All About Dust & Dust Mites

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

What is Dust?

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

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

Outdoor sources: dirt, wind, sand, gravel, streets, sidewalks, garages/driveways, construction, industrial areas

Indoor sources: clothing, dryers, skin flakes/dander, ventilation, carpeting, furniture, linens/drapery, electronics, pets, attics, basements, closets, storage areas, remodeling projects

What are Dust Mites?

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

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

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

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

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

How to Control Dust and Dust Mites

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

1. Air Filters

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

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

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

2. Leaky Ducts

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

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

3. Humidity Level

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

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

4. Flooring

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

US Home Filter is Here for You

Nobody wants to breathe dirty air. There’s no doubt that reducing the dust in the air in your home is highly beneficial for everyone – family members and visitors. The air that you breathe can have a significant impact on allergy symptoms, asthma triggers, and your overall level of comfort. Your air transports allergens and contaminants, allowing them to be inhaled or to settle on surfaces where they can spread to other areas. Minimizing dust improves your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). Using high-efficiency pleated air filters is a great added level of defense in helping to clean your home’s air from allergens and dust. Using a minimum of a MERV 8 rating will help to collect large amounts of dirt and debris, not only protecting your HVAC system, but going above and beyond by capturing common allergens such as pet dander, dust mite debris, pollen, and mold spores. Upgrading to a higher level such as MERV 11 or MERV 13 is recommended for those who desire a greater percentage of dust collection and trapping the smallest allergens.

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

Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. We take pride in helping our customers find the best filtration solutions to fit their individual needs. Whether you need help with one of our standard stock size air filters, a Whole House Air Cleaner replacement filter, Grille filters, or a custom size air filter built to your specifications. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.

Standard Stock Size Air Filters

Facts About Standard Sized Air FiltersHave you heard the term “Standard stock size” air filter? This merely means that your HVAC unit has a filter that is a common size that is mass produced and easily found. For example: 16x20x1, 20x20x1, 16x25x1, 20x20x1 are all standard sized air filters. Every unit has a specific sized filter which allows the it to perform correctly and efficiently. Most AC and HVAC units use standard sized filters, but some do require a custom size air filter to be purchased and installed. But why is filter size important? According to EPA.gov, incorrectly sized or installed filter frames can cause air seepage, which significantly decreases filter effectiveness. Also, if there is any air flow resistance caused by using a filter that is not correctly sized, it can result in unnecessary stress on the HVAC unit itself, potentially damaging your system equipment and increasing your energy bills.

Standard Size Air Filter Facts

  1. There are only about 10 of the most common air filter sizes available at retail locations. US Home Filter makes over 80 standard stock sizes that local stores do not have the shelf space for, nor the inventory capacity to keep them in stock. We do manufacture and stock them all because that’s our business! So take a look at our stock filters, from the most common 16x20x1, 20x20x1, 16x25x1, 20x25x1 to other sizes like 8x16x1 to 30x36x2 to 25x29x4 to 20x25x6. If we don’t have it, we can make it!
  2. Nominal Size: This is the approximate size, such as 16x25x1. All 16x25x1 filters are designed to fit standard 16x25x1 filter slots.
  3. Exact Size: This can vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. The die-cuts (filter frames) are manufactured in bulk and purchased as a raw material for making air filters and determine the exact size of the air filters. The exact size is always slightly smaller than the nominal size to allow the filter to properly fit in the slot or housing. For example, a stock size of 20x20x1 may have exact dimensions of 19-1/2 x 19-1/2 x 3/4. This is completely normal and is the standard in air filter manufacturing.
  4. Slight variances in size may make a difference in certain situations. For instance, you may find that the stock size at your local hardware store is just a bit too big to fit your housing slot; however, you may be able to find the same stock size online by a different manufacturer that is slightly smaller size and it fits perfectly.
  5. There are thousands upon thousands of possible exact air filter sizes that can be used in an HVAC unit. Because of this, you will not always be able to find a filter at a store or online as you are able to find regular stock sizes. If this is your situation, you will need to order a custom size air filter. Custom filters are not made to a nominal size, with a smaller actual size as stock sizes are made. At US Home Filter, we make your custom size filter according to your HVAC manufacturers specifications.

Finding the Right Fit

The filters don’t need to fit with an “airtight” seal, but you should be able to easily install and uninstall your filter without a struggle. Your filter should be a bit smaller on each side of the filter housing slot, allowing you to slide the filter in and out with ease. For most systems you can use a standard sized filter within 5/8 of an inch smaller than the air filter housing.

US Home Filter is Here for YOU

Hopefully this information helps you better understand what your AC/HVAC system requires for optimum performance. It’s also important to remember that using the correct size filter for your system protects your AC/HVAC unit from malfunctions and damage, allowing it to continue to perform correctly and keep your air cleaner and your family and home safer. Take a look at our air filter measuring guide for steps on figuring out the correct size filter for your system. If you’re still unsure, US Home Filter is here to help! Call us at 855-237-1673 or contact us online.

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.

Improving Winter Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Improve Your Homes Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)Winter is a time where you might expect some relief from allergens and the allergies that they cause. Actually, however, the colder months can prove to be very challenging for those with indoor air allergies caused by dust and the allergens that are contained within and associated with it. Pollutants, allergens, and other debris may be lingering in your air whether you see them or not. Your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) can make a big difference, especially to those with allergies and respiratory issues. According to the EPA the air that we breathe in our homes, in schools and in offices can put us at risk for health problems. Improving your IAQ means that you are working to reduce allergens such as dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and other impurities – all to help you and your family all breathe a bit easier.

