What to Check Before Turning on the Heat

turning the heat on for the first timeAs the temperature drops, you may switch on the heat without a second thought. However, after your heater has sat unused for most of the year, it’s not the best idea to just turn it on and expect it to work right away. In fact, there are a few important things that should be checked before you even turn the heater on for the first time to avoid system malfunctions and costly breakdowns. Here are the things to check before turning on your heat to ensure your home is safe and your furnace is well maintained.

Pre Heat Checklist

1. Change your air filter.

First and foremost, before you even try to turn on your heat, make sure your air filter is new and clean. We’ve talked numerous times in the past about the importance of changing your filters. How often you should change them depends on numerous factors like the type of filter, pets and allergies; however, in general filters should be changed every 1-3 months.  If you are unsure, monitoring your AC filter for a month. If it’s dirty at the end of the month you know you need to change it monthly.

2. Check for obstructions near the unit.

This one is easy to forget as many heaters are located in areas we don’t regularly go into (e.g. the garage or attic) and share space with many other things. Make sure that your heater isn’t surrounded by flammable materials or chemicals to prevent any dangerous situations. The unit should be free from clutter on all sides, so it has ample room to operate properly.

3. Check your supply and return vents.

Go around to each room in your house and make sure they are open. Closed registers, even in unused rooms, don’t save money. In fact, they make your unit less efficient. If there is any dust or debris stuck to the grates, wipe them down or vacuum away the dust.

4. Is there a funny smell?

Once the clean air filter is in place, you’ve checked your furnace’s surroundings and the return and supply vents, you can now turn on your heat. You may notice a funny smell coming from your registers. This is actually burning dust that has settled on the heating components when they were not in use. Opening a few windows will get rid of the odor, or it will go away on its own after a while. If you’re still smelling the burning odor, check your filters and ducts for dust – they may need to be cleaned. If you see any fire or smoke, turn it off right away, extinguish the fire and call 911.

5. Check the current carbon monoxide detector reading.

If your home doesn’t have a carbon monoxide detector, we recommend purchasing and installing one. The alarm on the detector will go off if the reading is above 30. If this happens, turn off your furnace and call a technician right away. Open up the windows and don’t turn the heat on again until a technician has checked the system. You may even want to leave the house all together if the reading is above 30.

6. Is the furnace making strange noises?

If your furnace is making unusual noises or seems to be struggling to operate, it may mean that it needs a tune up. Check the breaker if it is not blowing warm air and make sure the unit is receiving power. Some heating systems rely on electric heat pumps that run a defrost cycle when the temperature goes below 40 degrees. Once the cycle is complete, the heat should turn on again.

Once you have checked #1-3 before turning on your heater for the first time, and followed #4-6, you should have a good idea if your furnace is running correctly or not. All appliances have the potential to be dangerous so take the appropriate steps ahead of time to be safe. A thorough check early in the season will take care of any issues that may be present before it gets too cold out, keeping your family safe and warm.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly in order to keep your indoor air quality clean and your 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 filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

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

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

How Leaves Affect HVAC Systems

Leaves and HVAC SystemsFall is officially here, and with that we get to experience the cooler weather and see the amazing change of colors around us. As beautiful as the leaves are as they turn from greens to oranges, yellows and reds, we also know that they will eventually be falling to the ground below. Unfortunately, falling leaves also bring with them new potential hazards to your homes HVAC system. It’s hard to believe that something so simple can wreak such havoc on an HVAC system; however, if you don’t protect your unit diligently, it could be in trouble.

The Problem with Fallen Leaves

The portion of your HVAC system that lives outside your home is a cabinet that contains the condenser coil and compressor. These components’ job is to expel latent heat that has been collected from inside your house. In order to do this, the cabinet also houses a powerful fan that draws cool air in from the sides and bottom of the unit. The warm air is then dispersed out through the top of the cabinet.

As you can see, air flow and circulation are critical for your outdoor HVAC cabinet to work properly. When leaves fall to the ground and accumulate at the bottom of the unit, they can block this crucial airflow, causing difficulty for your HVAC system to expel the latent heat.  As your HVAC has to work harder, it is no longer working efficiently. This leads to increased energy consumption, higher bills and potential damage to the condenser coil and compressor.

