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Protecting Your Home from the Flu

preventing home fever and fluOn top of everything else going on, flu season is here! Unfortunately, avoiding the flu virus is tricky. On top of getting a flu vaccine annually, health officials emphasize regular hand washing as it has proven to be the best way to stop the spread of the virus. The CDC also recommends these actions we can do everyday to prevent the spread of germs:

  • If possible, avoid close contact with people that are ill
  • Limit contact with others while sick
  • If you experience any flu symptoms, do not return to work or school for 24 hours AFTER your fever has subsided
  • When sneezing or coughing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Dispose of the tissue after use.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Alcohol-based hand rubs should be used if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes as germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect potentially contaminated surfaces and objects.

Indoor areas have multiple surfaces where viruses and germs can land. From sinks to telephones, children’s toys to doorknobs, these are all areas that need to cleaned and disinfected regularly. The germiest thing in your home is the remote control because the virus spreads through touch. Your remote control is touched by every person in your house at some point, especially when sick. Make sure you regularly disinfect your remote controls! You may still find yourself exposed to the flu virus outside of the home by co-workers or school-aged children. Here are additional steps you can take to protect your home from the virus taking up residence in your house.

Flu-Proofing Your Home

Humidify

A 2013 study reported that the ability of airborne viruses that cause flu infections declined when humidity levels were at 43% or above. In low humidity environments 70-77% of viruses retained their infectious nature, and when humidity was increased to 43%+ that number dropped to only 14%. A 2009 study showed the same result: humidity limits the transmission of the influenza virus. Bacteria and viruses cannot travel well in moist, humid air. Controlling the humidity in your home could mean the difference between staying healthy this winter or getting the flu.

Even with all of the benefits of humidifiers, they can become a source of bacteria and mold if not properly maintained. Make sure you humidifier is working for you and not against you by:

  • Using demineralized or distilled water. Tap water minerals build up in your humidifier and increase bacteria growth.
  • Cleaning your humidifier once a week. The longer you wait the harder cleaning will be plus the increased risk of bacteria and mold build up.
  • Changing the filters regularly! Not all humidifiers have filters, but if yours does, change it following the manufacturer’s directions. US Home Filter has a FULL selection of humidifier pads!
  • Keep humidity at the ideal range between 40-50%. Not enough humidity can be just as big a problem as too much humidity. A hygrometer, available at home improvement and electronic stores, measure the humidity in your home.

Ultraviolet Air Cleansing

Adding UV light air purification is another way to protect your home from the flu virus. A UV light air purification system typically combines a UV lamp with a traditional filter. A standard HVAC or furnace filter’s main job is to trap dust and other particles from the air, not allowing them into the air you breathe. When a traditional air filter is combined with a UV lamp, the particulate matter is removed from returning into your indoor air AND the germs and bacteria are killed.

UV light air purification, however, is not a replacement for regular disinfection in the home or office. When used in conjunction with traditional cleaning methods, UV light air purification enhances any system in place that reduces the spread of diseases.

US Home Filter Carries HVAC Filters to Fit All Units

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

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

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

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DIY How to Clean Your AC Coils

DIY How to Clean Your AC CoilsMany times, when it comes time to perform an annual maintenance service on your HVAC system, components that are out of sight inside the system cabinet or air handler enclosure are often forgotten about or overlooked. One of these important components are your AC unit’s evaporator coils. When the AC coils get dirty, the system loses efficiency and performance and can also result in a breakdown or damage to the system itself. According to energy.gov, having clean air conditioning coils is an essential part of maintaining your air conditioner. Before tackling the cleaning of your AC coils, it’s important to have some basic knowledge on how your air conditioner functions, plus the importance of the evaporator coils.

Why Evaporator Coils are Important

The evaporator coil’s primary function is to capture the heat from your home’s indoor air. While the evaporator coils do their job, the condenser coils (also commonly called the fan coils) release the trapped heat into the air around the outdoor unit. Both coils are typically made of copper and are encased by multiple aluminum fins that help improve the transfer of heat. They are located in separate areas of the HVAC system – condenser coils are in the outdoor cabinet of your system while the evaporator coils are located inside your home in the indoor air handling unit.

Evaporator coils play a vitally important role in the performance of the cooling function of your AC system by providing the cooling that is necessary to generate the cold air that keeps the indoor air of your home or business comfortable, even during the hottest of temperatures. They also play a role in the dehumidification that your HVAC system provides. Water condenses onto the coils as they become cooler, which is then removed from your indoor air. This water is then collected in the drain pan, safely flowing away from the system.

