Can Air Filters Ease Asthma and Allergies?

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, over 25 million people in the United States suffer from asthma. When asthma attacks occur, the chest tightens and the sufferer has a shortness of breath or wheeze. It can happen unexpectedly, and may be triggered by specific things in your everyday environment, or even allergies.

Pollutants and allergens such as pollen, ragweed, mold, pet dander and cigarette smoke are common triggers of both asthma and allergies. Therefore, it is essential to clear the home of as many impurities in the air as possible. While there are many methods of doing this, most people already have a tool to help—their furnace. Discover how your heating and cooling system can relieve your asthma symptoms.

  • Air Filters Make the Difference
    The purpose of a filter in the HVAC unit is to maintain your indoor quality by capturing dust and other pollutants. Furnace filters are essential for asthma and allergies, because the filter captures the pollen, mold, pet dander and common airborne allergens—keeping it out of the air. Cleaner indoor air can make a big difference in how easy it is to breathe indoors for those with respiratory conditions. This is why it is important to change your air filters frequently.
  • What Filter Should You Use?
    Choosing an air filter to help prevent asthma symptoms requires research because each filter has a rating called a MERV. First, you want to use a filter that fits your system. Getting a precise measurement and MERV rating is important, so the filter can function efficiently. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is at capturing allergens and airborne pollutants. Consider a filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 13 for the best results.

As you can see, it is vital that you choose the right furnace filter and change them regularly. Not only will doing this keep the air that flows through your home cleaner and healthier for you and your family, but it may also reduce heating and cooling costs too.


6 Telltale Signs Your AC Is Overworked

Who enjoys sweltering in the summer heat? If you want to ensure that your air conditioner continues to blow cool air in the depth of the summer months we layout 6 smart ways to tell if your AC unit is overworked.

Your AC might be overworked if…

Improper Settings are on your thermostat

You can help your air conditioning unit work efficiently by keeping the thermostat set at a steady temperature. For the best efficiency, you should set the dial to a temperature that feels comfortable, but not too cold. The Department of Energy suggests that having a fan on and setting the temperature at 78 degrees is the perfect energy- saving method. Otherwise, the AC unit would have to kick on and off repeatedly all day to keep the temperatures low.

Wrong Unit Size

When you purchase a new air conditioner, it is necessary to match its size to the square footage of your home to avoid overworking the system. An improperly sized air conditioner will work to hard and too long as it attempts to cool the space. This will cause it to develop premature wear and damage that often leads to failure of internal parts.

Dirty/ Wrong Size Air Filter

As the AC filter clogs with dirt and debris, the efficiency of the system plummets, causing you to pay extra money for less cooling power. In addition, the air conditioner blower has to work even harder than normal, which can lead to internal damage. For best results, change your filter every one to three months on average, but check it monthly during high pollen counts or excessive dust. In addition, the wrong air filter size can cause your AC unit to be overworked. Always check the make and model of the unit and purchase the correct filters size accordingly. If your old filter does not have labels with the size, grab some tape measure or ruler and see our page on “How to Measure Your Air Filter”.

Clogged Drain Lines

Over time, the drain lines in air conditioners get clogged with debris. Once the drain lines are clogged, the air conditioner cannot adequately remove moisture from the air to cool it to optimal temperatures. As apart of your seasonal cleaning, try to clear out the drain lines to keep your AC unit efficiently producing cool air. If you are unsure of the location of your drain line, consult a HVAC consultation they may be able to show the location of your drain line.

Uninsulated Ducts

If your air conditioner ducts are not properly insulated, the cooled air may rise in temperature before it enters the room. Since wildlife like squirrels and raccoons can remove this material from the ducts, be sure to double check the insulation on a regular basis to avoid accidentally overworking the cooling system.

Closed Vent Flaps

The AC unit utilizes exterior vent flaps to release warm air and moisture left over from the cooling process. When the vent flaps are turned to the closed position, the warm air remains in the case and kicks the system into overdrive. When this happens, you may notice that the air coming out of your interior vents feels warmer than usual.

Reducing Stress On Your Air Conditioning Unit

By paying close attention to the six areas listed above, you can make sure your air conditioning unit produces adequate amounts of icy cool air without causing excessive damage to the internal parts. When you are preparing the air conditioner for summer, for example, you can double check all of these problem areas to ensure your system is ready to go before powering it up full time. You will be rewarded with an AC system that maintains comfortable temperatures in your home without fail.

Preventative care methods like a yearly check –up of your AC unit is more likely to detect any recurring problems.  AC units are very expensive and should lasts an average of 20 years, proper care throughout your ownership will keep your unit in the best shape possible.


Air Filter vs Air Purifier

You’ve probably wondered if there’s much difference between an air filter and air purifier. The quick and simple answer to this question is ‘YES’. Although they both work to alleviate contaminants inside your home, they do it in very different ways.