Protecting Your HVAC System in Fall

Protecting your outdoor HVAC unit is essential for preparing your home for fall and winter. Every home will likely have leaves, sticks, dirt, grass clippings, and other items gather up against the unit. The most important thing is to keep the condenser and the area that surrounds it free from any type of the debris. Make sure you:

  • Clear away any buildup of debris and trash from around the unit
  • Trim back vegetation and overhanging branches (within a minimum of 2 feet around the unit) to prevent leaves from falling though the vent fan.
  • Rake your yard regularly to keep it free from fallen leaves and other debris.
  • Make sure you inspect and keep the HVAC cabinet clean. If any leaves or debris are found inside, use an air compressor to blow them out.
  • Protect your HVAC unit with a cover when it’s not in use.

Energy.gov reports that heating and cooling accounts for more than half the energy use in a typical US home, so it’s important to keep it working as efficiently as possible!

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

The Importance of MERV Ratings

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

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

Comparing MERV Ratings

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

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

Buying Filters with High MERV Ratings

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

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

What MERV Rating Should I Buy?

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

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

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

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

Fall Energy Saving Tips

Fall is right around the corner and with it comes the beautiful fall colors and also cooler weather. The fall season is also a great time to save money on your heating and cooling costs. Check out the following tips to reduce your energy bills this fall.

8 Tips to Save Energy This Fall

fall energy saving tips1. Turn down your thermostat.

It’s a simple thing to do, but very cost effective. You will save around 2% on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat! According to the Department of Energy, you can easily save energy in the fall by setting your thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. They recommend turning your thermostat back 7°-10° for 8 hours a day to see the largest energy savings.

2. Close your flue and check for leaks.

If you have a home with a fireplace, make sure you close the flue when the fireplace is not in use. During the fall and winter, fireplaces are a great way to stay warm and cozy, but open flue dampers actually draw warm air out of your house. If the flue is open all day, you will be losing heat out of your chimney that could be staying in your house keeping it warm. If your flue is closed and you still think you might be losing heat, check for leaks. To do this, light a match and hold it by the seal of the fireplace’s damper. If the flame gets drawn up toward the flue, you probably have a leak. Contact your local, licensed and insured chimney company to get your flue sealed.

3. Invest in a humidifier.

We’ve talked numerous times in the past about the benefits of humidifiers. But, did you know that you can see upwards of 20% in energy savings from using a humidifier? With a humidifier in your home, you are able to set your thermostat lower. Moist air is warmer than dry air, so with the use of a humidifier you will achieve a warmer indoor temperature at a lower setting.

4. Clean air registers, baseboard heaters, radiators.

Dust on the warm air registers, baseboard heaters, radiators or in ducts acts as insulation and wastes heat. Make sure you vacuum them regularly. You also want to move any furniture, draperies or carpeting that may be blocking them. If anything is put over or in front of the register or radiator, it blocks the amount of heat that can be emitted into the room. This causes your system to run harder and longer, thus costing you more money.

5. Get an HVAC tune-up.

Not only can this save you money on your heating bill, it also provides ease of mind as any potential danger will be detected. Tuning-up your HVAC system is the best way to avoid sudden emergency repairs when you need your heating and cooling system the most.

6. Change ceiling fans airflow.

If you have ceiling fans in your house, another way to save energy t this fall is by changing the direction of the fan’s airflow. Hot air rises, so in the fall and winter the blades should be spinning in a clockwise direction. This will push the warm air that rises up to the ceiling down to the floor, redistributing the heat.

7. Utilize your blinds and drapes.

On those cold but sunny days, keep your blinds and drapes open. This will allow the naturally occurring solar heat to warm your home during the day. As the sun sets, close the blinds and drapes to keep the warm air in and prevent the heat from escaping.

8. Change your air filters!

The Department of Energy also reports that replacing dirty filters with clean air filters can reduce your energy consumption up to 15%. Your heating and cooling system is responsible for nearly half of your energy usage alone which means you could potentially save around 7.5% on your energy bill each month.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

 

Supply vs. Return Air Vents: What’s the Difference?

air vents supply vs returnYou are probably aware that your home was built with a network of ducts hidden behind the walls, but do you know their purpose? The ducts provide a pathway for air to cycle through every room in your home, to and from your HVAC system. This circulation process; however, would not be possible without the supply and return air vents you see throughout your house. But what is the difference between supply and return vents?

Supply & Return Air Vents

It’s easy to think that your AC and furnace simply blow heated or cooled air to the rooms in your house. But another very important part of the cycle of air is happening as well – sucking air out of the rooms. This is where the difference between supply vs return vents comes into play.

Supply Vents: These air vents blow conditioned air out. They are easy to identify as they are the ones you feel the cool air coming from. The air coming from these vents has traveled through your HVAC system, through the ducts and out of the supply vents. Supply vents are usually found high up on the walls in your home, or on the ceiling.

