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Whole home furnace filters

  • Contributing Factors: Indoor Air Quality

    Indoor Air Pollution

     

    Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important environmental factor to consider. Considering that we spend around ninety percent of our time inside, we have to do everything feasible to enhance the air we breathe. During the power crisis of the seventies, Canadians began to “tightly” close their workplaces and homes in order to save energy. Fast forward today, we often find larger, extended families falling under the same roof. In many cases, the adults are working with much less time to care for the home. Air flow as well as cleanliness play vital parts in maintaining good air quality; although, the indoor atmosphere is impacted by many contributing factors.

    There are many factors that can affect the quality of the interior air in your home. Tobacco smoke, radon, pet dander, mold, as well as cooking smells are some common contributors. Renovations and remodeling, new furniture, new carpet installation, freshly painted walls, air fresheners, or even caulking and adhesives - there are many sources of interior air pollution.  Not to be overlooked, think of all those products used for household cleaning. It’s important to read the labels on the items you bring into your home. When used, you and your family members will be exposed in the confines of your home.

    What this illustrates is that homeowners need take a look at the whole picture. Everyday items we purchase and bring into well-constructed homes, offset VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds),  (sometimes referred to as “off-gassing”).

    It is important that your home has adequate ventilation. Your HVAC system plays a vital role in this function.  A quality furnace or air conditioner filter (the same thing) goes a long way in filtrating out airborne particles, debris and smells. Regular maintenance, which includes examining and replacing the filter, when required, is key.

    Home should always be a place of comfort and enjoyment. So be aware of your indoor air quality and take steps to reduce or eliminate factors that could cause potential health issues. Your body will thank you!

  • The right furnace filter for your home.

    When people turn on the switch to their furnace they know they are going to get warm air. However, what people may get as well is some lingering dust, dirt, and a variety of other items that can make them ill. To prevent this from happening, people need to select the best furnace filter for their home.

    Consider the filter’s ability to stop certain types of particles from passing through. Consider the Merv rating (look for something with a rating between 8 and 11) and at least a minimum description on what it can remove from the air.

    Time frame the filters are supposed to last can help people know how often they need to replace them. While people may find some filters last up to three months, they need to realize this only applies with normal usage and in homes without pets.

    Materials used in the manufacture of the filter is a good thing to look into. A lot of times the filters sides will be made from cheap, lightweight cardboard. The downside is this cardboard can easily wear out and get flimsy. When this cardboard does wear out, it tends to start to collapse the filter down, which in turn makes it nearly impossible to use the filter. Better quality filters will be made of the type of cardboard that is used as containers to hold heavier items.

    Filter sizes can vary, depending on the make of your furnace. Often you can save money, purchasing aftermarket or generic products. Many online stores will provide charting to match filter sizes to makes and models. Take the time to do a little research. It will pay off, eliminating the problem of purchasing the wrong filter and having to deal with returns.

    Obviously, price is a big factor people need to consider. Some don’t mind buying name brand -good for you! You can save however, when looking to the generic option. Not a well-kept secret is that most of the products out there are made by a few manufacturers. I won’t mention by name, but many large well-known companies simply rewrap their brand around them and market as their own. I like saving money. I will let you decide what’s best for you.

  • Helpful Tips : Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

    indoor-air-qaulity-grand-haven

    Home is the heart of our worlds. It’s where we eat, sleep, bathe, entertain and do most of our living. While all these activities add to our relaxation and enjoyment, they can also cause a buildup of pollutants like cooking fumes and dust particles. Indoor allergens and pollutants hit their peak in the winter when homes are sealed against the cold. Indoor air quality can suffer when homes are shut up tight and built with the wrong materials. Here are some pointers to help you make your home healthier. Pollutants in your air can cause poor indoor air quality, which can impact how healthy your home is and how comfortable it feels. Fortunately, there’s a solution to most air quality problems.

    5 Simple Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality

    1. Keep your floors fresh.

    Though it's tempting to put off chores, it's important to clean regularly to reduce allergens and irritants. Dust with a damp cloth rather than a feather duster -- and don't forget hard-to-reach areas such as ceiling fans and the top of the refrigerator.

     

    To avoid potentially harmful vapors, purchase nontoxic, non aerosol, unscented cleaning products (or make your own using household products). And use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for the best results

    • Suck it up. Chemicals and allergens can accumulate in household dust for decades. By using a vacuum with a HEPA filter you can reduce concentrations of lead in your home. You can also get rid of other toxins, like brominated fire-retardant chemicals (PBDEs) as well as allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.

    Using a vacuum cleaner that has strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA filter ensures that dust and dirt won’t get blown back out in the exhaust. In high traffic areas, vacuum the same spot several times. Don't forget walls, carpet edges, and upholstered furniture, where dust accumulates. For best results, vacuum two or more times each week and wash out your filter regularly.

    • Mop it up. Mopping picks up the dust that vacuuming leaves behind. You can skip the soaps and cleaners and just use plain water to capture any lingering dust or allergens. New microfiber mops (and dust cloths) reportedly capture more dust and dirt than traditional fibers and don’t require any cleaning solutions whatsoever.
    • Keep it out. Put a large floor mat at every door.People track in all sorts of chemicals via the dirt on their shoes. A door mat reduces the amount of dirt, pesticides, and other pollutants from getting into your home. If the mat is big enough, even those who don't wipe their shoes will leave most pollutants on the mat -- not the floors in your home.

    2. Circulate, Circulate

    Even when the weather is cool, open the windows to let in fresh air (especially while you're cleaning, cooking, or painting). If it's simply too cold, run ceiling fans to keep air circulating.

