

7 Signs it’s Time to Replace Your HVAC System

1. Your System is Greater than 10 Years Old

Do you even know when your HVAC system was installed? According to the Department of Energy, air conditioning systems should be replaced every 10-15 years. Although durable, the major components of any HVAC system will begin to deteriorate after around 10 years (dependent obviously upon how often they’re used and how well they’re maintained). Systems that are over 10 years old also use a type of Freon (R-22) that is not only outdated, but also is extremely harmful to the environment. When a newer unit is installed, you will not only lower your energy bills but also help to reduce your carbon footprint on the environment.

2. Repair Costs are Greater Than Half the Cost of a New System

Many times as an AC unit is going and growing old, you’ll find yourself having to pay for frequent repairs to the system and eventually replacing some of the major components. When that starts happening, it’s time to see if replacing parts is really going to be saving you any money in the long run. If the repair costs are greater than half the cost of a new system, then it’s time to be “out with the old and in with the new”. Purchasing a new system will be a smart investment, saving you money in the long run, as well as reducing your immediate energy costs.

3. Your Energy Bills Keep Going Up

It is normal to expect increases and decreases to your energy costs as the seasons change, but each individual month should be relatively the same compared to the year before. If you have unusually high energy bills in a month where it’s not expected, it is a sign that your HVAC system needs to be serviced and possibly replaced – the older the system becomes, the less efficient it becomes. Regular maintenance (especially changing your air filters monthly), will increase the life of your HVAC system and keep it running efficiently as possible… but at some point you will need to upgrade it to a newer system. The good news is that installing a new air conditioner can cut down on your total energy bills by as much as 20%. Many people find that over a relatively short period of time their new AC unit has actually paid for itself!

4. Your House is Always a Little too Hot, or Else It’s a Little too Cold

An old HVAC system will have problems keeping your house at a consistent temperature. It could be a maintenance issue (e.g. a damaged or inaccurate thermostat, low fluid levels, cracked ducts, clogged filters, etc.); however, temperature inconsistencies usually mean that your AC system is either not powerful enough or that the duct work is not properly installed. Either way, keeping an HVAC system that is not working properly and efficiently is going to result in an uncomfortable home environment and much higher energy bills.

5. You’re Noticing More Dust in Your Home

In addition to providing you with cooled or heated air in your home, your HVAC system is also responsible for providing proper ventilation. When working properly, the system should improve your home’s IAQ (indoor air quality) by removing dust, dander, dirt, and other debris and by controlling the humidity. If you are noticing an increase in the amount of dust in your home, it could be a sign that your air conditioning system is no longer operating efficiently enough to remove it.

6. Unusual Smells & Odd Sounds

If you notice an unusual smell coming from your HVAC system, it could be just dust burning off; however, it could be something much more serious, such as melting wiring or mold in the ducts. If it is a more concerning odor, turn off your system immediately and get it inspected right away.

A properly working HVAC system should also be relatively quiet. If you hear noises that sound like grinding or squealing, this is also a sign that you need to have your system inspected immediately.

7. You Have Poor Indoor Air Quality

Your air conditioner is the biggest factor when it comes to your homes indoor air quality, especially during the summer. The air conditioning unit may be damaged if you notice mold, mildew, dust or unusual humidity levels and all may be signs that your system should be replaced. Always keep in mind that a  NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) research study concluded that over fifty percent (52%) of Sick Building Syndrome cases could be traced back to inadequate ventilation!

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.