Return Vents: These air vents suck air from the rooms in your home back into your HVAC system. They are typically larger in size than supply vents and you will not feel air blowing out of them. Return vents are usually found closer to the bottom of the walls in your home, near the floorboard, but depends upon the location of your ductwork.

Ductwork and Vent Connection

The HVAC system in your house is meant to maintain a balance environment inside the ductwork. In order to do this, the amount of air the ducts blow out should be nearly equal to the amount of air that’s being sucked back into the ductwork. If there is an inadequate amount of supply and return vents, the pressure inside the ducts becomes unbalanced, causing your home to feel less comfortable. If you’re building a home or installing a new system, make sure precise measurements are taken of your home’s air flow needs before the HVAC system is installed.

How to Maximize Your Air Vents Performance

There are a few things you can do to make sure your supply and return vents are performing at their best, even if you have the correct amount in your home.

  1. Don’t block supply or return vents with furniture or other objects to optimize air flow
  2. Avoid closing the supply vents in any rooms of your house, even unused rooms, to prevent an increase in pressure inside of the ductwork.
  3. To save energy in unused or rarely used rooms, consider investing in a zoned HVAC system and section those rooms off into separate zones.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

Preventing Mold Growth in Your Drip Pan

Drip Pan Mold GrowthAs your AC system works hard to produce cold air, it is also producing gallons of water – between 5 and 20 gallons a day during the summer months! When air passes over the evaporator coil of your HVAC unit, the water vapor in the air condenses into liquid, draining off the coil into a drip pan beneath the air handler. This water, in turn, is channeled out of the drain line and into your home’s sewer system. Take a continuously wet drip pan and add in the dark, wet location of the air handlers (usually the attic or a closet) and the result is a perfect breeding ground for mold and microbial organisms.

Consequences of Drip Pan Mold Growth

As the mold continues to grow, over time it forms into a jelly-like consistency that can plug up the drain lines. As stated above your air conditioner can produce upwards of 20 gallons of water a day – so a drip pan that isn’t draining is a looming disaster. Unfortunately, this building problem often goes unnoticed, due to the air handler being located in a closet or attic, until it’s too late and an overflow occurs.  Keeping your AC drain lines open and running efficiently is critical to preventing water damage to your home’s structure and prized possessions.

An even more dangerous consequence of drip pan mold growth is the spread of mold throughout your home. From its breeding ground in the drip pan, millions of airborne mold spores are spread every hour. The microscopic particulates have the perfect opportunity to slip into your AC systems airflow and circulate through the HVAC ducts, contaminating your indoor air. Mold spores can cause health issues, asthma and allergies, especially affecting those with weakened immune systems. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) also links household mold to the development of childhood asthma.

Drip Pan Mold Growth Prevention

There are things you can do to prevent mold growth in your drip pan. If condensation or runoff are not being drained out of the system and there is any standing water, it needs treatment. Here are some things you can do to keep your HVAC free from these microbial dangers and running efficiently.

  • HVAC pan tablets can be placed in the condensation tray. These tablets prevent algae and other organisms from growing in the moist area.
  • Keep your home as free from dirt and dust as possible. Indoor and outdoor airborne bacteria and organic particles are food for the mold.
  • Change your air filter regularly! We’ve talked about the importance of this many times, but it applies to mold growth as well. A dirty, clogged air filter won’t capture the airborne contaminants, bypassing the filter and ending up in the drip pan as another source of food for the mold colony. Check your air filter’s manufacturer’s recommendation on how often the filter should be changed. During the hot season where the AC is working overtime, monthly filter changes are your best bet.
  • Get your system inspected by an HVAC technician to check for mold in the drip pan and drain lines. They will ensure the drain slopes are the right angle to keep the water flowing away from the drip pan and there are no areas where water can become trapped and collect.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

Reasons for Room to Room Temperature Imbalances

temperature imbalances in the homeHave you ever noticed that when you enter a certain room in your house, it’s always warmer than all the others? Or have a room that you know has the coolest temperature in your house? No matter what you set your thermostat to, those rooms are always hotter or colder than the others. Your living room may be the exact temperature you want, but your bedroom upstairs is freezing. It can be aggravating and uncomfortable and, while these temperature imbalances are frustrating, they may be warning signs of a much larger issues. So why does this happen and what can you do to fix it?