     

    And don't forget to flip on the exhaust fan while you cook. Otherwise, noxious vapors, grease, and smoke are released into the air where they'll linger.

    3. Filter Refresher

    Regularly check and replace the filters in your heating/cooling system to minimize contaminants in the air. Consider installing an electrostatic filter, which employs an electric charge to capture more airborne particles than standard filters.

    4. Smoke Signals

    Candles, cigarettes, and wood-burning fireplaces all release pollutants that worsen air quality and can even trigger health problems. To help keep your home's air clean, buy only nontoxic candles (such as unscented soy varieties), and don’t allow smoking indoors.

    If you must use a fireplace, use cured or dried wood instead of pressure-treated wood, and have your chimney and flue inspected and cleaned regularly.

    5. Solve dry indoor air problem - Maintain ideal humidity level

    When cold air is heated, it expands, causing the relative humidity (RH) in your home to decrease. This may be particularly evident in the winter months, when indoor RH can drop into single digits—similar to that of the world’s driest deserts.

    Some signs the humidity in your home may be too low include:

    • Frequent allergies or respiratory illnesses
    • Scratchy, sore throat or excessive cough
    • Dry, irritated nasal passages
    • Dry, itchy skin
    • Chapped lips
    • Static shocks
    • Cracked, peeling wallpaper
    • Warped or cracked wood
    • Damage to household furnishings

    Designed to easily integrate with your HVAC system, a Dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air. Depending on the model you choose, you can control humidity in your entire home or a single area. humidifiers add moisture to your home’s air as needed to keep it comfortable

    Install a 0.3 micron or smaller air filter in your forced air system to stop the circulation of dust and other particles through your home. SEE: Home Air Filters Size Chart

  • How To Choose the Right Furnace Filter For Better Indoor Air Quality?

    As far as home improvement goes, furnace filters are definitely way down on the excitement ladder. There’s no real proud moment, or sense of accomplishment after having changed the filter. Yep - it's quite mundane and downright boring. How To Choose the Right Furnace Filter For Better Indoor Air Quality?

    But there can be big impact even in little things, and finding the right furnace filter can not only save money, but also improve indoor air quality. Originally, filters were designed to protect the moving parts of the furnace itself, but thanks to technological advancements, filters now prevent harmful particles from cycling back into the air that you breathe at home.

    During cold weather, many people think of the furnace as a valuable home heating appliance. It is also an effective air cleaner, but that partly depends on your choice of filters. Dust and debris perpetually circulate throughout indoor environments. Basic air furnace filters prevent large particles from gradually clogging up and impairing the home heating system.

    Advanced filters protect both the furnace as well as your household's respiratory health. Filter size measurements are fairly standard, but there are efficiency, cost, convenience and health aspects that vary significantly across the choices that you have for these essential home heating accessories.

    The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) scale rates the efficiency on a scale of 1-20.

    The minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) scale goes from 1 to 16. Most residential filters range from 4 to 12.

    How To Choose the Right Furnace Filter For Better Indoor Air Quality?

    Furnace manufacturers prefer the traditional spun fiberglass filters (MERV 2) because they filter out enough of the large particles to protect the furnace while providing maximum airflow. Maintaining the furnace manufacturer's specified airflow is critical to achieving energy efficiency and maximum life from the blower motor and heat exchanger. An inexpensive  4" MERV filter captures 80 percent of the particles 50 microns and larger, but only 25 percent of the particles in the 3 to 10 micron range.

    For most homeowners, a more expensive MERV 7 or 8 pleated filter provides a good balance between cost and air filtration efficiency. These filters trap 80 to 95 percent of the particles 5 microns and larger—more than enough filtration for most households.

    Furnace efficiency is one thing. But if you're a clean freak or have family members with allergies or low-immunity issues, spend more on a high-efficiency (MERV 11 and higher) filter. Then just make sure you stay on top of filter changes to protect your furnace.

    Permanent electrostatic – similar to their disposable brethren, these contain self-charging cotton fibers that attract particles. Permanent options have  a removable, machine-washable filter that can be removed and reused for six to eight years. MERV rating: 8,

    Pros: Little waste, more effective than pleated; a good option if you use a popular size

    Cons: Less effective than electrostatic, custom sizes are expensive

    How To Choose the Right Furnace Filter For Better Indoor Air Quality?

    High-Efficiency Filters

    High Efficiency "Particulate Air" filters are becoming an integral part of the modern consumer vocabulary, even appearing in vacuum cleaners. A HEPA filter also has application in medical and commercial settings as well, because it removes most of the smallest, most irritating particles from the indoor air. Some high-efficiency filters nearly destroy all germs that circulate in your home’s air, using integrated ultraviolet light technology. The composite materials used to make high-efficiency filters are themselves antimicrobial. High efficiency filters are generally more expensive than standard disposables, but the benefits of better indoor air quality are worth it for people such as chronic asthma and allergy sufferers.

    HEPA filters

    How To Choose the Right Furnace Filter For Better Indoor Air Quality?

    HEPA filters are recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and EPA as the ultimate product for cleansing airborne particles. HEPA products filter air at a very fine level, blocking elements that are 0.3 microns or larger. These filters catch 99.97 percent of all particles.

    HEPA filters have an efficiency rating of 17 to 20. Most residential heating and cooling systems can't accommodate HEPA filters because of the product's dimensions and resistance to airflow. Switching to HEPA filters will significantly improve your indoor air quality but probably require calling a heating and cooling professional to retrofit your furnace.

    Air Filter Quality Ratings Chart

    Air Filter Quality Ratings Chart unitedfilter-airfilters-furnace-acfilters

  • Home Furnace Filters Size Chart

    Shop Best Furnace Filters & HVAC Filters ,CANADA - Unitedfilter

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