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Air Conditioner vs. Air Purifiers: How They Differ and Why Do You Need Air Purifiers


Air conditioners are often actually lifesavers in areas of the country where record-breaking heat waves sometimes are raging. But did you know aside from providing us with cooling power, air conditioners can also negatively impact the air quality inside your home sometime Let’s understand how this can happen.

How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

Household air conditioners come in three main types: central units, window units, and portable units. You may choose one or more of these based on the design of your home or business, and the climate where you live or work.

A central air conditioning system is a part of your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC). All the rooms in your home are cooled by just one large condensing unit, typically located outside. The air conditioner also contains a fan that moves cool air into your home through your air ducts and into vents installed on the ceiling, walls, or floors.

Window air conditioning units use the same cooling components as central air conditioners, but the entire system is self-contained in the window unit.  Air conditioner units that are installed in windows are generally the most efficient and the cheapest. You can use them in any room with unobstructed slide-to-open windows, plus you can move them around as needed.

Portable air conditioners are freestanding units that are easy to move from room to room. Although the units contain an outdoor exhaust hose, you still need to place them near a window to allow that exhaust to escape.  A hose that’s not vented outside will let hot air into your house and the air conditioner will not have the capacity be able to cool it effectively.

How Do Air Conditioners Affect You?

Using air conditioners can cool your indoor air, which will make it feel fresh while decreasing humidity levels. However, they aren’t intended to catch all of the airborne pollutants that may exist in your home.

Indoor air pollution can come from many sources. The most common contaminants are pollen, mold, wildfire smoke, pet dander, cleaning chemicals, and cooking byproducts. Depending on their nature, these pollutants can be particles and gases, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since many people spend most of their time indoors, they should know how to protect their indoor air quality and, thus, protect themselves from possible harm.

No matter if the air conditioner is built into the HVAC system or installed separately, it should always incorporate filtration. There are ready to incorporate filters or custom filters you can order that can trap larger airborne pollutants, including dust and pet hair. Filters have different MERV ratings, which determine how much, and which kind of pollutants are trapped. 

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value indicates how well a filter can capture particles in the range of 0.3 to 10 microns. To decrease the risk of allergies, replace your HVAC filter each month using a MERV 13 filter or the highest rating your HVAC system can support, as recommended by the United States  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The ideal usage of these filters would be to trap viruses and even smaller particles if possible.

What is the Difference Between Air Conditioners and Air Purifiers? 

Despite the fact that air purifiers and air conditioners have similar features, like fans, filters, and vents, they serve very different purposes. Air conditioners let you cool the air in your home and maintain a certain temperature within. Air purifiers improve indoor air quality, but they do not regulate your home’s temperature.

Unlike air conditioners, air purifiers are intended to run constantly. This allows them to change the air in the room on a regular basis, eliminating contaminants as they travel through the filters. Whether your air purifier’s filter can remove particulate matter, gaseous pollutants, or both depends on the type of filter you choose.

Air purifiers may also use HEPA filters to trap airborne particle pollution, like some HVAC systems. Nevertheless, they may not be effective against gaseous pollutants. Carbon filters are another common technology used in air purifiers, and they produce the opposite result. The filtration systems can capture harmful gases, but they are powerless to capture fine particles.

Why Should You Upgrade Your HVAC Filter?

Normally, an air filter is made of a spun fiberglass material or pleated paper or cloth enclosed in a cardboard frame. A filter’s basic function is to keep the air circulating through your heating and cooling system clean. Filters are designed to capture and hold a variety of contaminants that can affect your health and comfort, including:

  • Dust and dirt
  • Pollen
  • Mold and mold spores
  • Fibers and lint
  • Metal, plaster, or wood particles
  • Hair and animal fur
  • Bacteria and microorganisms

Upgrading your HVAC filter will prevent debris from building up in your system. Thus, the air inside your home is also clean and healthy to breathe.

The reason your home is full of pollutants is commonly because of dirty air filters. They not only contaminate the surrounding air, but also allow bacteria to grow inside your HVAC system. This leads to ever-increasing levels of dangerous pollution in the air that you and your family breathe in your home.

So be sure your filters are changed regularly/monthly. You can inspect the filters visually yourself to determine whether they are dirty or clogged. Try holding the filter up to a light source. If it can’t be seen through, it probably needs to be replaced.

What’s more, the team at US Home Filter specializes in providing quality air filters and filtration solutions for homes. We offer both standard-size air filters and custom-size air filters. Our high-quality products and excellent service will ensure that you will become one of our many satisfied customers! Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about air filters for your HVAC system or if you’re having trouble choosing the right filter. We are happy to help.

