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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Biological Pollutants Facts and Impacts

Biological pollutantsBiological pollutants are in our walls, in our food, in the water, even in the air around us. These pollutants are living organisms (i.e. enzymes, fungi, bacteria, viruses) or their byproducts which can be hazardous to human (and animal) health if they are swallowed, inhaled, or otherwise enter the body. The growth and spread of these biological contaminants are affected by nutrient sources, temperature, air movement and relative humidity. These pollutants can contaminate the indoor air in various situations: when living, dead, or debris from dead organisms are distributed by ventilation systems. Here’s what need to know about biological pollutants and how can you protect yourself and your family.

Sources of Biological Pollutants

Biological contaminants are living organisms themselves or the byproducts produced by living organisms. They are often found in areas that provide their preferred food and moisture. These areas include humidifiers, condensation pans, unvented bathrooms or cooling coils – these are all areas that can be breeding grounds for mold. Drapes, carpet, bedding and other dust collecting areas may also attract/accumulate biological pollutants. According to the EPA the following are the main sources of biological contaminants:

  • pollen (from plants)
  • viruses (transmitted via people and animals)
  • mold
  • bacteria (carried by people and animals, soil and plant debris)
  • household pets (saliva and animal dander)
  • droppings and body parts from cockroaches, rodents and other pests or insects
  • airborne dried protein from rat/mice urine
  • Contaminated HVAC systems (can breed mold, mildew and other biological contaminants, distributing them throughout your home)

Health Effects

The health effects felt from exposure to biological pollutants are extensive. Allergic reactions can include asthma, allergic rhinitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Illnesses such as chicken pox, measles and influenza are spread through the air while mold and mildew release disease causing toxins. The symptoms of exposure to biological pollutants may include coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, watery eyes, fever, dizziness, tiredness and even digestive problems.

Reduce Exposure to Biological Pollutants

The main rule in reducing your exposure to these pollutants are to keep up with your general housekeeping (dusting and vacuuming), as well as properly maintaining your HVAC system. Ventilation and air circulation are also important as well as controlling the relative humidity level in your home. By keeping the humidity at 30-50%, the growth of mold, mildew, dust mites and insects is inhibited. You’ll also want to:

  1. Install exhaust fans that are vented to the outdoors in your kitchen, bathroom and make sure your clothes dryer is vented outdoors.
  2. Ventilate your attic and any crawl spaces to prevent moisture from building up.
  3. If you use humidifiers, be sure to clean the appliances and fill them with fresh water every day.
  4. Water damaged carpet or building materials should be thoroughly cleaned and dried or removed or replaced if water damage is severe.
  5. Maintain regular housekeeping. Dust mites, dander, pollens and other allergens can be greatly reduced by regular cleaning.
  6. Take steps to reduce biological pollutants in basements by cleaning and disinfecting the basement floor drain. Run a dehumidifier in your basement if the humidity levels are above 50%.
  7. Change your HVAC system’s air filter regularly and check for any standing water in the condensation pan that is not being flushed out.

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 reduce biological pollutants, keep your indoor air quality clean and your unit running at its maximum efficiency. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filtersgrille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

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

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

Top Three Home Allergens

home allergensMost of us are familiar with outdoor allergens and even hear about pollen counts on the local news. However, many people suffer from indoor allergies as well. For indoor allergy sufferers, the colder months provide little relief from these allergens due to the increased amount of time spent indoors. The sneezing and itching continue, and the allergens can lead to more severe symptoms such as wheezing and respiratory infections. To combat indoor allergens, it’s important to understand where they’re coming from and how to control them to make sure you stay healthier in your home, not only this season but year-round.

The 3 Most Common Home Allergens

#1 Mold

Mold thrives in damp environments. This makes bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms or anywhere with unseen leaks mold’s favorite place to grow. Once mold grows, mold spores are released into your indoor air, contributing to dust and allergy/asthma symptoms.

What You Can Do:

  • If you or a family member has a mold allergy, carpet is not the flooring for your home. Instead, select flooring that dries easily to reduce moisture. Also deter anyone with allergies from spending time in rooms that you know are damper.
  • Check for moisture in typically unseen but susceptible places, such as your home’s foundation and windows. Clean affected surfaces regularly.

