MERV, MPR or FPR?

merv vs mpr vs fpr ratingFilters can be complicated to understand. Some HVAC systems have the recommended type of filter written on a label that is stuck right on the side of the unit. Other systems leave it up to you to decide what filter you want to use. With all the different sizes available, thicknesses, and types, it’s easy to get confused. On top of it, there are acronyms on the filters that are also part of a filter’s rating system. We’ve talked before about MERV ratings, what they mean and how it relates to the filter you buy. But there are two other acronyms that appear on some filters as well: MPR and FPR. This confuses things even more. What do they stand for? How do you make sense of them all when comparing filters? Is one more efficient than another?

MERV vs. MPR vs. FPR Rating

MERV FILTERS

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Developed in 1987 by ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning), the MERV systems provides standardized ratings consumers can use to compare the effectiveness of the different air filters available. It provides clarity to what level of filtration can be expected from an air filter with a specific MERV rating. In other words, this means that any MERV 8 rated air filter will filter the same as any other filter with a MERV 8 rating.

MERV ratings (ranging from 1-16) score the performance level of a filter in regards to the removal of airborne particles from 0.3-10 microns in size. A micron is the measurement used for airborne particles. One micron is 1/1000th mm which is equal to 1/25,000ths of an inch. The human eye can see particles beginning around 20 microns; however, in perfect conditions, it is at times possible to see particles as little as 10 microns. To put that into a visual, a dot (.) is just about 600 microns.

The MERV system is the only nationally regulated and independent filtration system.

MPR FILTERS

MPR stands for Microparticle Performance Rating. This rating is exclusive to filters that are manufactured and sold by the home improvement brand 3M in partnership with Filtrete. These filters serve the same function as all other filters – cleaning the air being brought into your HVAC system of allergens, dirt and debris before returning the air back into your home.

MPR ratings (ranging from 300-1900) also gauge the size of the particles they will remove from the air, but only from 0.3-1 micron in size. Filtrete (3M) filters are the only filters that carry the MPR rating and there is currently no independent third-party testing available for comparison to MERV rated filters.

FPR FILTERS

FPR stands for Filter Performance Rating. This rating is also exclusive, but to filters that are manufactured and sold by the Home Depot. Unlike MERV and MPR ratings, the Home Depot does not supply a size range for the particles these filters will remove. Instead, filters are assigned an FPR number (such as FPR 10) for the particle removal measurement.

FPR ratings range from 4-10, with FPR 4 being economy filters and FPR 10 being premium filters. The Home Depot does provide a guidance chart to compare the contaminants the filters will remove; however, FPR ratings to not clarify what a large particle is versus what what a small particle is. Home Depot brand filters are the only filters that carry the FPR rating and there is currently no independent third-party testing available for comparison to MERV rated filters.

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

The biggest difference between these ratings is the makers of the filters themselves. Just remember, the most important thing when choosing an air filter, regardless of rating, is that it is compatible with your HVAC system. No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly in order to keep your indoor air quality clean, 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 filters available and all are labeled with the nationally regulated MERV rating. 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.

Defining the Different Filter Types

How to determine if your air filter type is the correct size for your unitAccording to the EPA, indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks. Making sure your air filter fits properly within your system and regularly cleaned is imperative to keep your furnace or AC system operating properly and protecting indoor air quality. Before ordering or purchasing an air filter, make sure you look at your HVAC unit and measure the space for the air filter to determine the size and type of filter you need. US Home Filter specializes in many different filter types, including AC air filters (for all major brands), Whole House Air Filters, Furnace filters, Grille filters and even Humidifier pads. We offer a vast selection of standard sized air filters, as well as custom sized AC filters. With all the different options available, how do you know which filter type you need? What is the difference between them? Here’s what you need to know.

Filter Type Differences

Air Filters

Air filters are used to protect the vital components of your HVAC system from accumulating dirt and debris. They improve your indoor air quality by capturing and reducing dust and allergens such as mold spores, pollen, pet dander, and even odors. Whether you have central heating and air conditioning or separate heating and cooling units, the same air filter will be used for both. This is because they (typically) share the same air-handler. Standard air filters are 1″ and 2″ in size and need to be changed every 1-3 months. Regularly changing your air filters is also the easiest way to maintain your HVAC unit.

Whole House Air Filters

Another filter type is Whole House Air filters. These filters also work to remove particles from the air, improve indoor air quality and protect your HVAC system. They are also known as also known as Residential Air Cleaners, Media Filters, and Whole House Air Cleaners. The difference between these and regular Air Filters is that Whole House Filters are larger in size and only need to be changed every 6-12 months due to the greater surface area. Any filter 3″ or thicker is designed to be a whole house filter. Their increased filter media also allows for a much higher airflow rate.

Custom Air Filters

Custom air filter sizes are not stocked on shelves or found at local stores. There are tens of thousands of possible size combinations for filters so there is no way to keep each size in stock. However, you can get the exact size you need by building a custom air filter. If you’ve measured your air filter housing slot and are unable to find a standard sized air filter within 5/8th-inch smaller than the housing slot, then your unit requires a custom sized air filter. US Home filter can make custom air filters in 1″, 2″ and 4″ depths.

Grille Filters

Grille filters are used in ceilings, grilles of walls and in the return air vents. They are not used in an air handler like those mentioned above. There should be at least a 7-in depth behind the grille, providing enough space for installation and airflow through the filter. Much like Whole House Air Filters, the increased surface area and depth of Grille filters provide greater airflow and efficiency compared to standard 1-in filters. This filter type should be changed every 6-12 months depending on environmental factors.