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Reduce Dust – Breathe Cleaner Air

Controlling dust within the home is a constant battle for nearly everyone. Numerous sources cause dust and it continually collects on almost any surface in the house. Even with diligent cleaning, it seems to reappear as soon as you turn around. A variety of entry points and methods bring dust into your home’s environment. These places are where you need to tackle the dust in order to minimize it. Although you can noticeably reduce the amount of grime, dirt, soil and filth that originates from these sources, it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate dust.

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 is Dust?

Dust is matter that consists assorted ingredients in the form of very fine particles. It is classified as a solid particle, formed by the reduction of a larger particle: indoor and outdoor debris, soot and ashes, food crumbs, dander and skin flakes, mold and mold spores, dust mites and their debris, insect particles, household fibers, lint, hair and fur, and pollen.

Larger particles over 10 microns will settle onto surfaces very rapidly, often within just a few seconds. Because of this, large dust particles aren’t filtered by your HVAC air filter as it never gets pulled into the duct work via the return air vents.  Other particles are so fine that they function like a gas and have no rate of fall whatsoever. These particles, usually less than 1/10th of a micron, remain suspended in the air and are only affected by nearby currents or movement. Small particles between 1.0 – 10.0 microns will take several minutes to make their way to the nearest table, shelf, or floor. Particles this size will make up the majority of those that are able to be collected by your furnace filter or AC filter.

All About Dust

  • On average, households accumulate about 40 pounds of dust each year
  • Dust allergies are triggered by dust mites 
  • Persistent cold and hay fever symptoms are often due to a dust allergy
  • Household dust is the main contributor to indoor allergies
  • The particle size of atmospheric dust varies greatly between .001 – 40 microns
  • July and August are the months for dust allergies as the dust mite population increases, but they can also present problems during the cooler months as more time is spent indoors.

Symptoms of a Dust Allergy

  • ongoing cold symptoms
  • itchy, red, watery eyes
  • runny nose, frequent sneezing
  • cough, headache, fatigue
  • symptoms that worsen when sweeping, dusting, changing bedding/linens, or vacuuming

Dust and other airborne particulate matter can cause these symptoms in those that have a sensitivity or allergy to the type of particle being inhaled. Some allergens, such as soot, ash, lint and pollen, are proven to cause reactive symptoms even when there is no known allergy to that substance. Contaminants and allergens can trigger these reactions in non-allergic individuals simply because they are classified as irritants. This irritation or onset of symptoms will arise when the particles are inhaled. Our respiratory tract allows entry of these particles to different levels based on the size of the particle. The levels can be divided into three areas:

  • Inhalable – particles that are less than 100 microns and can be breathed in through the nose and mouth 
  • Thoracic – particles that are less than 10 microns and can pass the larynx, trachea, and enter into the bronchial region
  • Respirable – particles that are less than 4 microns reach the gas exchange region in the lower airways


How to Control Dust

  • Use a vacuum with HEPA filtration
  • Frequently clean all of your hard surfaces. Remember air vents, fan blades, books, shelves, door and window frames, vases, artwork, pictures, wall hangings, collectibles, electronics
  • Clean and seal ventilation and ducts
  • Use an air filter with a higher MERV rating to capture the finest dust particles. A MERV 13 pleated air filter is recommended for those with the most severe allergies and excessive dust issues
  • Allowing your system fan to run more frequently to recirculate the air so your air filter can remove the most dust and prevent more from gathering on surfaces
  • Consider reducing the number of cloth items such as drapes, pillows, upholstered furniture, and carpeted surfaces or include them in the list of items that should be cleaned or vacuumed regularly
  • Think about using simple, smoother décor that is less ornate and detailed which will not be as prone to harbor dust and will be easier to keep clean
  • Add entry rugs or mats to all doorways leading in and out of the home to better collect and contain incoming debris from shoes and pets
  • Keep walkways, decks, patios, and garage areas swept to lessen the amount of dirt that can be tracked into the home

Minimizing Dust Improves Your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Nobody wants to breathe dirty air. There’s no doubt that improving the quality of air in your home is highly beneficial. The air you breathe can have a significant impact on allergy symptoms, asthma triggers, and your overall level of comfort. You air transports allergens and contaminants, allowing them to be inhaled or to settle on surfaces where they can spread to other areas. Using high-efficiency pleated air filters is a great added level of defense in helping to clean your 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!

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 filtersgrille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

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.