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Tips for Home Air Filter Replacement

Air Filter Replacement

The air is full of pollutants such as dust mites, pollen, smoke, mold spores, bacteria, pet dander, and volatile organic compounds like asbestos, which degrade the air and pose health risks to occupants. So, it is common for air filters to become clogged with debris, especially during the cooling season, when air conditioners run continuously. If you don’t change your filter, you’ll be faced with a repair, higher energy bills, and a shorter lifespan for your AC. Thus, replacing your air conditioner filter is one of the easiest ways to ensure your device operates at peak performance all year long.

As it turns out, swapping out an air conditioner filter is a simple process—once you understand how.

How To Replace Air Filter? 

Air filters are usually found near thermostats in many homes. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is locate the filter. Find the vent on your thermostat. Try looking for the filter in the air conditioning unit if you can’t find a return vent with the filter close by. On some models, the air filter is housed closer to the system rather than at the return air grille.

Once you’ve located the filter, follow these steps:

  • Gently remove the grille cover by loosening the fasteners. 
  • Simply reach in and pull it out.
  • Place the filter to the side and assess its condition. A dirty filter will usually look dingy and greyish-brown. If it still looks white, there may be some life left in it.
  • If the filter is dirty, get a new one.
  • Identify the arrow pattern on the filter’s edge. To ensure proper airflow, the arrows need to point in the correct direction. Arrows should not point out or at you. They will restrict airflow if they do.
  • Place the arrows facing the wall once you have found them.
  • Gently slide the bottom portion of the filter into the return duct opening first, then the top section.
  • Make sure the arrows point toward the duct.
  • Pat the filter gently to ensure it fits snugly.
  • Reattach the cover.
  • Tighten the fasteners.

What Can You Do To Maintain Clean Air in Your House?

The solution is to replace your air filters regularly. The air filters within your HVAC system clean the air by allowing it to flow through, trapping irritants and pollutants, and keeping them from being circulated. In addition to its physical state, an air filter’s effectiveness depends on several factors. Therefore, they should be replaced every 30-90 days.

When it comes to air filters replacement, remember these three things.

Understand the Types of Filters You Need

If you saw how many air filters are available, you’d be overwhelmed (most retailers only carry the most common sizes). Choosing the best one for your house is determined by a number of factors:

  • Pets
  • Family size
  • Allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses
  • Desired level of cleanliness

When you have pets and a full house, a high-quality air filter would be worth it. 

In case you have allergies or respiratory issues in your house, select an air filter with a low MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating. The lower the MERV rating, the less effective the air filter.

You should also determine what pollutants are present in your home when selecting an air filter, and select one which will purify the air and preserve your family’s health.

Get the Right Size

Incorrectly sized air filters will not do much to improve the air quality in your home. Poor sizing leads to pollutants sneaking around the device – air seepage – and getting into your home. (It may also damage your HVAC system.) To prevent this, you should purchase a filter that is of the appropriate size.

To determine the size of an air filter, open your unit and check the old one. If the filter size is not written on it, measure it. You may take it to the store or call US Home Filter and find a matching one by removing it.

Replace Regularly

Make sure your air filter is changed on a regular basis. The frequency with which you replace your filters is determined by the circumstances of your house; homes with dogs and allergy sufferers will require more regular replacements. High-MERV filters are preferred over low-MERV filters.

When your air filter is dirty, replace it as soon as possible, especially when the air conditioner is frequently used during the summer months.

What’s more, if you’d like an HVAC expert from US Home Filter to accompany you when changing your air filter, or when you’re ready to schedule air conditioning maintenance and repairs, call us at 1-855-435-9600 or simply contact us online today!  

We serve all brands of cooling and heating equipment for homes and businesses in the United States. Providing top-quality air conditioning, furnaces, and heat pumps are what we do best. So, get our quality products, enjoy a broad selection, shop at low pricing with FREE SHIPPING for orders within the contiguous USA. Get in touch now!

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DIY Allergy Relief Kit

DIY allergy relief kitSpring has sprung which means that the flowers and trees are blooming and the pollen is increasing. Spring also means allergy season is here. Allergies are a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. They occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to what is normally a harmless substance. They are able to irritate 4 of the 5 senses – smell, sight, taste and touch and can cause inflammation, disability and in severe cases, even death. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you suffer from seasonal or year round allergies, it’s a great idea to have an allergy relief kit at hand to help relieve those irritating allergic reactions.