Humidifier Pads

Separate from HVAC and grille filters, humidifiers add moisture to your air, counteracting the drying effect that your furnace has during the cold months. Having a humidifier in your home can also help save on energy costs! When you add moisture back into the air it allows the air to feel warmer and more comfortable at a lower temperature. In other words, moist air feels warmer than dry air. On average, you can set your thermostat 2-3 degrees lower when you have a humidifier and achieve the same air temperature that you would without one. Humidifiers help those prone to sinus infections, asthma, allergies, and respiratory conditions. Humidifier pads facilitate the process that disperses moisture into your air. Wick filters, evaporator pads and vapor pads are other common names for humidifier pads.

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. This keeps 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. 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 so our 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 and low prices. Plus, enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Winterizing Your HVAC System

Preparing your hvac for winterIt may be the beginning of fall, but many parts of the United States are already experiencing winter-like conditions! This means that furnaces are already being turned on and are running hard to make sure we’re warm and cozy. With this sudden shift in weather, is your furnace ready for the challenges ahead? Take a look at the following tips to make sure your HVAC is running smoothly and efficiently this fall and winter.

Winter HVAC System Tips

1. Clean or Replace Air Filters

Keeping your air filter clean is an integral part of maintaining your HVAC system, which is why it is so important to understand air filters and how they function. Clogged, dirty air filters will cause your furnace to work harder than it should, driving up your energy bills for no reason. Dirty air filters can also cause major system malfunctions and equipment damage. Just as the southern states dread their AC’s going out in the middle of summer, those of us that are braving the cold don’t want to be without heat. Check your air filters at least once a month. If your air filters are dirty, change them out for a fresh clean one. US Home Filters has a huge selection of furnace filters to fit everyones needs! Order in bulk so you always have them on hand to take the stress out of monthly maintenance this winter.

2. Clean Air Vents

It is important to get the dust and particles off of the air vents, just as we do when we vacuum the floor and carpet in our homes. Most contaminants and particulates are trapped in the air filter as the air passes through the HVAC system; however, some do get through and over time, dust builds up in and on the duct work. Vacuuming out the air vents will help prevent blockages and indoor air quality problems, and help maintain a consistent temperature inside your home this winter. According to epa.gov, a thorough cleaning of the air vents is recommended if the ducts are clogged with an excessive amount of dust and debris. If this is the case in your home, call a professional to clean your air vents. Otherwise, a quick vacuum should be enough to keep things running efficiently.

3. Add Some Insulation

Insulation plays a large role in the overall efficiency of your home’s HVAC system. Insulation provides the thermal barrier for your home, keeping heat out when its warm and in when its cold. The more heat you keep in your house, the less work your furnace has to do to keep the temperature inside your house consistent. You should check your attic to make sure there is adequate insulation. If you think yours needs to be replaced or added to, don’t hesitate to call a professional to check and make sure your home’s insulation is adequate and efficient. The savings on your energy bill over time will most likely justify the cost of adding additional insulation to your home.

4. Check Your Thermostat

Thermostats should have a fresh set of batteries when cold weather hits. To save the most on energy costs, set your thermostat at a cooler temperature when you are sleeping or not at home. According to energy.gov, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. Also consider investing in a programmable thermostat. These thermostats take guess work and human error out of the mix. You are able to set the time for the temperature to change every day and walk away without having to remember to adjust anything before you leave for work or go to bed. This also keeps your thermostat set on the most energy efficient settings all day and all season long.

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.

What to Check Before Turning on the Heat

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

Pre Heat Checklist

1. Change your air filter.

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

2. Check for obstructions near the unit.

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

3. Check your supply and return vents.

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

4. Is there a funny smell?

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

5. Check the current carbon monoxide detector reading.

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

6. Is the furnace making strange noises?

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

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

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

How Leaves Affect HVAC Systems

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

The Problem with Fallen Leaves

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

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

Protecting Your HVAC System in Fall

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

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

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

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

Fall Energy Saving Tips

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

8 Tips to Save Energy This Fall

fall energy saving tips1. Turn down your thermostat.

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

2. Close your flue and check for leaks.

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

3. Invest in a humidifier.

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

4. Clean air registers, baseboard heaters, radiators.

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

5. Get an HVAC tune-up.

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

6. Change ceiling fans airflow.

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

7. Utilize your blinds and drapes.

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

8. Change your air filters!

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

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

 

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

Order now from US Home Filter with discount code FALL5, plus receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

 

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

Supply & Return Air Vents

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

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

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

Ductwork and Vent Connection

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

How to Maximize Your Air Vents Performance

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

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

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

Preventing Mold Growth in Your Drip Pan

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

Consequences of Drip Pan Mold Growth

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

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

Drip Pan Mold Growth Prevention

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

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

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

Reasons for Room to Room Temperature Imbalances

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

First, check for the following common issues:

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

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

Air Balancing for Temperature Regulation

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

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

Unbalanced HVAC System Causes

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

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

1) Multilevel Homes

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

2) Long Duct Runs or Uninsulated Ducts

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

3) Inadequate Return Vents

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

4) Under or Over-sized Systems

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

5) Room Usage

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

6) Home Renovations and/or Additions

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

US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units

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

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

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

HEPA FILTERS

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What is a HEPA Filter?What Is a HEPA Filter?

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

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

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

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

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

HEPA Filters Uses

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

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

HEPA Filters for Home Air Conditioning Use

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

The HEPA Filter For Home Use: The Bottom Line

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

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

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

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