The effectiveness and performance of these two vital functions is greatly reduced when the evaporator coils get dirty. The coils are typically damp from the dehumidification process, so the dust, pollen and other particulates in the air will stick to the coils as the air passes by them. If the air filter is dirty, or no air filter is used at all, this can also increase the amount of contaminants that come in contact with the coil. When all of these factors come into play, enough dirt and dust can collect on the coils to affect their performance in a relatively short amount of time.

Problems that occur when the condenser and evaporator coils get dirty:

  • Ice buildup on coil
  • Increased wear on the system (leading to damage and malfunctions)
  • Lowered cooling capacity
  • Lowered heat transfer
  • Higher energy consumption
  • Higher temperatures and operating pressures

Dirty coils use up to 40% more energy than air conditioning units with clean coils, as well as reducing the cooling function by an estimated 30% or more. Not only will your AC unit continue to lose performance and efficiency, but your monthly utility bills will continue to sky-rocket if dirty coils are left to wreak their havoc. Evaporator coils should be checked regularly and cleaned as needed. Sometimes coils can be prone to easily collecting dirt and debris, therefore monthly cleaning may be necessary. A typical system, however, usually needs to be cleaned every 3 months during cooling season and at the very least annually during scheduled HVAC maintenance.

How to Clean Your AC Coils

The first step in cleaning your AC coils is obviously getting access to them. The evaporator coils are found inside your indoor handling unit behind the removable access panel. Before doing anything, make sure you turn the air conditioner off at the thermostat. You may want to shut off your circuit breaker just to be safe! Then, remove the screws or fasteners and loosen the panel, making sure to place the panel and screws aside where they wont get lost.

Next, use one of the following techniques to clean your AC evaporator coils:

1. Using compressed air. If there isn’t a large buildup of dirt on your coils, it can usually simply be removed with the use of compressed air to blow the dirt off the evaporator coil. You’ll want to direct the compressed air in the opposite direction of the normal air flow across the coil. Also, make sure that you use a consistent airflow across the coil, wear eye protection and use a shop vac to clean up the dirt and debris as it become dislodged.

2. Using a brush. This can be an effective technique for removing light amounts of dirt from the coils, also providing you more control on the pressure and areas that are being cleaned. With this method you’ll use the brush directly on the coils to sweep the dirt away, scrubbing if necessary for harder to remove dirt. You’ll want to use a soft brush, avoiding hard bristles or wire brushes as they can cause damage to the fins.

3. Using commercial cleaners. You’ll have choices when it comes to the selection of cleaners available for cleaning your evaporator coils. After selecting your preferred brand, follow the instructions that come with the cleaner. Let the cleaner sit and foam until both the foam and debris drain away. Reapply as necessary (or per the instructions) until the coils are free of buildup and are clean.

4. Using mild detergents and water. If you prefer not to use a commercial cleaner, a mild detergent and water works just as well sometimes to clean the coils. Mix a simple detergent and warm water in a spray bottle or garden sprayer. Spray the solution onto the evaporator coils and give it a few minutes to soak in and loosen the dirt and debris. Wipe away any loosened material with a soft brush or cloth and reapply as needed.

5. Heavy-duty cleaning. If your evaporator coils are heavily soiled, you may need to use heavy duty cleaning chemicals and equipment like a steam cleaner or pressure washer. It may also mean you need to take apart more of your AC unit than just a regular cleaning, such as the removal of the coil, cutting of the refrigerant lines, and then reassembly afterwards. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to consult with a professional HVAC contractor who can assess the job and will have the correct equipment, training and supplies to clean the coils and restore your AC system back to normal without incurring the risks of damage.

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 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.

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Link Between Blood Types Particulate Matter and Air Filters

We all know about air pollution and its harmful effects on our health. We also know how exposure to air contaminants can be dangerous to our health and how to limit such exposure by using air filters. Ongoing research on the effects of air pollutants on health has nationally raised people’s awareness of air pollution and the related health issues associated. Yet recent research has also concluded that the health risks due to air pollution might actually be higher in a certain group of individuals due to their blood type!

Precisely speaking, the blood type “pumping through your heart” may actually increase or decrease the probability of your developing cardiac problems when exposed to high levels of air contaminants or pollutants. There’s now documentation of the impact that low indoor air quality in individuals with certain blood types increases their risks of heart attack due to the increased pollution in the air that they breathed. So which blood type that people have needs air filters the most? 

The Study Found a Gene To Be Responsible

The researchers discovered that a certain type of gene is found in A, B, and AB blood types, known as the ABO gene. People carrying this gene have an elevated risk of cardiac arrest when exposed to airborne contaminants and air pollutants.

On the other hand, people with O blood type have shown much less vulnerability to cardiac issues when exposed to air pollution.