DIY Allergy Relief Kit

1. Skin Creams and Lotions

Allergic skin reactions consist of itchy skin, hives and rashes. The best treatments for skin reactions to keep around are small tubes of moisturizer and hydrocortisone cream. Hydrocortisone cream is a topical steroid treatment that reduces inflammation and lotion helps to further soothe dryness and itchiness.

2. Injectable Epinephrine

It is extremely important to have injectable epinephrine (EpiPen/Twinject) in your kit if you’re at risk for severe, life-threatening allergic reactions. Those that suffer from severe allergic reactions will experience difficulty breathing, swelling of the bronchial airways and a drop in blood pressure. These symptoms need to be treated immediately or they can be life threatening. Injectable epinephrine can reduce and even stop the life-threatening allergic reactions to certain foods, medications, or insect stings.

3. Eye Drops

Itchy, watery, red or swollen eyes are on the list of most irritating and frustrating of all the allergic reactions. Allergy eye drops reduce histamine in the eye tissues. Over the Counter (OTC) antihistamine drops are extremely effective in reducing or even eliminating allergic eye symptoms such as itchiness, redness, wateriness and puffy, swollen eyes. There are also drops for red eyes (decongestant drops) that may also sometimes contain antihistamines.

4. Decongestants

If your allergies have you stuffed up and congested then a decongestant is a must for your kit. Some allergens may cause the nasal tissue to swell during a reaction and decongestants relieve this swelling, counteracting the allergic response.

5. Nasal Sprays

Nasal sprays are a must if your nose feels dry during allergy season. There are two types: saline and decongestant. A decongestant nasal spray shrinks the blood vessels inside your nose. Saline nasal sprays, on the other had, adds moisture to your nose. Decongestant nose sprays (such as Afrin) should not be used for more than a few days, as they can lead to worsening of your symptoms and even chronic nasal congestion.

6. Antihistamines

Antihistamines such as Benadryl and Claritin, small pills available over-the-counter, may provide quick relief for allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, eye irritation, itching, and hives. Immune systems produce a substance called “histamine” within allergy sufferers that, when exposed to the allergen, block this substance. Be aware that the majority of OTC antihistamines may cause drowsiness, especially if they’re combined with alcohol.

7. Medical Information

If you have allergies so severe they are life threatening consider wearing a medical alert bracelet. For those with less severe allergies, include a medical information card in your DIY Allergy Relief Kit that includes your type of allergies, emergency contact information, insurance information and your doctor’s name and phone number.

8. Bronchodilators

Allergies can cause asthma attacks in those who suffer from asthma. Your allergy kit should include an inhaler if you are prone to asthma attacks or bronchospasms.

Natural Allergy Relievers

If you prefer try natural remedies for your allergy symptoms, be sure to look into and add the following to your DIY allergy relief kit:

  1. Raw, Local Honey
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Probiotics
  4. Stinging nettle
  5. Neti Pot
  6. Quercetin
  7. Essential Oils

Additionally, the following lifestyle changes can also bring extra allergy relief to sufferers.

  1. Wash clothes and bedding once a week
  2. Shower before bed to wash off any pollen on your skin or in your hair
  3. Wipe your pets down before they come inside
  4. Watch the pollen count and limit your exposure on days when it’s high
  5. Keep windows shut to reduce the amount of pollen that gets inside

Once your DIY Allergy Relief Kit is complete, go over the contents with your doctor to make sure you didn’t forget anything important. The kit should be small enough to carry with you in your purse or briefcase so that it can always be with you. Making multiple kits is also a good idea so you can keep one at home, one at work and one in the car. Be sure to check the items in your kit once a year to remove/replace expired or missing medication. –

US Home Filter Offers AC Filters to Help Reduce Allergens

Family owned and operated for four generations now, we may not be doctors, but we certainly know about allergies and air filters! Over the years our experienced staff has help thousands of customers by answering the same questions that you may have.

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.

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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 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 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 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 recommends 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.

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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.

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HVAC Filters, Asthma & Allergies

HVAC filters for Allergens and AsthmaThe NHLBI (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) reports that more than 25 million people suffer from asthma in the United States. Those affected experience asthma attacks where their chest tightens, and they experience wheezing and shortness of breath. These attacks can be triggered by environmental conditions, allergies and can also happen out of nowhere. Common allergens and pollutants like ragweed, pet dander, pollen, mold, and cigarette smoke can trigger both allergies AND asthma. Clearing your home air from as many of these impurities as possible makes a huge difference for those affected. There are many methods to do this but the easiest, and sometimes most forgotten, is your home’s HVAC filters. Here’s how your heating and cooling system can help relieve your asthma and allergy symptoms.

