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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

Walk through the installation with the installer to ensure that you are offered all what 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 filter, 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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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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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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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.

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Energy Saving Tips During Covid-19

saving energy during COVID-19Not everyone may be feeling it yet, but the weather is warming throughout much of the country. As spring and summer bring in warmer temperatures, the more we rely on our Air Conditioners and HVAC systems to keep us cool and comfortable.  As a result, energy bills begin to increase as well.  The most dramatic increase in energy demand is during the afternoon hours of the summer months when the temperatures peak. The NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has again predicted that a majority of the United States will see above normal temperatures from July-September, increasing energy demands across the nation. In the mist of this, American families and businesses have transition to remote-work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With children out of school and parents working from home, the energy usage will be even higher than “normal” with everyone under the same roof. Below are a few tips to help keep your energy costs down while the temperature and the amount of time you spend indoors increases.

COVID-19 Energy Saving Tips

1) Check for Leaks – It is of the utmost importance that cool air created by your HVAC system is kept contained. You want to keep the cool air IN and the hot air OUT. If  cooled air escapes through small leaks, the systems run time and amount of energy it uses increases. Hot air leaking into your home from the outside also causes your system to work harder to cool the indoor air. Check for leaks by looking for small holes in your window seals and weather stripping around your doors. There should be no gaps. If you spot a crack, fill it with caulk and replace any weather stripping necessary to make sure there is a tight seal around the door. Attic insulation should also be checked to make sure there is an adequate amount to keep the hot attic air from seeping into your living space.

2) Lower the Water Heater Temperature – The Department of Energy reports that water heating accounts for approximately 18% of a home’s energy use. The good news is, this is easily reduced by lowering your water heater temperature down to 120 degrees. The water temperature will still be hot enough for bathing and dishes as well as reduce energy costs. Consider also taking shorter showers and installing a low flow shower head.

3) Install Programmable Thermostats – A programmable thermostat helps manage energy usage when the cooling system is needed most. Additionally, it takes guesswork and human error out of the mix. To maximize energy savings, set your thermostat at a warmer temp when you are sleeping or not at home. Energy.gov reports a savings of upwards of ten percent (10%) a year on heating and cooling bills when you turn the thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. When temperatures are higher the unit runs less and saves energy. When the system is programmed to go back to the normal setting, the cool temperatures should have been maintained long enough to lower the temperature quickly and efficiently (provided the home is properly sealed…see #1). Thermostats should also always have a fresh set of batteries.

4) Use Ceiling Fans – Shockingly, running ceiling fans while your AC is on allows you to increase the temperature by 4 degrees without feeling the difference! The ceiling fan direction should be set to PULL AIR UP toward the ceiling as cool air sinks and hot air rises. For maximum energy savings, make sure to turn ceiling fans off when no one is in the room to decrease consumption.

5) Keep Your HVAC System Running Efficiently – It is always a good idea to schedule an annual maintenance checkup for your HVAC system to ensure its running at peak performance when you need it most. There are also quite a few things you can do yourself to help keep your AC efficient: vacuum out the air intakes and ducts, clear away plants and/or weeds growing around the HVAC unit and clean up any standing water. Most importantly – change your air filter on a monthly basis! This prevents any unnecessary stress on your equipment that can lead to equipment breakdowns as well as higher energy bills.

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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How to Keep Your Home Comfortable During Quarantine

We’re all “stuck” inside more these days and with that, we need to make sure our home is as comfortable as possible. It’s tough spending this much time inside and not being able to socialize like we’re used to, but it is essential to make sure we keep ourselves, family and friends safe and healthy. Here are a few tips you can use to keep your home safe and comfortable during this time of quarantine while we’re spending more and more time inside.

Home Comfort Quarantine Tips

quarantine tips to keep your home comfortable

Consider installing a bidet.

It’s the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020. TP is hard to find anywhere! The good news is, there are other options – one of them being adding bidet on your home toilets. Although not exactly main stream in the United States, bidets are the norm in other countries. They are hygienic and reduce or even eliminate the need for toilet paper – this is essential when there are multiple people home all day during a quarantine! The other good news is that there are multiple options. You can have a bidet installed by a plumber, or there are bidet attachments you can add to your toilets yourself. They come in a wide variety of types and price points and use very little water. Just look at all of the bidet options on Amazon!

Clean and disinfect regularly.

It’s important to realize that there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes germs and/or dirt from surfaces, wiping away pathogens but not killing them. This includes things like dusting, vacuuming, mopping and wiping countertops. While cleaning still lowers the spread of infection, disinfection is the next essential step. Disinfection is the use of chemicals to kill germs on surfaces via the use of CDC-approved, EPA-registered disinfectants such as Clorox bleach, Lysol sprays and toilet bowl cleaners, and Purell disinfectant wipes. It is important to disinfect surfaces that have greater amounts of contact such as doorknobs, light switches, remotes, phones, desks, chairs, sinks, handles and toilets.

Let fresh air and sunlight in.

When you find yourself inside more, like during a quarantine, ventilation is critical. Get fresh air circulating throughout your house. Open doors and windows as much as possible. Higher ventilation is key in reducing the risk of viruses. Vitamin D from sunlight also plays a critical role. It aids in the body’s ability to absorb calcium from the gut, maintains bone health, brain function, a strong immune system and reduces inflammation. Studies have also shown that low levels of Vitamin D are associated with higher risk of respiratory diseases like COPD and asthma and is also linked to decreased lung function. Vitamin D is produced in the skin by exposing the body to just 10-15 minutes per day of sun. If you can’t get outside or have limited access to the sun, eating foods like oily fish, eggs, vitamin D fortified cereals or dairy products and a taking a daily 400 IU vitamin D supplement can help prevent a deficiency.