On learning about this study, Benjamin Horne (Clinical epidemiologist at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute) and his team of experts tried to explore whether a specific variant of the ABO gene is responsible for the increase  in cardiac issues due to poor air quality. In an attempt to get accurate results, Horne and his team thoroughly examined the patient records of Intermountain Healthcare patients admitted between the years 1993 through 2007.

After a thorough examination, the team pointed out that a certain group of individuals experienced Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)
after being exposed to higher levels of PM2.5 for a short period of time. PM2.5 are tiny, minute Particulate Matter (PM) having a diameter of 2.5 microns or less.

On cross-examining the data, the research revealed that patients with ABO blood type were the people who have an increased risk of heart problems when exposed to PM2.5.

Negative Effects Of Particulate Matter On Indoor Air Quality

Particulate Matter (PM) can be understood as solid particles or liquid droplets that are so tiny that they easily pass through the airstream.

The PMs, which are large in size, can be seen under the rays of sunlight as dust-like particles. Our body is capable enough to manage and defend against these types of particles. The main issue arises when the size of PM is below 2.5. Those are the PMs that result in the degradation of your indoor air quality. The reason behind this is that these minute particles are so small that they even infiltrate the smallest alveoli of the lungs. From there they can enter into the bloodstream and get circulated throughout the body to reach our vital body organs such as the heart, brain, liver, etc., even affecting our entire immune systems.

Where Does the Particulate Matter Come From?

Usually, Particulate Matter comes from factories, power generation facilities, pollution from vehicles, and other outdoor sources. Additionally, some of the indoor sources responsible for its production are the typical combustion activities such as cooking, lighting, and heating.

Infants, children, as well as the sick and elderly, are the ones who are most affected by even the traces of PMs. Therefore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) have issued guidelines regarding the recommended level of air quality.

Role Of High-Efficiency Air Filters In Protection From PM2.5

It is noteworthy that although non-O blood types are more susceptible to the concentrations of PM2.5, even the O types are still prone to the possible health risks to some extent. The point of danger for everyone is when PM2.5 crosses the threshold limit of 25μg per cubic meter of air. In such a situation, the most effective protection is using high-efficiency air filters
, air purifiers, and appropriate custom air filters.

If we look at the research data, the risk for people with non-O blood types increases by approximately twenty-five percent (25%) on every rise of 10μg of PM2.5 per cubic meter. In comparison to this, O-blood types are a bit less susceptible to health problems as in their case; the risk goes up by only ten percent (10%).

It’s noteworthy that even after having a gap of 15% in the risk level, the difference becomes almost negligible in persons with underlying medical conditions and advanced age. For instance, if a person with O blood type is suffering from an asthmatic condition as an example, then he is also prone to being a higher risk candidate for developing cardiac issues when exposed to polluted air.

The whole aim of discussing this research is not to create panic in people’s minds, but to encourage taking precautionary streps and actions , such as using a high-efficiency air filter, improving your home & office’s indoor air quality, and taking any medications on time properly.

But, an air filter is just a small component of a complex HVAC system. Every system requires a different type of air filter with a different MERV rating. So, if you are confused about which air filter will suit you the most, contact US Home Filters. We offer the best air filters in the United States
. Whether you want a filter with a high MERV rating or want to get a custom air filter built, we have got you covered. 

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

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

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Air Conditioner Brands

US Home Filter Carries Filters for All AC BrandsSo what is the best air conditioner brand? Who is known as the best  AC manufacturer? As with most purchases, “the best” means different things to different people and you have to understand the difference between price and value. New AC units are a major investment, so if you’re comparing and see an air conditioner that has a lower price, does that mean that it is not as good, not as efficient and of inferior design as compared to the more expensive units? Comparing AC units based on price, efficiency, durability and value can sometimes be a difficult thing to do. With all of the options and different brands out there, here’s a list of the top 3 air conditioner brands that are known to hold and retain their value:

Carrier

Carrier is know as a leader in both the residential and commercials air conditioning markets, with a solid reputation for reliability and durability. In fact, all the way back in 1902, William Carrier is often credited with inventing modern air conditioning by installing the very first system in Brookly, New York.  Carrier prides themselves for a century of delivering global solutions across a broad range of applications in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and beyond.

Carrier has three lines of residential heating and air conditioning products:

  1. Carrier Infinity Series – Their top of the line units. High SEER models with all features.
  2. Carrier Performance Series – Their mid-level units. Moderate SEER, reliable and versatile.
  3. Carrier Comfort Series – Their base-model HVAC. Still very reliable at their lowest price point.

Deeming themselves the Weathermakers to the World, Carrier “has cultivated a history of proven innovation in the heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration industries, enabling global comfort and efficiency”.