#2 Pet Dander

You may think that those allergic to animals that it’s the animal’s hair that is the problem. This is not the case. The allergic reaction comes from the pet dander, which is the animal’s dead skin cells, similar to human dandruff. Animal saliva and other bodily substances also are causes for allergic reactions. There are some breeds that produce less dander than other, but there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic animal.

What You Can Do:

  • Try to keep your pets off the furniture and out of the bedrooms if at all possible. Wash blankets and floors regularly to keep the dander at bay.
  • Use an HVAC air filter specifically for pet dander and replace it regularly. Also make sure your home has proper and efficient ventilation.

#3 Dust Mites

This is one of the most common household allergens. Dust mites are tiny insects that feed on human skin and although they can survive anywhere, they prefer bedding and cloth materials like carpeting. Dust mites don’t bite, rather they themselves and their waste can cause serious respiratory problems.

What You Can Do:

  • Invest in dust an allergy control covers for your bedding and pillows. Wash linens, rugs and any stuffed animals in hot water every week.
  • Consider a HEPA filter for bedrooms and any other rooms those with allergies spend time in. Change your HVAC filter regularly to keep dust mites from circulating through the air in your home.
  • Monitor and adjust the humidity in your home. Relative humidity inside and out contributes to the survival of dust mites in your home. The American Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reports that dust mites thrive in temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius) and like humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent.

US Home Filter Offers AC Filters to Help Reduce Allergens

No matter which type of HVAC system your home has, every unit needs a quality air filter that fits properly in order to maximize your indoor air quality, reduce fall allergy triggers and keep your unit running efficiently. US Home Filter can provide you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter in your furnace is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter offers filters to fit all heating and air conditioning units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filtersgrille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

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

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

All About Dust & Dust Mites

dust and dust mitesHave you ever finished cleaning only to turn around and see dust particles on the surfaces that you just cleaned? Every home has dust and, unfortunately, there isn’t a way to totally prevent or eliminate it entirely; however, you can control it. Dust and dust mites are one of the primary causes of indoor household health issues that include asthma, allergies and respiratory problems. So, what can you do to minimize and manage the dust in your house and improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality?

What is Dust?

There are many factors that contribute to the production of dust, but first it’s important to understand what dust is. According to BusinessDictionary.com, dust is “airborne particulate matter ranging in diameter from 10 to 50 microns, generated by activities such as cutting, crushing, detonation, grinding, and handling of organic and inorganic matter such as coal, grain, metal, ore, rock, wood.”

Controlling the level of dust indoors is a continuous struggle for nearly everyone. Dust originates from numerous sources and persistently collects on almost any surface. The most effective way to minimize dust is to tackle it at its source. While you can noticeably reduce the amount of grime, dirt, soil and filth that originates from these sources, dust will still be very difficult to eliminate.

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 are Dust Mites?

Within dust, there are also tiny bugs called dust mites that survive on the skin cells shed from humans. They are commonly found in rugs, carpets and upholstered furniture, as well as commonly seen in bedrooms. Dust mites are one of the most common year-round triggers of asthma and allergies and in a warm, humid house, dust mites can survive all year long. With excess dust in the home, and humans shedding on average 1.5 grams of skin each day, it’s important to keep that dust under control in order to help reduce and minimize the amount of dust mites living in your house.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dust mite allergy symptoms caused by inflammation of nasal passages include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
  • In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose

If your dust mite allergy contributes to asthma, you may also experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • An audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • Bouts of coughing or wheezing that are worsened by a respiratory virus such as a cold or the flu

How to Control Dust and Dust Mites

There are four main or primary problems that can contribute to dust in your home. Luckily, there are ways to remedy these issues which can help reduce the dust in your house.

1. Air Filters

If you have excessive dust in your home, the most likely culprit is a dirty HVAC filter that isn’t working efficiently to effectively clean the air. A clean air filter that is working properly prevents dust and debris from collecting on the mechanical parts of your HVAC system, minimizing the dust levels in your home’s air. Using a high-efficiency pleated filter provides a large surface area with high dust-holding capacity. Pleated filters trap and hold several grams of dust that would otherwise be blown into your ducts and back into your air, settling on the surfaces you just cleaned.