Invest in UV light air purification.

Another option to protect your home from viruses and other germs, not only during a quarantine but always, is to add a UV light air purification to your home. A UV light air purification system usually combines a traditional filter with a UV lamp. A traditional HVAC or furnace filter’s main purpose is to trap dust and other particles from the air, not allowing them back into the air you breathe. When you combine a traditional with a UV lamp, both the removal of particulate matter from the air and the killing of germs and bacteria is maximized.

UV light air purification is by no means a replacement for the regular disinfection in a home or office. However, when used in conjunction with traditional cleaning methods, UV light air purification enhances any system in place that reduces the spread of diseases.

Change your filters monthly.

All the air that circulates through your HVAC system, to heat or cool your home, will eventually pass through the air filter. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep your air filters clean and change them regularly. Dirty, clogged air filters can:

  • Cause HVAC system malfunctions and equipment damage.
  • Reduce airflow inside the HVAC system, making the fans work harder and wear out quicker.
  • NOT remove particulates and contaminants as effectively as they should, therefore releasing these back into your indoor air (the air that you and your family breathe).
  • Cause contaminates to build up in your duct work.
  • Cause the HVAC equipment to work harder, increasing your home’s energy usage and your monthly electric bill payments.

Air filters should be checked at least once a month. If they are dirty, change them out with a fresh clean air filter. To check if your air filter is dirty, remove it from the air filter and hold it up to a light source. If you can’t see the light through the filter, then it’s time for it to be changed.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

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Thermostat Tips for Each Season

programmable thermostatAs we get closer to Spring, fluctuations in the weather may have you switching from heat to air conditioning within the same week depending upon where you live. Constantly monitoring and adjusting the temperature inside your home can become cumbersome during these months. The good news is, there is a way to make it easier on you, and save you money: a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats help you manage your energy usage for when the cooling or heating system is needed most, and they take the guess work and human error out of the mix. Shockingly, a Lawrence Berkeley National Lab study showed that nearly 90% of Americans say that they’ve rarely, or never have, programmed their thermostats because they don’t know how. The good news is it’s not hard and its worth learning to do as it can save money on your energy bill. According to energy.gov, you can save as much as ten percent (10%) a year on heating and cooling costs by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.

The first thing to do is figure out the right thermostat to fit your scheduling needs. The goal is to “set it and forget it,” enabling you to get the maximum amount of savings.

Programmable Thermostat Types

7-day programming: This type of thermostat lets you program a different heating and cooling schedule for the entire week. It is by far the most flexible option, so if you have a busy schedule, this one is worth considering.

5-1-1 programming: The programming on this thermostat breaks apart the 5 weekdays from the 2 weekend days. You set one heating and cooling schedule for Monday through Friday, and then different heating and cooling plans for Saturday and Sunday individually.

5-2 programming: This follows the same programming functionality as 5-1-1 except Saturday and Sunday cannot be scheduled separately – they will have the same heating and cooling schedule.

1-week programming: Here you set one schedule and that heating and cooling plan will be used for the entire 7 day week.

With all of the programmable thermostat types above, you’ll also need to set a program for the heat in the cooler or chillier months as well as the air conditioning in the warmer months. You also want to be sure to figure out what type of equipment your HVAC system uses. If you choose a programmable thermostat that is not compatible with your equipment, you may end up actually causing damage and not see any of the energy savings that the correct thermostat could provide.

Programmable Thermostat Tips

Update the Factory Settings

When you purchase a programmable thermostat, it usually comes with pre-programmed settings. These settings are based on the typical American family, which may or may not fit your family’s needs. This may seem intimidating, but the good news is that you’ll only have to do this once. Again, set it and forget it!

Programming options are based on:

  1. Wake Time
  2. Sleep Time
  3. Leave Time
  4. Return Time

The Department of Energy suggests the following settings as an energy-saving rule of thumb:

Winter months:
Set the thermostat to 68°F while you’re home and awake. When you are asleep or away from home, lower the temperature by at least 10°.

Summer months:
This follows the same strategy as the winter months – just flip flopped. You’ll want to keep your house warmer than normal when you are away and cooler when you are at home. While you are home, set the thermostat to 78°F. When you are away, set the temperature as high as comfortably possible, keeping in mind that you also need to control the humidity. Note: The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.

Set-It-And-Forget-It Tips:

  • Turn off the heat or air conditioning 20-30 minutes before you leave
  • Turn on the heat or air conditioning 20-30 minutes before you come home
  • Reduce the heating or cooling temperature 1 hour before you go to sleep
  • Increase the heating or cooling ~30 minutes before you wake up in the morning

It may take a few days of tweaking your program to get it exactly where it needs to be to fit your needs. Also, it’s important to note that lowering the temperature while you’re away does not cause your furnace to work any harder to warm up your house when you arrive back home.

Consider a Wifi-Enabled Programmable Thermostat

Wifi-enabled programmable thermostats allow you to control your home’s temperature from anywhere. This is especially useful when you’re on vacation and you need to create a new program. Two of the newer Wifi-enabled thermostats available are:

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat: This thermostat has a large color interface that has a simple menu that literally walks you through the custom heating and cooling  programming steps. It’s also a smart device! The thermostat learns when your home and also sends you personal notifications if the temperature isn’t right or if the power has gone out. Price: Ranges from $70-$200 depending upon features and model selected.

The Nest Learning Thermostat: This thermostat uses motion detection technology to create a custom heating and cooling schedule for your home and will automatically adjust itself to your comfort level. It now also includes Farsight technology. When this technology spots you across the room, Farsight will light up and show you the target temperature or the time, in a digital or analog clock view. The Nest Thermostat also alerts you on you systems safety status. Price: Around $250.

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.