Trane

Founded in 1885 in La Crosse, Wisconsin by James Trane (who immigrated to the Unite States from Norway), Trane has been a leading manufacturer of both residential air conditioners and commercial HVAC units. Purchased by Ingersoll Rand in 2008, Trane became a global organization that prides itself in delivering both quality and innovation to their customers.

Inspired by the cold Wisconsin winters, James’s son Reuben is credited with inventing the convector radiator in 1923 that established Trane as one of the industry leaders for innovation. Their CenTraVac® system is the industry standard for large commercial HVAC systems and is the most energy efficient in the world for use in large buildings. The company was awarded the prestigious “Best of the Best” Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the CenTraVac® system.

Their residential air conditioning units and systems are known to be reliable and efficient, and they are considered “top of the line” by many experts. As the company tag line says: “It’s hard to stop a Trane.”

Lennox

Lennox is also known for being an international company providing a vast array of climate control products for air conditioning, heating and refrigeration. In fact, Lennox has become an intercontinental company, primarily focusing on providing the global marketplace with residential heating and cooling units, commercial heating and cooling systems, plus refrigeration equipment.

Originally founded in Iowa by Annie and Lewis Lennox in 1895, they initially patented and designed a coal burning furnace for heating, followed by numerous advancements in both heating and cooling systems. The company is known for producing superior products for both commercial and residential air conditioning use, plus furnaces, heat pumps and boilers.

Comparing Manufacturers

So he top 3 brands are probably Carrier, Lennox, and Trane. When it comes to pricing, they are also the highest. Yet when it comes to quality, there are perhaps several lesser-known brands available that basically match them “identically”. Many units are manufactured in the same facility with nearly the same or exactly the same parts. Often times the units all have the same internal working parts, just a different housing, outer appearance/color, or some minor changes to some of the non-moving parts. The only difference, in some cases, can simply be the brand-name that is placed on the unit. As a good example, let’s look at Goodman Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. Although “branded” as a Goodman, their AC units basically have the same internal components (what matters most) that are installed in a Carrier unit. Additionally, they are both made in the same facility. They just get different outer housing, labeling, and pricing. A Goodman unit costs several hundred dollars less than the one labeled as Carrier. So, in the end, a higher price will not always translate into a higher quality or better AC unit.

A similar comparison can be made in other industries and products. It’s well known that Great Value peanut butter (sold by by Walmart) and the brand known as Peter Pan are both made by Con-Agra using the same main ingredients, with just minor differences in coloring/additives/oil, but getting different labeling, packaging, and pricing.

So the point is, that to get the best value AND quality when purchasing an air conditioning and/or heating system, it may be worth doing a little research first. Find out who the manufacturer actually is if you can and compare then compare the pricing to the “major brand”. Additionally, read as many product reviews as possible before making your decision. Keep in mind that the more reviews that you find on a certain brand or product is better, because it equates to more consumers actually taking their time to write the reviews. Plus, be wary if a product has nothing but only 5-Star reviews. You can’t please everyone and a brand, company or product that only has 5-Star reviews can raise suspicions (as unscrupulous retailers have been exposed recently for paying for good reviews and filtering out any negative reviews on certain review websites).

The Same Can Be True For AC Filters

Since 1928, US Home Filter has specialized in providing quality air filters and filtration solutions to a variety of customers. Manufactured at our facility located in Missouri (right here in the USA), we offer a vast selection of standard air filters, as well as custom size replacement air filters. Perhaps not as well known as some of our competitors, US Home Filters produces the highest quality of AC and heating filters available and sold for higher prices. No fancy packaging, plastic wrapping or unnecessary marketing materials. Simply the highest quality filters at the very best prices. Satisfaction guaranteed and free shipping in the contiguous USA!

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All Manufacturer’s Units

No matter which manufacturer you decide to go with, 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. Whether you purchase a Trane, a Lennox or a Carrier system, US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available!   Changing the filter in your air conditioning unit is as important as changing the oil in your car! US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. So you don’t need to buy the brand name filters when US Home Filters makes them right here in the USA. Made in America by Americans. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

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

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

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What Does Energy Efficiency Really Mean?

What Does Energy Efficiency Really Mean?When shopping for new appliances or seeing ads on TV, the term ‘energy efficiency’ comes up a lot. From ad and product labels to promises of cash back incentives or rebates, they all use the phrase; but do you know what energy efficient actually means? According to BusinessDictonary, energy efficiency is defined as “the percentage of total energy input to a machine or equipment that is consumed in useful work and not wasted as useless heat.” So in other words, a product is more energy efficient if it uses the same amount of energy as a traditional type of the same product, but lasts longer or works better. Energy efficient can also mean the product uses less energy than the traditional version, but still performs the same.