First, check for the following common issues:

  • Air Duct Problems: If your air ducts are crushed or kinked, certain areas of your house won’t get sufficient air. Air duct leaks can also cause uneven temperatures, among other issues.
  • Dirty Air Filters: Clean air filters allow air to flow through your home efficiently. If your air filters are dirty, it restricts airflow therefore affecting the amount of cool air circulating throughout your home.
  • Open Windows: Cool, air conditioned air can escape out of open windows leading to uneven temps in your home.
  • Closed Vents: If a vent remains closed in a room, it restricts airflow leading to a warmer temperature than in other rooms of the house.

If it’s not one of the problems above, the next likely cause is an unbalanced air conditioning and heating system. You’ll need an AC company to balance it.

Air Balancing for Temperature Regulation

If you’ve checked all the issues above and all are okay, the cause of your temperature variances is probably an unbalanced heating and air conditioning system. Air balancing is a service that HVAC companies provide where they adjust the amount of heated and cooled air each room gets in your home.

When a system is perfectly balanced, each room in your home would be the same temperature at the same time. If this is not the case in your house, then you have an unbalanced system.

Unbalanced HVAC System Causes

There are many different factors that can cause an HVAC system to become unbalanced. During the system’s installation, larger ducts and additional supply vents are used to push more air into the rooms that need it. Dampers are also installed which help regulate the air flow and even out the temperatures throughout your home. These are valves that allow you to adjust the amount of air getting to each room or area of the house. They are installed near the inside unit of the AC unit on the main ducts, typically in a closet or in the attic.

If your ducts and dampers are properly installed, your system should be pretty balanced; however, there are many factors that can affect this balance. Here are some of the most common things that cause your system to become unbalanced:

1) Multilevel Homes

If your home has multiple levels, it can be difficult to properly balance the air due to the nature of hot air rising as well as the long duct runs that are required to get air to every room. If this is the case in your home, you may want to consider a zoned AC system. With zoning, your home is broken up into different areas, each of which has its own thermostat and temperature control/sensor that automatically adjusts the dampers in your duct system. Zoning also allows you to set different temperatures for different rooms, enabling you to even out the temperature in your home.

2) Long Duct Runs or Uninsulated Ducts

A lot of times, duct work will run through unconditioned areas such as your attic. When the air passes through these warm areas it gains heat, therefore causing rooms furthest away from the air conditioner much warmer (with rooms closer to AC much cooler). This can also be caused by uninsulated ducts – which is a simple solution to this issue. Adding insulation to your ducts will keep the cool air in and the warm air out. A much more complex solution would be to restructure all of the duct work in your home to more evenly distribute the air throughout your home.

3) Inadequate Return Vents

Return vents are what suck the warm air from the room, recycling it into the air conditioning system to be cooled and redistributed. If you have a large home that only has one return vent, it is not able to adequately grab the warm air from rooms that are far away, therefore there is a large amount of cool air mixing with warmer air, increasing the temperature in your home. One way to overcome this is to leave all the room doors in open, which can help with return airflow. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to add more return vents into your home.

4) Under or Over-sized Systems

Having an improperly sized AC system for your space can cause air balancing issues as well. If your AC system is too large, it shuts off quickly leaving certain rooms too cold or warm. If they system is too small for your space, it could potentially never be able to cool your whole home properly. If your home has an air conditioning system that is too large, use fans to help circulate the cooler are to those warmer rooms in the house. On the flip side, if your system is too small, consider installing an additional system or replace the current small system with a new bigger one that is able to cool your whole house.

5) Room Usage

How you use the rooms in your home may also cause an unbalanced system. For instance, a home office tends to be warmer due to the equipment running in it producing heat (e.g. computers, server, and other electronics). This can be solved by having an AC company regulate the airflow to those warmer rooms by adjusting the dampers in the air ducts, increasing the amount of cool air into the room.

6) Home Renovations and/or Additions

Adding rooms or remodeling can throw off your AC systems balance, especially when walls are added or removed. This could be an easy fix by just having the dampers adjusted in your ducts; however, you may also need to run additional ducts depending upon the renovations or additions that were done. In some cases, you may need to install a second air conditioner.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

HEPA FILTERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

HEPA Filters Uses

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

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

HEPA Filters for Home Air Conditioning Use

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

The HEPA Filter For Home Use: The Bottom Line

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

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

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

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

Understanding Your HVAC System

Tips for Winterizing your HVAC systemHVAC systems are a part of our everyday lives. But do you have a good understanding of what your HVAC system actually does and how it works? Do you know what HVAC stands for? Your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system’s primary jobs are to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, as well as maintaining the highest possible levels of air quality in your home. Understanding your HVAC system’s key roles and how it operates is important as a homeowner, allowing you to get the most out of your system without “breaking the bank”.