HVAC Filters Make a Difference

The filter in your HVAC unit’s main job is to maintain/increase your homes indoor air quality by trapping dust and other pollutants. HVAC filters are essential for those that suffer from asthma and allergies as the filter captures the common allergens listed above – keeping them out of the air you breathe. Those with respiratory conditions will breathe easier indoors when the indoor air is clean. This is the primary reason it’s so important to change your air filters on a regular basis.

What Filter is Best?

Selecting the right filter requires some research, especially when trying to help prevent allergy and asthma symptoms. This is where a filter’s MERV rating comes into play. MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value”. It is a numeric value for rating and comparing the filter’s efficiency and performance. The range for standard MERV values is typically from 1 to 16; the number indicating how well the filter will remove material from the air. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration.

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

Just like all other items purchased, HVAC filters too have a low-end, mid-level and high-end choices. Not all air filters are created equal and they don’t all clean your indoor air with the same efficiency. The higher the MERV rating, the more contaminants/pollutants that are removed from indoor air. As with most high-end purchases, higher quality air filters come at a higher price point. There are also additional units that can be installed along with your HVAC system that are designed for air filtration and purification. These air cleaners provide an additional step “on top” of the regular filtration, cleaning your air even further.

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.

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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.

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All About Mold

What is Mold?  

mold

Classified as fungi, mold is a living organism that reproduces by developing spores that are separated and dispersed from a parent source or organism.  In ideal environments, the spores or “seeds” attach to a source of nourishment and establish a colony. Mold spores are present pretty much everywhere, year-round and there are many indoor and outdoor sources for mold to flourish. Ranging in size from 3-30 microns, there are over 100,000 types of mold!

Mold Facts

  • Bleach is usually recommended to kill mold; however, it is not effective for removal as dead or dormant mold spores are just as toxic as living spores. The dead/dormant spores must be properly removed.
  • A study in Science Daily indicated that Vitamin D supplements are helpful in the treatment and prevention of mold allergies.
  • In many cases, mold is harmful, but also has many beneficial properties. It assists organic material decomposition, aids in medication production, produces enzymes that help make certain foods (like cheese), assists in the production of alcohol, flavorings, and even plastic!
  • Molds are classified as either an A, B, or C hazard level. Aspergillus fumigatus, a hazard A classification, is commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens. It is highly unsafe and needs to be immediately remediated if present. A class C mold, Wallemia sebi, can grow in your carpeting or mattresses. Although not considered a health concern, it is capable of damaging the surfaces it lives on and should be removed.

Requirements for Growth

Mold requires only 3 basic conditions to grow:

  • Food – any organic material or surface where organic material is present. These include upholstery, carpet, leather, wool, cotton,  paper, wood, leaves, dirt, food, grease, insulation, drywall, dust, wallpaper
  • Moisture – Areas with standing water, humidifiers, garages/outdoor sheds, leaky roof or pipes, damp basements/closets, condensation on window sills,  vaporizers, drains
  • Temperature – Growth can happen in temperatures between 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but the ideal temperature for rapid growth ranges between 79-90 degrees. When temperatures fall below freezing, mold goes dormant and activates once the temperature reaches the ideal range.

Accelerating Growth

Mold will grow when the minimum requirements above are met, but there are certain conditions that increase the rate at which mold can multiply.

  • Humidity levels of 50% or greater – higher indoor humidity can allow moisture to develop on surfaces
  • Poor ventilation in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or kitchens. Proper air circulation can significantly reduce moisture in the air
  • Areas where piles have collected – leaves, damp clothing, food waste – ideal for holding moisture

Inhibiting Growth

  • Reduce humidity – indoor humidity should be below 50%, air should circulate via fans or proper ventilation, windows should be closed if raining outside
  • Prevent moisture – when the idea conditions and moisture are present, growth begins in 24-48 hours. For instance, if you leave a load of laundry in the washing machine for a day or two, that musty odor is mold!
  • High-efficiency pleated air filters remove airborne mold spores that settle on surfaces and potentially begin to multiply. Mold can enter your indoor air through doors, windows, and can be transported on your skin, clothing, shoes, and pets. Proper circulation and a quality furnace filter or air conditioning filter are necessary to reduce the amount of spores floating around in your air.
  • Indoor room air cleaners are very useful if you have a mold sensitivity. They provide additional relief and protection from microorganisms that drift through your air.