So, energy efficient = using less energy but doing more, without excessive waste. Take a light bulb for example. Traditional light bulbs wasted a lot of heat as they produced light. Energy-saving light bulbs, however, create the same amount of light without the side-effect of excessive and wasted heat, therefore using less energy to produce the same amount of light. Voila – energy efficient!

This concept applies to all energy-saving products and appliances. An energy-efficient washing machine will wash your clothes just as well, if not better, using the same amount of power or less than the older version. Same goes for an energy efficient fridge that still keeps your food fresh and cool using less energy than the older model did.

The term “energy efficient” can also be used in a broader sense. Instead of a single appliance or product, let’s use a building as the example. If one building uses the same amount of energy to create cool air as another building, the building that can stay cooler and retain cool air longer, rather than creating a small amount and losing it, is by definition the more energy efficient building.

Why Should We Be Energy Efficient?

Energy consumption has been steadily increasing over the past few decades. Our planet has a limited number of natural resources and, as those are depleted, pollution contaminates the air we breathe and vital habitats are destroyed. Becoming more energy efficient manages the growth of energy consumption, therefore limiting its growth rate. This helps safeguard our planet, saving natural habitats and ensuring our future generations have energy to use.

What is Energy Consumption?

Energy consumption is a measurement of the amount of energy used up by a product, system or appliance. This measurement can apply to a person, a business or an entire country. Energy conservation means using less energy, very little energy, or no energy at all. You can estimate your home appliance/electric energy usage to evaluate where you are using too much and determine what you can change to conserve that energy. Energy.gov provides a calculator that allows you to find the annual energy consumption of a product, as well as the cost to operate it.

Why is Energy Efficiency Important?

There are three main reasons energy efficiency is important and plays a vital role in our daily lives.

  1. The Environment – As energy use increases, carbon emissions released into the atmosphere also increases. This depletes natural resources just as gas, coal and oil. By using energy as efficiently as possible, our dependence on these energy sources is reduced.
  2. The Economy – Our global economy is heavily reliant on oil and gas, two of the most important natural resources. As these resources are depleted they become scarcer and less available, however, our reliance on them stays the same (or even increases). This results in a cost increase for the resources resulting in financial stress and energy deficiency around the world.
  3. Your Check Book – No one wants to pay more for necessities like water and heat, and being energy efficient keeps these costs down. The goal is to meet your energy needs, yet pay as little as possible for the energy consumed.

How to Increase Your Energy Efficiency

Becoming more energy efficient starts at home. First, take a look at the energy consumption calculator mentioned above for the electrical appliances in your home. It is important to note that if you find something in your home isn’t energy efficient, it is NOT energy efficient to throw the product away and replace it with a new energy efficient appliance right away. It is better to wait until the appliance wears out and then replace it with new, energy-saving products.

Here are a few ways you can get started:

Use less electricity

    • Turn off appliances and lights not being used
    • Invest in rechargeable batteries
    • Shut your computer down when not in use

Switch to energy-saving light bulbs

      • These use up to 80% less electricity than traditional light bulbs and last up to ten times longer

Cut down the cost of heating and cooling your home

    • Set your water heater to 120 degrees
    • Invest in a programmable thermostat
    • Set your AC to 78 degrees when you’re home and increase by 10-15 degrees when you’re away
    • Set your heat to 68 degrees when you’re home and lower by 5-10 degrees when you’re away
    • Insulate your roof and walls

US Home Filter Is Here For You

Family owned and operated for four generations now, we know all about the importance of energy efficiency. Improving air filtration is the most beneficial thing that can be done to keep your HVAC system energy efficient. Air filtration provides us with a means to attain the desired level of indoor air quality. Air filters have 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, cleaner air in our homes and businesses, and energy-efficient HVAC systems.

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

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

 

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10 Tips To Help You Hiring a Heating and Cooling Contractor

Hiring an HVAC service could be less exciting on your to-do list, but it could be incredibly important if your heating or cooling system decides to break down. A long-term connection with a reliable HVAC provider or contractor can help you prevent a rise in your energy bills and guarantee that your HVAC system is running at peak efficiency. 

So, here are 10 tips from the US Home Filter staff to keep in mind when hiring a heating and air conditioning contractor.

1. Research

Find out what type of license and insurance your area requires for contractors. On the Ohio Department of Commerce website, you can find information about HVAC licensing. When contacting a contractor, ask them for their HVAC license number and confirm their insurance. Before you call a contractor, check out your existing equipment and note the model, serial number, and brand. 

2. Plan

Check out your present system and note down the brand, model number, and serial number before calling a contractor. You might wish to snap a digital photo of your system’s ID badge with your camera. It’s much better if you know the maintenance history.