Heating

The bitter cold and snow has arrived in many parts of the country, so our HVAC systems are working hard to provide us with the heat and comfort we need throughout the cold days and frigid nights. Since this system is working overtime, knowing how your furnace works can help you to better troubleshoot problems if something does go wrong. According to the Department of Energy, heating accounts for around 45% of energy bills in the United States, so the more we know, the better.

It is the heating component of your HVAC system that provides the warmer climate for your home in the cold months. Most homes have a forced air heating system, but you may have a different type of system, such as a heat pump, broiler or active solar heating. Heating systems that utilize radiators and heat water are called boilers. Heat pumps function like an air conditioner, only working in reverse. Many furnaces run on natural gas, but not all of them. You may have an electric furnace or one that runs on heating oil or propane. No matter what the system your home has, all of them create heat at a central source and disperse the warm air throughout your home by different means.

  • Forced Air: With a forced air system, a furnace is used to heat the air, which is then distributed throughout your home through the duct-work and in-room vents.
  • Radiant Heating Systems: With radiant heating systems, a boiler or heating stove is used to disperse the heat throughout your home by way of hot water tubing or electric heating coils that are installed in the floors or ceiling.
  • Geothermal Heating: With geothermal heating, a heat exchanger is used to generate heat from the sun’s rays that are absorbed into the ground.

Ventilation

When working properly, your HVAC system should improve your home’s IAQ (indoor air quality) by removing dust, dander, dirt, and other debris and by controlling the humidity in your home via ventilation. When your home is properly ventilated, contaminated air and excess humidity are vented out of your home year round. Just like the heating element of your HVAC system, this can be done a multitude of different ways depending upon the age of your home and the system you have. Some ventilation is mechanical, while other times the system may rely on fans and windows, or use a combination of the two.

If you have a forced air system, air is passed through an air filter that traps volatile organic compounds (VOCs), airborne particulates, mold, dust and allergens. Improving air filtration is the most beneficial thing that can be done to reduce the effects of poor indoor air quality. Air filtration provides us with a means to attain the desired level of indoor air quality. Air filters were originally intended to simply shield the components of your expensive HVAC system, thus protecting it from harmful dust build-up and extending its life. As the manufacturing process of air filters evolved over the decades, filtration media became more refined and specialized which allowed us to go beyond system protection into cleaning contaminants, allergens, and other bothersome particles from our air using high-efficiency pleated air filters. This has allowed a significant improvement in indoor comfort and cleaner air in our homes and businesses.

If your home does not have a forced air system, filtering your air can also be done by the use of air purifiers, humidifiers, air cleaners, and dehumidifiers. No matter what, having a good understanding of how your home is ventilated and properly filtering your air is an important step to figuring out any allergy or breathing issues you or your family may be experiencing throughout the year.

Air Conditioning

Lastly, but certainly not least, in addition to heating and ventilating your home, your HVAC system is also responsible for keeping you cool during the warm summer weather. As with heating and ventilation systems, there are many different types of AC units. Central air is the most popular and is used in conjunction with your forced air system. There are also window AC units, portable AC units and split or ductless AC units, all which use a similar process to cool your home.

Your AC system uses a refrigerant that, as it is circulated, changes from a gas to a liquid as it traps the heat from your home and expels it. The warm vapor refrigerant is passed through the compressor where it turns into hot refrigerant vapor and moves into the condenser. The air of the condenser fan cools the hot vapor and as it passes over the finned coils it turns into a hot liquid. As the hot liquid is passed through an expansion valve, a low pressure, cool liquid mist is created which runs through the evaporator coil. As this mist evaporates, it absorbs the heat from the air inside your home and is then returned to the compressor, starting the process over again. The heat that is absorbed is pushed outside by your AC system, therefore cooling the air in your home.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into your HVAC system. Now that you have a better understanding of how all the components work, you can be better prepared to maintain your system and/or know when to call a professional in for help.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit Every HVAC System

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

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

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

The Four Main Types of HVAC Systems

HVAC SystemsHVAC systems are relatively easy to operate for most people. When you want it cooler, you lower the temperature. When you want it warmer, you turn the temperature up a few degrees. But do you know how your HVAC system actually works? HVAC systems are something that are pretty standard on homes these days, yet most homeowners don’t know what type of system that is actually installed in their home. It may seem like something relatively unimportant, but if you don’t know about what type of HVAC system you have it may make seeking repairs or replacing the system more difficult. So, if you don’t know what type of HVAC system you have, let’s start by discussing the four most common heating and cooling systems or HVAC systems seen:

Single or Multi-Stage Heating and Cooling Systems

If you have a single stage heating or cooling system, your furnace and air conditioner has only a single level of heat or cold output. These types of systems are most popular in areas where there are extreme weather conditions – such as very cold winters and hot and humid seasons. They are designed to provide the most comfort possible in these drastic weather conditions; however, this also means that the HVAC unit is running at full capacity for the most part, even when its not actually necessary or needed.

This leads us to multi-stage heating and cooling systems. With multi-stage, you can vary the output of cold or heat. If you don’t live in an area with extreme weather conditions, but on certain days experience weather where you might need a little more cooling or a little more heat, you can adjust the output to match what is actually needed and this saves you money.

Zoned HVAC Systems

Zoned HVAC systems are heating and cooling units that are able to heat or cool separate parts of your home, aka”zones”. With this type of system there are zone valves or zone dampers inside the ductwork that you are able to control. By dividing your house into zones, you can drastically cut down your energy costs as you are only using the heating or cooling where it is needed. Why cool a zone in your house that is infrequently used?

Humidity Control Systems

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are a necessity if you live is a dry or very humid climate. With zoned HVAC units, you are able to bring the humidity up or down to 50%, controlling the level of humidity in your home. According to the EPA, some of the biggest threats to indoor air quality stem from moisture issues. If humidity levels in the home are not properly maintained, a plethora of hazards become abundant.

Unfortunately, with forced-water heating systems, you cannot use humidifier and dehumidifier units. If  a humidifier or dehumidifier unit is installed into the air conditioning or furnace, you have to turn the system on in order to control the humidity levels. The other option is to install separate humidifier/dehumidifier systems that you can control separately from you heating and cooling system.

Heating HVAC Systems

Modern heating systems are able to convert almost all the fuel into heat, achieving nearly 97% efficiency. They can be categorized into two main groups:

Furnaces

Furnaces delivers heated air via ductwork and normally function on natural gas or propane for fuel, but all-electric furnaces are used too.

Forced water systems

A boiler is used as the heat source for a forced water heating system and the heated water is then delivered across the house either by circulator pumps or zone valves.

You can also use electric heat pumps instead of using furnaces and forced water systems to either heat or cool different parts of your home. A heat pump can be used to reduce costs if you feel like your furnace is using too much fuel. There are also hydronic heating systems or radiant floor heating units that involve installing pipes beneath the floor. A glycol solution or water is pumped into flexible tubes which then heat the floor. In order to use a hydronic heating system, a boiler or heat pump is required in order for it to work.

Cooling HVAC Systems

Most homes across the United States are cooled by way of air conditioning units. According to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey of 2015, 87% of homes in the United States use air conditioning equipment and the number continues to grow over time. Here are the four different types of air conditioners:

Window Air Conditioner

A window AC unit is the most commonly used air conditioner for single rooms. Components that make the window air conditioner work (the condenser, compressor, cooling coil and expansion valve) are all contained in one box and is typically installed on a windowsill, as its name suggests.

Mini-Split Air Conditioner

The mini-split air conditioner is comprised of 2 parts – an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. Indoor air handlers are mounted on the wall, ceiling or floor and this system is also capable of having multiple zones throughout the home. Contrary to a window AC unit, a wall slot is not required for installation, rather they only require a small hole through the wall where the copper line set is run and can be used to cool more than one room at a time, separately.

Packaged Air Conditioner

This type of air conditioner is best used for cooling large spaces in an office or in a home. The whole unite is outside and connected to the ductwork that runs through the building.

Central Air Conditioning System

The most versatile system, central air-conditioning systems can be used to cool various spaces such as entire hotels, offices, gyms, factories, movie theaters as well as houses. Included in the central AC system is one large compressor that is capable of producing tons of cool air.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

Regardless of the HVAC system you have installed in your home, it is important that every unit has a quality filter that fits correctly. Doing so ensures your indoor air is clean and your unit is running at maximum efficiency. Changing the filter in your HVAC system is as important as changing the oil in your car and, US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units! We can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available from standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we’ve got you covered!

Order Now 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 our experienced staff is here to help answer any questions you may have. If you need personal assistance with selecting the right air filter for your needs, contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673. 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.