Indoor and Outdoor Mold

Mold is typically found indoors. The effects range from unnoticeable to debilitating for people as well as animals. Indoor mold is usually identified by a musty odor and can be visible in different colors depending on what type is present. As mentioned above, moisture is a requirement for mold to multiply. Common types of indoor mold are Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium.

The outdoor airborne variety of mold particulates are fungi related to mushrooms but they have no roots, leaves, or stems. Outdoor mold spores can be present almost anywhere and are carried in the same way as pollen by air currents, insects, animals, people, leaves, grasses, weeds, and flowers. Outdoor mold growth begins in the Spring with the highest concentrations occurring in different months by region. Common types of outdoor molds are Bipolaris, Ascospores, and Torula. Wet branches, leaves, compost piles, grass clippings, and structures that are frequently shaded and damp are all outdoor sources.

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.

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Reduce Dust – Breathe Cleaner Air

Controlling dust within the home is a constant battle for nearly everyone. Numerous sources cause dust and it continually collects on almost any surface in the house. Even with diligent cleaning, it seems to reappear as soon as you turn around. A variety of entry points and methods bring dust into your home’s environment. These places are where you need to tackle the dust in order to minimize it. Although you can noticeably reduce the amount of grime, dirt, soil and filth that originates from these sources, it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate dust.

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

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

What is Dust?

Dust is matter that consists assorted ingredients in the form of very fine particles. It is classified as a solid particle, formed by the reduction of a larger particle: indoor and outdoor debris, soot and ashes, food crumbs, dander and skin flakes, mold and mold spores, dust mites and their debris, insect particles, household fibers, lint, hair and fur, and pollen.

Larger particles over 10 microns will settle onto surfaces very rapidly, often within just a few seconds. Because of this, large dust particles aren’t filtered by your HVAC air filter as it never gets pulled into the duct work via the return air vents.  Other particles are so fine that they function like a gas and have no rate of fall whatsoever. These particles, usually less than 1/10th of a micron, remain suspended in the air and are only affected by nearby currents or movement. Small particles between 1.0 – 10.0 microns will take several minutes to make their way to the nearest table, shelf, or floor. Particles this size will make up the majority of those that are able to be collected by your furnace filter or AC filter.

All About Dust

  • On average, households accumulate about 40 pounds of dust each year
  • Dust allergies are triggered by dust mites 
  • Persistent cold and hay fever symptoms are often due to a dust allergy
  • Household dust is the main contributor to indoor allergies
  • The particle size of atmospheric dust varies greatly between .001 – 40 microns
  • July and August are the months for dust allergies as the dust mite population increases, but they can also present problems during the cooler months as more time is spent indoors.

Symptoms of a Dust Allergy

  • ongoing cold symptoms
  • itchy, red, watery eyes
  • runny nose, frequent sneezing
  • cough, headache, fatigue
  • symptoms that worsen when sweeping, dusting, changing bedding/linens, or vacuuming

Dust and other airborne particulate matter can cause these symptoms in those that have a sensitivity or allergy to the type of particle being inhaled. Some allergens, such as soot, ash, lint and pollen, are proven to cause reactive symptoms even when there is no known allergy to that substance. Contaminants and allergens can trigger these reactions in non-allergic individuals simply because they are classified as irritants. This irritation or onset of symptoms will arise when the particles are inhaled. Our respiratory tract allows entry of these particles to different levels based on the size of the particle. The levels can be divided into three areas:

  • Inhalable – particles that are less than 100 microns and can be breathed in through the nose and mouth 
  • Thoracic – particles that are less than 10 microns and can pass the larynx, trachea, and enter into the bronchial region
  • Respirable – particles that are less than 4 microns reach the gas exchange region in the lower airways