3. Check Out Referrals

You may ask friends, neighbors, and coworkers for contractor recommendations, seek for referrals on a local Facebook group, or read internet reviews. Consumers now pay as much attention to internet reviews as they do to personal recommendations! You may look for local firms with good reviews by searching for “best heating contractor near me.” The overall number of reviews (which shows how long the firm has been in business) and the average review are two factors to consider. The higher the average and the more reviews there are, the better.

4. Call References 

Request customer references from contractors and don’t be hesitant to call them. Inquire about how effectively the HVAC contractor completed the installation or servicing, if they were on time, cleaned up after themselves, were pleasant to deal with, and whether the price was reasonable and without surprises.

5. Search for Special Deals

You’ll spend thousands of dollars on your heating and cooling system as a homeowner. So, you must check for possible offers and discounts on energy-efficient energy star certified heating and cooling equipment to keep your bills down.

6. Evaluate What They Offer You

You should confirm that the contractor offers the services you require, whether that is a regular maintenance and service agreement plan or a whole new system.

7. Only Consider ENERGY STAR Equipment

Energy Star certified equipment are built to satisfy the rigorous energy efficiency requirements set out by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Our entire product range is Energy Star certified, resulting in significant long-term energy savings. Energy Star heating and cooling systems ought to be able to give savings estimates from any competent HVAC professional.

8. Expect an Evaluation

To assess your demands, the contractor should spend time evaluating your present system and house. The heating and cooling system should be sized by a professional based on the size of your home, the quantity of insulation, and the number of windows. A professional contractor will inspect your duct system (if applicable) for air leaks and insulation, as well as measure airflow to ensure it meets manufacturer specifications.

9. Get Everything in Writing

When comparing estimates from different contractors, make sure you compare apples to apples: overall cost, energy efficiency, and warranty options. The cheapest heating system may not be the greatest value if it isn’t the most efficient. Your energy expenses will rise over time, causing the system’s costs to skyrocket. 

Furthermore, before beginning work, acquire a formal proposal from a contractor. It will safeguard your interests by detailing project prices, model numbers, job schedules, and warranty information.

10. Finish with a Walk-Through Inspection

Walkthrough the installation with the installer to ensure that you are offered all that you asked for. Make sure you understand how to use your thermostat, where to find the air filters in your system, and when your system needs to be serviced next.

What’s more, if you follow these tips to make sure you have an enjoyable experience with an HVAC Contractor, then you will certainly be satisfied with the work.

US Home Filter For All Your Needs

Whether you require an HVAC filter for your home or business, US Home Filters can help. US Home Filter offers a large selection of filters to fit a wide range of air conditioners and heaters, including filters for furnaces. Our filters include standard and custom air filters, grille filters, and humidifier filters, so you’ll find everything you need here!

So, do you need personal assistance? Please contact us today at (855) 237-1673 or through our online form for help selecting the best filter for your needs. You can count on our guarantee of customer satisfaction if you choose us! We offer quality products, a large selection, and affordable prices. We ship in the contiguous United States, and it’s free.

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Common Home Heating Mistakes

Winter is upon us and many homes throughout the country, the heat is kicking on. When you hear that initial click and smell the “first use of the heater” scent, you may not be thinking about the cost of the heat – just that it’s working. While  you have no control over the cost of electricity, oil or natural gas, there are ways you can cut heating costs. The following are common home heating mistakes to keep in mind to avoid to keep your home warm and your energy bills down.

Mistakes to Avoid When Heating Your Home

common mistakes when heating your homeCranking Up the Thermostat

The temperature in your home has dropped significantly, so to heat it up faster you crank up the thermostat, right? Wrong. This puts excessive stress on the system and leads to higher energy bills. The best way to warm up your hose is to gradually increase the temperature so your system can run efficiently without stress. So grab those blankets and snuggle up while your heater does it’s thing.

Closing the Curtains

Sunlight isn’t enough to heat your home entirely, but it does help reduce the work your furnace has to do to heat your home. Opening your curtains and blinds can do just enough to help your heater from having to run all day long. Sunny winter days are the perfect time to open your blinds/curtains to let the passive solar heating warm up your home as glass windows are great heat absorbers.

Using Space Heaters

According to the EIA, heating and cooling accounts for more than half a home energy usage. Therefore, you may think that running space heaters is a way to save money on heating costs. While this works in some cases, like heating one small room, if you’re attempting to heat your entire house or a whole floor, it doesn’t cut any costs. In fact, you’ll end up seeing your energy bill rise as you’re running multiple high-energy appliances at once. On top of that there are safety concerns…space heaters account for over 40% of all heating equipment-related fires.

