Improving Winter Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Improve Your Homes Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)You might expect some relief from allergens and the allergies that they cause during the winter months. However, the colder months have proven to be very a very challenging time for those that suffer from indoor air allergies. Indoor air allergies are caused by dust and the allergens that are contained/associated with it. Weather you can see them or not, pollutants, allergens, and other debris are lingering in your air. Improving your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) during the winter months can make a big difference, especially to those with allergies and respiratory issues. The EPA reports that the air that we breathe in our homes, in schools and in offices can put us at risk for health problems. Improving your IAQ will reduce allergens such as dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and other impurities and help your family breathe a bit easier.

Five Tips for Improving Your Winter IAQ

Circulation – The most beneficial thing you can do during the winter months (when your home is typically closed up) is keep the air circulating, which is a form of air replacement. On a “warmer” winter day, let some clean fresh air in to circulate throughout your home. This refreshes your indoor air and allows the allergens that are “trapped” inside your house a chance to move outside, increasing your home’s IAQ.

Humidity – As the air becomes more and more dry, increased humidity is often desired in the cold, dry months. However, many allergens, such as dust mites, mold, and bacteria thrive in overly-humid conditions. Turning on your humidifier is definitely necessary, but make sure to keep the relative indoor humidity level around 35%-50%. Also important – replacing your humidifier filters with fresh humidifier pads or filters about twice per season. When using the bathroom, especially when enjoying hot sowers, use the bathroom exhaust fans to keep the moisture level down. Keep an eye on basements and storage areas as well, as these are ideal locations for potential moisture.

Smoke – A tiny vapor particle that, in any form, will affect your indoor air quality. Examples include: smoke from tobacco, fireplaces, cooking, and even burning candles. Some of these produce a desirable scent or cozy atmosphere, however, they do not improve the quality of the air you breathe. Continue to enjoy and use your fireplaces and candles, but be aware that smoke particles can be bothersome to those respiratory conditions.

Air Filtration – Your furnace filters are a huge help with improving IAQ as their function goes beyond the basic purpose of just protecting your HVAC system (their main job). In fact, they add a level of defense by cleansing your air of impurities. Always keep on a regular schedule with changing your air filters as well. This allows your system to function optimally and continuously provides new surface areas for dust and allergens to collect on.

Regular Cleaning – Maintaining a clean home will only help keep the level of contaminants and dust to a minimum. Once dust and debris has settled, it is more difficult for them to be picked up by your furnace filter unless the area is disturbed. Regular vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning of surfaces will re-disperse the dust, allowing another opportunity for it to be captured by your filter before settling again.

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 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.

Humidifier Season is Here

Humidifier PadDid you even know there was a humidifier season? It occurs during the driest months of the year, which is October through March (for most of us). Humidifiers and humidifier pads, also known as humidifier filters, can be very beneficial during the cold, dry, fall and winter months. While our heaters are working hard to keep us warm, air filters and furnace filters clean contaminants from indoor air. Adding a humidifier unit to these elements will make your environment even more enjoyable when cold weather settles in.

Do You Need a Humidifier?

As the weather transitions from fall to winter, the air becomes increasingly cold and harsh. Heaters are being run constantly to keep us warm, but they are also depleting the moisture from the indoor air. This can cause many individuals’ discomfort as excessively dry air can result in a number of issues. The signs that your indoor air is too dry are:

  • Dry, irritated skin, eyes, nose, and/or throat
  • Inflammation of respiratory tract increasing risk of cold, flu, and infection
  • Increased static electricity – flyaway hair, clingy clothes, getting shocked
  • Brittle, warped, cracked wood surfaces, gaps or creaking in floors, loosened furniture joints or window frames

Benefits of Humidified Air

Luckily, these dry-air side effects are not ones you have to put up with. Increasing the level of humidity in your home can provide a significant amount of relief. What can you expect when moisture is added to your air?

  • Soft, supple skin
  • Relief from nasal passage and throat dryness
  • Less risk of sickness and infection
  • Improved healing times
  • Reduction in static electricity
  • Wood surfaces and flooring protection

Humidifier Types

There are two main categories of humidifiers: whole-house and stand-alone. Both perform the same function of adding moister to the air to increase humidity levels. 

Whole house: These humidifiers are installed in line with your heating system. They disperse moisture into the air in your home through the air vents during heating cycles.  

Stand-alone: As their name implies, these humidifiers are separate from the HVAC system. They come in various sizes, a tabletop unit for use in certain rooms, and larger console units that humidify larger areas in your home.  

No matter the type of humidifier, they all require a humidifier pad. The humidifier pad (or humidifier filter) is responsible for helping the HVAC unit distribute moisture evenly into your home’s air. They can also be called wick filters or evaporator pads. Humidifier pads should be changed every 2-3 months, or at minimum once per season.