To control average levels of dust, we recommend a minimum of a MERV 8 rating on your home air filter. For greater protection from smaller dust particles (fine, suspended dust), a higher MERV rating is recommended. As the MERV rating increases, the finer the particles that are captured by the filter, therefore a higher percentage of dust and microscopic particulate matter is removed.

Battling dust that continues to reappear on bookshelves, tables, window treatments, and decor is a constant point of frustration for many people. It is virtually impossible to totally eliminate the dust because there are so many sources, but your air filter is a great supporter of your fight to reduce dust as much as possible.

2. Leaky Ducts

If you have efficient, clean air filters and are still battling large amounts of dust, leaky ducts may be your actual problem. If there is a leak in your ducts, they could be releasing dusty, unfiltered air back into your home. When you turn on an HVAC system that has ducts with holes or leaks, the ducts suck up the dirt, dust, and other contaminants in and around your crawl space/attic. This dirt and dust then get blown out of the air vents in your home, reducing your indoor air quality and increasing your energy bills. If you notice that your energy bills are higher, have hot and cold spots in your house or see dirty/lint covered vent registers, you may have leaky ducts.

The best way to resolve this is to call an HVAC technician who can perform a pressure test that will tell them if the ducts need to be resealed. Getting your ducts cleaned and resealed by a professional will save you money in the long run by controlling your indoor temperature, reduce energy costs and most importantly, reducing the amount of dust in your home.

3. Humidity Level

The humidity level both on the outside and inside of your home is another main cause of dust. If you live in a dry climate, or perhaps in a dry season, this can affect the amount of dust in your home. Relative humidity inside and out also contributes to the survival of dust mites, so is related to the amount of dust mites in your home. According to the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), dust mites thrive in temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius). They also like humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent. So, to put it simply, there will be a lot of dust in the desert, but relatively no dust in the rain forest.

If your indoor air is too dry, you’re going to see more dust in the air. The solution for this is to invest in a humidifier that will help you find a balance in the humidity level in your home. It’s also important to note that dusty and dry air may be a signal that there is a problem with your HVAC system, so if the dust is excessive, you’ll want to get your system checked out.

4. Flooring

The last primary factor that affects the amount of dust is the type of flooring in your house. If your home is carpeted, research has found that carpet harbors dust and dust mites; however, it also holds in the dust making it easier to vacuum it up. Controversially, hard floors don’t hold onto dust and dust mites, but they do contribute to the stirring up of the dust and getting it back into the air when vacuuming, sweeping or simply walking through the house. Regardless of the type of flooring that you have in your house, you’ll want to have a high quality vacuum cleaner that sucks up the dust and dirt, efficiently trapping it so it isn’t released back into the air that you and your family breathe.

US Home Filter is Here for You

Nobody wants to breathe dirty air. There’s no doubt that reducing the dust in the air in your home is highly beneficial for everyone – family members and visitors. The air that you breathe can have a significant impact on allergy symptoms, asthma triggers, and your overall level of comfort. Your air transports allergens and contaminants, allowing them to be inhaled or to settle on surfaces where they can spread to other areas. Minimizing dust improves your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). Using high-efficiency pleated air filters is a great added level of defense in helping to clean your home’s 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!

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. We take pride in helping our customers find the best filtration solutions to fit their 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 a custom size air filter built to your specifications. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Fighting Fall Allergies

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

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

Common Fall Allergy Triggers

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

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

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

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

Allergy Prevention/Reduction Recommendations

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

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

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

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

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

US Home Filter Offers AC Filters to Help Reduce Allergens

No matter which type of HVAC system your home has, every unit needs a quality air filter that fits properly in order to maximize your indoor air quality, reduce fall allergy triggers and keep your unit running efficiently. US Home Filter can provide you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter in your furnace is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter offers filters to fit all heating and air conditioning units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filtersgrille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

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

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