Closing Unused Vents

You may think that closing the vents in unused rooms will push the air to other rooms that need it. However, HVAC systems don’t work that way. Your home’s heating system and ducts are set up to spread even amounts of air to each area of your home. When this operational balance is disturbed, stress on the system increases, decreasing efficienty and can cause long term damage all together. Leave all vents open throughout your home no matter a rooms usage or size.

Blaming the Heating Equipment for Problems

If you find your home is having problems reaching the right temperature, you may think that there is a problem with the heating equipment. Although this may be the case, it may also be structural problem with your home itself. If there are small cracks or gaps around your windows and doors, warm air is able to leak out. Letting leaks and drafts go unchecked can cause your HVAC system to be unable to heat your indoor air to the temperature you desire.

Delaying Regular Maintenance

You may think that if your system is running it’s working fine. However, just like the unseen issues under the hood of your car, your HVAC system’s components may not be working correctly even though warm air is coming out of your vents. Skipping regular maintenance, such as changing your air filters, will cause your system to run less efficiently and can even lead to costly, major repairs in the future.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All Heating, Ventilation & AC Units

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

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

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

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Can HVACs Spread COVID-19?

COVID-19 and HVAC SystemsWe are in the dead of summer across the country, which means our home’s HVAC systems are in full swing, cooling our indoor air. The United States is also in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. With more time being spent in our homes, have you ever wondered if our indoor air can circulate and spread the COVID-19 virus? There are a few things to understand first before coming to a conclusion on the topic: how the coronavirus is spread and how HVAC systems work. Here’s what you need to know.

How COVID-19 is Spread:

The spread of the virus is still being heavily researched; however, right now droplet transmission is thought to be the primary method. When an infected person coughs, sneezes or even breathes, particles of breath or spit carrying the virus comes out of the persons mouth or nose. These particle droplets then spread into the air, up to 6 feet (if not more) and can transmit the virus by coming into contact with another person’s mouth, nose, or eyes.

Another possible way the virus is spread is through aerosol transmission. This happens when an infected person sneezes or coughs and the tiny COVID-19 infected particles linger in the air and are carried around in air currents, spreading the virus further. There isn’t concrete evidence on to what extent aerosol transmission spreads the virus, but it is does occur and mainly in closed indoor areas.

This leads into the chance that air conditioning could potentially transmit the virus. Your HVAC system continually circulates the air throughout your home and could, potentially, suck in the virus particles expelled from an infected person and then blow these particles back out into the indoor air, much further than just the room you’re in. Other infectious diseases like smallpox, measles, SARS, chickenpox, tuberculosis and influenza all have been shown to spread through improperly used HVAC systems.

How HVAC Systems Work

HVAC systems don’t bring fresh air in from outside, rather they recirculate air in the home. When working properly, HVAC systems 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.

With forced air systems, 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 a means to attain the desired level of indoor air quality.

HVAC Systems and COVID-19

Now that you know how the coronavirus is spread and how an HVAC system operates, the conclusion would be that yes, theoretically virus infected particles in the air could, in fact, be sucked into the AC unit and circulated around your home. However, definitive answers about this topic are not readily available as there has only been a little bit of research on the topic.

The main thing is to make sure your HVAC system is working properly and efficiently – especially regarding ventilation. During the summer months when we go indoors to find comfort in the air-conditioned rooms, there is less ventilation and more opportunity for the disease to spread. And it’s not really the air conditioner’s fault. It’s more about when inside a home or building, you are not socially distancing and re-breathing air that others around you just exhaled. Combine that with doors and windows being shut to keep the cool air inside, there is virtually no fresh air flowing and everyone is breathing and re-breathing the same indoor air. The good news is this is mainly more of a concern in public indoor places. When you’re at home, contracting COVID-19 via air conditioning units or through air currents is no more probable than the virus being spread by close contact with contaminated surfaces.

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 – especially when we’re all home due to COVID-19! 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 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! You can order directly online and have the air filters shipped to your door, safely distancing during this COVID-19 pandemic. Make it even easier and sign up for automatic shipments! You’ll never run out of air filters when you need them most. Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

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Benefits of Attic Fans and Ventilation

attic fans and proper attic ventilationHeat rises by nature and the highest hottest spot in your home is the attic.  Even on a relatively warm, 80-degree day, your attic can reach upwards of 100 degrees. These extreme temperatures can be damaging to the major components in your home such as insulation, venting, plumbing and electrical wiring that are often located in the home’s attic space. The good news is, attic fans can make a significant difference in energy costs and in the lifespan of major components mentioned above. Because of this, new homes are being built with whole house fan systems which prevent heat from building up in the dead air spaces of the house.

Benefits of Improved Attic Ventilation

Energy.gov reports that ventilation is the least expensive and most energy-efficient way to cool buildings. Ventilation works best when combined with other methods that avoid heat build up in your home.