The Ideal Humidity Level

During the winter season, humidity levels in the home should be between 30-40%, varying based on the outdoor temperature. Humidity levels that are too high will result in condensation on your windows and facilitate the growth of moisture. This also provides the ideal living environment that dust mites thrive in. On the flip side, humidity levels that are too far below the recommended range will cause dry air effects such as itchy skin and irritated airways. Humidity levels are easily monitored with a hygrometer, found at home improvement stores and are relatively inexpensive.

Don’t Suffer This Winter – Try a Humidifier!

Humidity is simply the level of moisture in the air. Utilizing a humidifier increases the level of indoor humidity, decreasing the level of dryness in the air. As noted above, there are many immediate improvements that come from the use of a humidifier. A stand-alone unit is less expensive and easier to set up than a whole house humidifier. If you’re unsure about committing to a whole house unit, a stand-alone unit is the way to start enjoying the results immediately!

US Home Filter Carries AC 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 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 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.

Humidifier Benefits During the Winter Months

humidifier benefitsCold dryer air is upon us already. As the fall transitions into winter, the air becomes increasingly cold and harsh. While the heaters in our homes and offices are running hard to keep us warm, the moisture in the air inside is depleted, causing many people discomfort. Excessively dry air can result in numerous issues. How can you remedy this? A humidifier. Humidifier benefits are numerous as they put moisture back into the air, creating a healthy indoor environment for you and your family.

Why a Humidifier?

In a 2013 study, it was found that the ability of airborne viruses to cause flu infections was greatly reduced when humidity levels were increased to 43% or above. It was in low humidity environments that 70-77% of viruses retained their infectious nature, but that number dropped to only 14% when the humidity was increased to 43% or more. Another study completed in 2009 resulted in the same conclusion: humidity limits the transmission of the influenza virus.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Not only can a humidifier help you ward off winter illness, but you can also reap other benefits such as softer, glowing skin and the preservation of any real wood furniture you have. Here are some additional benefits to using a humidifier in your home.

10 Humidifier Benefits

  1. Reduced infection risk: Bacteria and viruses cannot travel well in moist air. Add a humidifier to your home and it could be the difference between remaining healthy this winter or getting the flu.
  2. Soft, vibrant skin: Cold, dry winter air sucks the moisture right out of your skin. This can cause numerous problems such as accelerated aging, dryness, flaking and dullness. Adding moisture back into your air with a humidifier can help fend off these damaging effects, and will help you keep your skin glowing and vibrant.
  3. Sinus comfort: We’ve all experienced that tight, dry feeling in our nose during the cold winter months. The dry air during the winter can also deplete the moisture in your sinuses, leading to possible nose bleeds and a lowered resistance to viruses and bacteria. Humidifiers do wonders for your sinuses…and throat!
  4. No more raspy morning voice: Have you ever woken up and a raspy, dry voice in the morning? This is another effect of dry cold air that is affecting your vocal cords. Sleep with a humidifier in your bedroom to keep your throat moisturized while you sleep.
  5. Heal faster: If you do end up with a sinus infection, a cold or the flu this winter, adding a humidifier to your home will shorten your suffering. You will heal faster and reduce sneezing and coughing symptoms if you keep your nasal passages and throat moist.
  6. Healthier houseplants: Just as dry air can affect us, it can affect our houseplants too. Plants begin to suffer in dry, winter air when their soil becomes dryer than usual, making the leaves look withered and sad. Not only do plants rely on moist soil, but they also rely on moisture in the air. Adding a humidifier puts the moisture back in the air, helping keep your houseplants (and you!) healthy.
  7. Preserve wood furnishings: Just like our hands, dry air can cause wood furniture, moldings and doors to split and crack. A humidifier adds the necessary moisture into the air that helps preserve the integrity of the wood furniture and accents in your home.
  8. Lower heating bill: Interesting fact – moist air feels warmer than dry air. Using a humidifier to add moisture into your air will make it feel warmer, reducing your urge to crank up the heat and helping you save on your winter heating bills.
  9. Fewer electric shocks: Your kids may not be a fan of this one but adding humidity back into your air will reduce that static electricity shock we all experience in the dry weather.
  10. Better sleep. Have a partner who snores or snore yourself? Dry air plays a role in that too with snoring increasing if our sinuses and throats are dry. A humidifier will put that moisture back into the air we need for our throats and sinuses and make your house feel warmer and more comfortable, encouraging a good nights sleep.

Humidifier Precautions

There are so many humidifier benefits that make them a great for your home, but they can become a source of bacteria and mold if they aren’t cleaned regularly. Here’s what you need to know to keep your humidifier and your air clean.

  • Use demineralized or distilled water. Tap water contains minerals that can build up and in your humidifier and increase growth of bacteria. Using demineralized or distilled water will save you a lot of work, not having to clean your machine as often.
  • Clean once a week. The longer you wait between cleanings, the harder it will be. If you regularly clean your humidifier, it will be quick and painless and keep your home happy. If you let it go too long it will be harder to clean and you risk mold and bacteria build up.
  • Change filters regularly! Not all humidifiers come with a filter, but if yours does, change it following the manufacturer’s directions. US Home Filter has a FULL selection of humidifier pads!
  • Keep humidity levels ideal. Just as not enough humidity can cause issues, too much humidity can be just as problematic. Home improvement and electronic stores sell hygrometers that will measure the humidity in your home. Ideally, you want to keep the humidity in your home between 40-50%.