dust

How to Control Dust

  • Use a vacuum with HEPA filtration
  • Frequently clean all of your hard surfaces. Remember air vents, fan blades, books, shelves, door and window frames, vases, artwork, pictures, wall hangings, collectibles, electronics
  • Clean and seal ventilation and ducts
  • Use an air filter with a higher MERV rating to capture the finest dust particles. A MERV 13 pleated air filter is recommended for those with the most severe allergies and excessive dust issues
  • Allowing your system fan to run more frequently to recirculate the air so your air filter can remove the most dust and prevent more from gathering on surfaces
  • Consider reducing the number of cloth items such as drapes, pillows, upholstered furniture, and carpeted surfaces or include them in the list of items that should be cleaned or vacuumed regularly
  • Think about using simple, smoother décor that is less ornate and detailed which will not be as prone to harbor dust and will be easier to keep clean
  • Add entry rugs or mats to all doorways leading in and out of the home to better collect and contain incoming debris from shoes and pets
  • Keep walkways, decks, patios, and garage areas swept to lessen the amount of dirt that can be tracked into the home

Minimizing Dust Improves Your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

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

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

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

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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Allergens vs. Allergies

allergensYou regularly hear the words “allergy” and “allergen”. Although correlated, the two words do not have the same meaning. An allergen is medically defined as any substance (typically a form of protein) that causes an allergic reaction in those sensitive to it or any substance that produces an allergy. WebMD defines an allergy as a reaction of the immune system to something foreign invading the body. The allergic reaction experienced by those affected is the body’s way of attempting to get rid of something that does not belong in the body. Histamines are then released as the immune and inflammatory response to the foreign substance, causing everything from itchiness, runny nose, swelling, sneezing, nausea, and rashes as well as other severe reactions (anaphylaxis). There is a cause and effect relationship between allergens and allergies. When the allergen enters the body, the allergic reaction is initiated as a response to rid the body of the allergen and neutralize it. Here are the different types of allergens, their symptoms, and ways to keep them under control.

Top 10 Airborne Allergens

Health experts estimate that over 35 million Americans have upper respiratory symptoms because of an allergic reaction. Airborne allergens are also called aeroallergens.

  • Tree Pollen
  • Grass Pollen
  • Weed Pollen
  • Mold Spores
  • Cat Dander
  • Dog Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Cockroaches
  • Feathers
  • Other dander and organic fibers

Specific Allergens Explained:

Pollen: Pollen is a powder like substance that contains pollen grains. Most of the pollen that triggers an allergic reaction come from plants whose pollen floats through the air to transfer onto flowers. There are 3 main plant allergens: tree, grass and weed pollen. Many times, the reaction to the pollen from these plants cause nasal discomfort, sneezing, itching, and runny nose, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis. Each plant produces and spreads pollen at different times of the year, therefore those sensitive to pollen can suffer from allergies throughout the year.

Mold Spores: Mold is a living organism, classified as fungi, that reproduces through the development of spores that are separated and distributed from a parent source or organism. When in the ideal environment, the spores or “seeds” will attach to a source of nourishment and a colony will be established. Mold spores are present nearly everywhere as there are many possible indoor and outdoor sources for mold. The severity of the allergic reactions from mold vary depending on the level of sensitivity as well as the concentration of exposure. The most common reactions are itchy, watery, irritated eyes, runny nose, congestion, headache, cough, throat irritation, difficulty breathing, asthma, flu-like symptoms, and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (also known as Sick Building Syndrome). The best treatment is to reduce the factors that help mold to grow and minimize exposure.

Pet Dander: Pet dander is the animal’s dead skin cells that are shed, much like dandruff from a human.  Animal saliva and other bodily substances also are causes for allergic reactions. There are a few breeds that produce less dander than others, but there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic (non-allergen producing) animal. For many years the animal’s hair or fur was blamed for allergic reactions and not the dander. The best way to control pet dander is to keep your pets off of furniture, vacuum regularly, use an HVAC air filter specifically for pet dander (replacing it monthly) and make sure your home has proper and efficient ventilation in place.

Dust Mites: One of the most common household allergens, dust mites are tiny insects that feed on human skin. They can live and survive almost anywhere, but prefer cloth materials like carpet and bedding. Dust mites do not bite humans to feed on their skin, rather they eat the skin cells that humans slough off regularly. The allergen from a dust mite is they themselves and their waste, which can cause serious upper respiratory issues. To control dust mites, purchase allergy control covers for your bedding and pillows, wash linens, rugs and any stuffed animals in hot water every week and monitor and adjust the humidity in your home.