Attic fans are now integrated with the roof shingles and use very little energy (less than 300 Watts each). The attic essentially acts as a “buffer zone” between the interior of your home and the outside world, so its important to regulate the temperature in this zone, therefore maintaining a consistent temperature in your living space. Attic fans can:

  • Reduce upper floor room temperatures by an average of 10 degrees
  • Lengthen the life of roofing materials and major home components
  • Save up to 30% on home air-conditioning costs

Another layer of protection from the heat and cold for your home is  attic insulation. Attic insulation works by hindering the upward movement of heat, keeping cooler air in during the summer months and warm air in during the winter months. It also contains built in paper or aluminum foil that is forward facing on the insulation panels. These are air-vapor barriers keep moisture that rises up from inside the home from penetrating the insulation.

Attic and roof ventilation are important components to regulating temperature and moisture levels in the home as the weather conditions and seasons change. When it’s cold outside, air can leak in around attic access panels, ceiling light fixtures, exhaust fans, etc., which brings outside moisture into your home’s attic space. Even just going into the attic to get something from storage can significantly increase the moisture level in your home as warm moist air is allowed in through the open access panel.

Types of Attic Ventilation

  1. Non-Mechanical Attic Ventilation – Also called “gable vents”, this type of ventilation is found in many older homes (pre-1980). They are screened and louvered vents that are located up near the roof peak in the side walls of the attic. They are quite efficient at keeping the highest airspace in the attic cooler; however, in areas where there is no air movement, they can often cause hot spots. If your home is equipped with gable vents, you’ll want to consider installing a fan as well which will eliminate the hot spots and keep things cooler. The other option is to use soffit vents and ridge vents, both of which provide adequate non-mechanical venting. Unfortunately, most roof designs do not allow for adequate non-mechanical ventilation alone for optimal performance.
  2. Solar and Electric Attic Fans – Solar powered attic fan or roof vent does significantly improve air flow in the attic space but is not as powerful as an electric fan. Without an attic fan, temperatures in your attic can reach upwards of 150 degrees during the hottest seasons. The fan creates steady air-flow through the attic space; however, if too much air flow is exchanged between outside and the attic, moisture from rain and snow can permeate. In areas of the county with high humidity/wetness, a humidity control system in your attic is recommended as well to prevent moisture issues. The two most common types of electrical/solar attic fans are roof top and gable end. Electric fans are more powerful and cost efficient while solar powered models are most costly but leverage green electric power. Whichever you choose, the attic fan(s) you install should have a programmable thermostat and a firestat, which shuts the fan off in case of fire. Avoid plastic options and go for all metal as well as models that that have solid screens to keep pests out of your attic.
  3. Whole House Fan Systems – Whole house systems keep dead spaces from heating up and pull cool air throughout the home. For those that live in milder climates where the temperature stays below 82 degrees, they can being used as an alternative to traditional home air conditioning. This is also the case for older homes where its too expensive or difficult to install a central air. One potential downfall for whole house fan systems is noise but the system should run quietly and efficiently if it is engineered correctly. Fans with more blades will be quieter than those with fewer blades and the fan should be mounted with foam or rubber strips to reduce vibration and sound.

US Home Filter Offers AC Filters for Every HVAC System

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

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

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

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The Importance of MERV Ratings

How Air Filters Work and MERV RatingsWhile we are still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, it seemed to be a good time to revisit the importance of MERV ratings when it comes to the filtration in your home. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning) developed the MERV system in 1987 as a scale used to measure the effectiveness of air filters. The MERV ratings system makes it easier for consumers to compare the effectiveness of all the different air filters available.  The material used, quality and construction of air filters may differ; however, the MERV system sets expectations for the level of filtration provided from an air filter with a specific MERV rating. In simpler terms, this means that any MERV 8 rated air filter will have the same level of filtration another filter with a MERV 8 rating, no matter the material, quality, or construction.

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. Microns are used as the measurement for airborne particles and a micron is 1/1000th mm…equal to 1/25,000ths of an inch. The human eye can see particles beginning around 20 microns but 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

MERV Ratings and COVID-19

What filter is best to protect your home from COVID-19?  The National Air Filtration Association reports that there is no straight forward answer to this question due to all the unknowns regarding the nature of SARS-CoV-19 containing particles and droplets.  What is known is that low-efficiency filters (less than MERV 8) are highly unlikely to make a difference.  Properly installed higher efficiency filters can remove particles of a relevant size depending on their installed capture efficiency, but current information does not allow for specific recommendations.

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 highly 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. As far as protection from the coronavirus, you’d definitely want stay away from MERV ratings under 8. 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 must 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 can 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.