Don’t Suffer This Winter – Try a Humidifier!

Humidity is simply the level of moisture present in the air. We can utilize humidifier units to increase our level of indoor humidity, thus decreasing the level of dryness in our air. We have outlined many humidifier benefits that remove or drastically reduce some of the most annoying issues that we complain about when the air is too harsh and dry. A stand-alone unit is the least costly and easiest to set up, so if you are unsure about committing to a whole house unit, try this option first and start enjoying the results right away!

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 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.

How to Reduce Your Home’s Humidity

How to Control Indoor Humidity LevelsThe first day of summer is upon us and that means higher humidity levels not only outside, but inside as well. As humidity increases in your home, you’ll notice your skin may feel clammy, you’ll see foggy windows or smell a musty odor. After lingering for some time, high humidity indoors will cause mold, rotting wood and damp spots throughout the home. Even if there are no signs of your home’s atmosphere is too moist, it’s extremely important to measure and control your homes indoor humidity levels. Not only will it help reduce your heating and cooling bills, but did you know that studies have shown that how happy you feel is directly related to humidity levels? You can save money and feel better both mentally and physically. It’s a win/win!

How to Reduce Home Humidity Levels

Most important: Ventilation. This is especially important in the areas of your home that create the most moisture like the bathrooms and kitchen. Washing and drying machines, showering and cooking all affect the amount of moisture in the air, especially in bathrooms when people take long hot showers. If any of these rooms have vent fans installed, make sure you use turn them on and possibly leave them on longer than usual. If they don’t, and you find that your bathrooms are especially humid, you may want to consider having vent fans installed by an electrician.

If your home does not have a ventilation system or exhaust fans, cracking the window for a little while will help dry the air out, especially in bathrooms. Shockingly, it only takes four to six pints of water to raise humidity levels inside of a 1,000-square foot radius from 15% to 60% in a short amount of time. The amount of people in your home can affect the humidity in the air as well. A 1/4 cup of water is produced from one person’s breathing over an hour period of time. Open your windows and let the air flow dry your indoor air out.

Other tips to decrease humidity levels:

  • Make sure that your exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry rooms all vent to the outside.
  • Use fans to increase ventilation and air movement
  • Take shorter, colder showers
  • Run your air conditioning and keep drain lines and drip pans clean and unobstructed
  • Keep houseplants outside or all in one room as they release moisture vapor into the air
  • Do not over water your indoor houseplants

If maintaining the humidity levels in your home has become an issue or if you are living in a poorly ventilated building, you may want to consider using a dehumidifier. These are usually placed in basements or in bathrooms without windows or in rooms of a home that need the most moisture removal.

Types of Dehumidifiers

There are many dehumidifiers on the market – from whole-house systems to small, portable devices. No matter the size, they utilize one of three technologies: Desiccant, Mechanical/Refrigerant or Peltier.

Desiccant dehumidifiers work by employing desiccants to remove humidity. Desiccants are substances that naturally absorb moisture, like those little packets of silica gel you find in your electronics boxes or vitamin bottles. This type of dehumidifier is best for moderate humidity and lower temperatures. Since no water is produced by this dehumidifier, it can withstand freezing conditions.

Mechanical/Refrigerant dehumidifiers basically work just like your refrigerator or air conditioning system. As air passes by a cooled metal plate, the airborne moisture is condensed and drips into a water tank. This type of dehumidifiers can increase air temperatures slightly and are best suited for moderate-high humidity levels and moderate-warm temperatures.

Peltier dehumidifiers are quiet and efficient, however, they are somewhat less energy efficient than the mechanical/ refrigerant dehumidifier described above. They are typically used in smaller areas such as bedrooms, bathrooms, closets and also RVs and also trap the airborne moister which drips into a reservoir. An indicator light illuminates when the water reservoir needs to be emptied.

Proper Humidity Levels Are Essential!

According to the EPA, some of the biggest threats to indoor air quality stem from moisture issues. If humidity levels in the home are not properly maintained, a plethora of hazards become abundant. From dust mites to allergens, pathogens and noxious chemicals are all more abundant in humid conditions. Lowering the moisture content in the air can reduce allergens, wheezing from asthma and chronic coughs or shortness of breath. The ideal humidity levels for your home are <60% in the summer and between 25%-40% in the winter. In bedrooms, 50% relative humidity reduces dust mites and allergens if kept there year round. Maintain proper humidity levels in your home is essential – saving you money and keeping your family healthy and happy.

US Home Filter Is Here For You

Family owned and operated for four generations now, we know all about the importance of home humidity control and have a variety of humidifier filters! Over the years our experienced staff has help thousands of customers by answering the same questions that you may have.

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.