Five Tips for Improving Your Winter IAQ

Circulation – This is actually a form of air replacement, which can surprisingly be most beneficial during the winter months when you typically keep your home closed up (for obvious reasons). Pick a warmer winter day and allow some clean, fresh air to circulate throughout the home. This can refresh your indoor air quality and allow the allergens that are “trapped” inside your house or home a chance to move outside.

Humidity – Many allergens, such as dust mites, mold, and bacteria thrive in overly-humid conditions. More humid air is often desired in the cold, dry months, but ideally you should try to keep the humidity level around 35%-50%. Be sure to replace your humidifier filters with fresh humidifier pads or filters about twice per season. Using bathroom exhaust fans is also highly recommended when enjoying hot showers to keep the moisture level down. Keep an eye on basements and storage areas as well, which are also ideal locations for potential moisture.

Smoke – This tiny vapor particle, in any form, affects your indoor air quality (IAQ). Examples can include smoke from tobacco, fireplaces, cooking, and even candles. While some of these can produce a desirable scent or cozy atmosphere, they are technically not contributors to improving the quality of the air you breathe. This does not mean that we should not enjoy and use our fireplaces less during those snowy days and nights, but it is something to be aware of as smoke particles can be bothersome to most respiratory conditions.

Air Filtration – Your furnace filters can be a huge help by going beyond the basic purpose of just protecting your system. This is your air filter’s main job, but you can actually benefit from the added level of defense it can provide in cleansing your air of impurities. Make sure you always keep on a regular schedule with changing your air filters. This will allow your system to function optimally and continuously provide new surface area for dust and allergens to collect on.

Regular Cleaning – Of course, we all know that maintaining a clean home will only help in keeping the level of contaminants and dust to a minimum. Once dust and debris have settled, it will be much more difficult for them to be picked up by your furnace filter unless the area is disturbed. This will re-disperse the dust, allowing another opportunity for it to be captured. Unfortunately, it will eventually settle again. Dust is an ongoing battle that must be controlled at the source. Regular vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning of surfaces is one sure way to help tackle these issues and improve your IAQ!

Call us at 855.237.1673 for help with your air filter solutions today!

Family owned and operated for four generations now, we may not be doctors but we certainly know about allergies and air filters! Over the years our experienced staff has help thousands of customers by answering the same questions that you may have.

Additionally, we know that selecting the air filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. What MERV rating is best for my family? Is there an advantage to getting a pleated filter? Am I paying the right price? 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.

Custom HVAC and Air Filters

Custom Replacement Air FiltersCustom air conditioning and furnace filters are necessary when you cannot find a standard stock size air filter to fit your filter housing, track, slot, or vent properly. We discussed measuring your air filter housing slot in our last post about how to figure out if your air filter is too small for your unit. Once measured, if you are unable to find a standard sized air filter within 5/8th-in smaller than the housing slot, your unit requires a custom sized air filter. Custom sizes are not stocked on shelves or available at local stores. With literally tens of thousands of possible size combinations, there is simply no way to keep each size in stock. However, you can select the exact size you need by building a custom air filter from US Home Filter where we keep a vast array of standard sizes, including many uncommon hard-to-find sizes, in stock and can make any custom size air filter that you may need!

Unfortunately, while there are many standard and commonly used sizes, the HVAC industry as a whole has not standardized air filter sizing. The majority of the time, air filter sizes are determined by the manufacturer of your unit and the size is generally determined based upon the finished size of the unit itself, rather than what would be known as a common air filter size that you can easily find at a local store. This can prove to be quite an inconvenience for many.

Some will recommend to put your main focus on the type of air filter you use. While that is an important factor, when you are faced with choosing a custom sized air filter your first and foremost concern should be in determining the exact size you need. The type of filter you use is irrelevant if it does not fit properly.

Custom Filters Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

According to the EPA, indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks. Ensuring your air filter fits properly within your system and regularly cleaned is imperative to your furnace or air conditioning system operating properly and preventing costly repairs and replacements. This is where custom sized air filters are essential. The air should move through the filter, not around it, so those indoor air pollutants are caught in the filter and not returned into your home and the air you breathe. At US Home Filter, we have a step by step process to determine the appropriate air filter dimensions for your heating and/or cooling system and we deliver your custom air furnace filters straight to your door.

Once you have figured out the exact dimensions you need for your custom air filters, then you can select the type of filter you need based upon your needs. Your needs will likely depend on how much you prefer to spend balanced with what level of filtration you desire. It is also extremely important to change your custom air furnace filter on a regular basis. This allows for a constant flow of clean air into your home which will help you and your family avoid respiratory difficulties, allergies, and illness and keep your family safe and comfortable. It will also allow your system to work efficiently increasing its performance and longevity and decreasing energy bills.

In conclusion, a properly fitting air filter is necessary to keep your home safe and the air you breathe clean. There are hundreds of air filter sizes and US Home Filter is here to help you get the correct filter as easily and efficiently as possible.

 

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.

WHY CHOOSE CUSTOM AIR FURNACE FILTERS

Air filters keep atmospheric dust and other airborne particles from surface buildup on heating and cooling system’s fan motor, coil and drip pans.  Without clean air filters, a furnace or air conditioning system cannot operate properly and leads to costly repairs and replacements.  It is imperative to maintain air filters by checking them regularly and ensuring they fit properly to your system. This is where custom air filters can be extremely beneficial. You want the air to move through the filter, not around it so it is important for the filter to fit the air return.  At US Home Filter, we can walk you through a step by step process to determine the appropriate air filter dimensions for your heating and cooling system and deliver your custom air furnace filters straight to your door.

Once you have determined the size of the filter you need, it is important to change your custom air furnace filter on a regular basis.  This will allow a constant flow of clean air into your home to help avoid respiratory difficulties, allergies, and illness keeping your family safe and comfortable.  It will also allow your system to work efficiently increasing its performance and longevity and decreasing energy bills.