Cockroaches: The saliva and waste from cockroaches can also trigger allergies and asthma when they are airborne. Even dead cockroaches can cause allergic reactions! Again, the best defense to protect yourself from cockroach allergens is to reduce exposure. Be sure to cover all trash cans tightly, store food in airtight containers, wash dirty dishes promptly, sweep up crumbs, fix leaky pipes (cockroaches like damp places), seal cracks in walls and floors and place cockroach baits and traps around the house.

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 to maximize your indoor air quality, reduce fall allergy triggers and keep your unit running efficiently. US Home Filter can provide you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter in your furnace is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter offers filters to fit all heating and air conditioning units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filtersgrille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

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

Selecting the filters that are exactly 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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Deadly Diseases Preventable With Air Filters

preventing diseases with air filters What is air pollution? According to the Environmental Pollution Center, “air pollution can be defined as the presence of toxic chemicals or compounds (including those of biological origin) in the air, at levels that pose a health risk.” This means that air pollution is the presence of biologics or other chemicals or compounds living in your breathable air that can cause harm to humans. Air pollution has become an unintended consequence of our everyday lives. With the increase of cars, trucks, and factories, it has greatly affected the health of people worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 4.2 million people die each year as a result of exposure to air pollution, making the air we breathe the world’s largest environmental health risk. However, outdoor air pollution is not the only culprit. The indoor air we breathe can also put us at risk if it is polluted and not properly filtered before recirculating. This leads to the question: Are deadly diseases and other illnesses are preventable through the use of a home HVAC filter? Let’s take a closer look at the top 3 health consequences to ourselves and families when the air in our homes is polluted.

Top Three Diseases Caused by Indoor Air Pollution

Stroke

Approximately 15 million people suffer a stroke worldwide each year and 33% of these cases are associated with exposure to indoor air pollutants in the home. Studies have shown that there is a direct connection between particulate matter (soil or dust particles, organic chemicals, allergens [fragments of pollen or mold spores], sulphates, nitrates, and metals) and an increase in hospital admissions and death from strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIA). TIAs, also known as ‘mini-strokes’, can lead to full ischemic strokes later.

Heart Disease

Air pollution is believed to have inflammatory effects on the heart which causes chronic cardiovascular problems. For anyone with underlying or already existing heart disease, the effects of air pollution is even greater. Just the mere exposure to the pollution can increase their heart rate and blood pressure. When the small particulates within polluted air enter into a person’s blood stream, they begin to irritate the lungs and blood vessels around the heart. Lowering exposure to air pollution results in the reduction of this inflammation and improves the overall health of the lining of the blood vessels.

Lung Cancer

The World Health Organization also reports that lung cancer is the cause of approximately 6% of all fatalities attributed to indoor air pollution. Research studies have shown that household dust can contain toxic, cancer inducing compounds and chemicals in both significant varieties and quantities. A recent study reported that ~45 toxic chemicals were commonly found in the dust of many US households and homes. They also found that ten of these harmful chemicals were found in an estimated ninety percent (90%) of all the homes that were tested. Children are the most vulnerable members of the household, as the majority of dust collects at the ground level. The study also documented the most common chemicals seen were a variety of flame retardants that are directly linked to lung cancer. They can also cause further adverse reactions and effects on an individual’s central nervous system.

The Role of Air Filters

Knowing these facts can be scary, but it also makes it clear how important it is to reduce exposure to air pollution indoors to prevent these deadly diseases. Reducing exposure to these potentially harmful toxins and chemicals saves lives. Although there isn’t much we can do regarding exposure to outdoor air pollution, we CAN control the amount of pollution we are exposed to in our homes. By using high-quality air filters in your HVAC system, the number of pollutants you are exposed to is greatly reduced, therefore leaving you and your family healthier.

Air filtration provides a means to attain the highest level of indoor air quality possible in our homes. Air filters were originally intended to simply protect your HVAC system, but as filtration media became more refined and specialized, filters now clean contaminants, allergens, and other bothersome particles from indoor air using high-efficiency pleated air filters. This has resulted in a significant improvement in the ability to provide the cleanest air to breathe inside homes and businesses.

How do you choose the right filter for your home and your family? The first step is to select the level of filtration based on the types of particles you aim to prevent entering your “breathable air” with your air conditioning and furnace filters. You also want to choose a MERV rating that targets specific types of particles – such as mold spores, pollen or pet dander. The higher the rating, the smaller the particle that is 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 in order to prevent deadly diseases by keeping your indoor air quality clean and your unit running at its maximum efficiency. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filtersgrille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

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

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