How Does an Air Filter Work?

Air filters for the home are part of your HVAC system. They allow air to re-circulate back through your home after filtering out impurities such as pet dander, dead skin, cigarette smoke, pollen, among others. The air filters help your HVAC system run at peak performance and extend the life of the HVAC unit by keeping dust and dirt from entering the ducts. Over time, the filter will become clogged with the debris that it removes from the air, loosing efficiency. This is why it’s so important to replace your air filter every 30 to 90 days, depending upon the filter type.

A clean air filter has a tremendous impact on the quality of air inside your home. Air filters for allergy season can help alleviate a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and wheezing by catching allergens in the air.

What Does an Air Purifier Do?

A typical air purifier uses the same method for filtration to remove pollutants from the air such as cigarette smoke, pollen, dust, etc.  In this way, it removes the same sort of impurities that home air filters do, and some people use them to specifically remove odors.

There are several types of air purifiers and each work a bit differently. You just have to pick the better fit for your needs. For example, the activated carbon purifier is commonly used to remove odors from the air, but falls short when it comes to removing pollen, dust or other fine particles.

Sources: GAC Services, Air Care Online, My Air Purifier

 


Myths about Air Filters: BUSTED!

Let’s face it, you’ve postponed purchasing replacement HVAC air filters because you haven’t really realized how important they are for air quality of your home. Your HVAC system works constantly to keep your family warm in winter and cool in summer while improving the quality of the air. Therefore, we have compiled this list to set the record straight of common myths that you have heard or seen circulating about air filters.

One

Air Filters Only Minimize Dust – FALSE! While a quality air filter will do a lot to minimize the dust in your home, there is so much more a filter can do! Many filters can reduce the impact of pet dander and help eliminate mildew, viruses and bacteria in your home. If you invest in air filters for allergy season, you can reduce the impact of common allergens the entire family.

Two

My Filters Don’t Need to Be Changed That Often – FALSE! The experts are correct on this one, you need to change your filter every month. If you typically buy air filters with higher MERV Ratings such as MERV 11 or 13, then it is recommended that your filter changes every THREE months. However, if you have respiratory ailments such as asthma or allergies, monthly air filter changes still apply. This rule is especially strict on smokers and those with indoor pets, regardless of MERV rating.

Three

I Can Run My Furnace Without a Filter – FALSE! Running your furnace without the filter is a huge no-no! Without a filter, dust, dirt and debris will be allowed to blow freely throughout the home. Furthermore, you don’t want an expensive HVAC bill because this can cause significant damage to your HVAC unit. This practice is quite hazardous and could be costly.

Four

All Filters Are the Same – FALSE! There are different styles and types of filters. The air filter you choose is based on the current conditions of your home. If someone in your home has severe allergies or asthma, it makes sense to choose a filter that is designed to catch allergens. Others have many variations such as odor reduction, fiberglass, deep pleats or washable.

Five

If the Filter Fits, It Works – FALSE! If you have an HVAC filter that is not a perfect fit, it will not work as well and can lead to problems with your unit. Various brands such as Honeywell and Carrier, works better with filters belonging to that brand or replacements. To ensure you purchase a replacement air filter that fits perfectly, annotate the measurements. If there are no measurements displayed on the filter, you may need to measure your filter.

Six

There is No Wrong Way to Install Air FiltersFALSE! Arrows are key for installing the air filter the correct way. When installing air filters for the home, check out the arrows that indicate the air flow on your filter and your unit. If there are no arrows on your unit, you may need to refer to your owner’s manual. Installing the filter, the right way will make a big difference in how well the filter operates.

Seven

Air Filters Don’t Help with Allergies or Asthma – FALSE! While an air filter may not be a miracle cure for asthma or severe allergies, a filter can improve symptoms-especially when utilized with other preventative measures. In an article by WebMD, the EPA and the American Lung Association both recommend the use of air filters to reduce allergy or asthma symptoms.

As you can see, there are quite a few myths floating around when it comes to HVAC air filters.

 


Do I Really Need to Change my Furnace Filter?

YES! Freezing temperatures can make your furnace work harder and without the proper maintenance it can cause the unit to break.

During peak winter months, one of the main causes of failure is a clogged filter. Whether a residential, commercial or industrial furnace, your HVAC system needs the filter changed with more frequency during peak seasons. This is an easy and inexpensive step but a very important one!

Furnace filters can be trusted with catching dust, pet dander, and other airborne bacteria, depending on the efficiency, but when your filter is old a few things happen: your filter gets clogged, your furnace has to work harder to push air through, and what does make it through are particles of the dust and build up. Checking and changing your furnace filter regularly help avoid all of these things.

A clean filter will not only help your furnace continue to operate efficiently but it will also extend its life, improve air quality and help you with allergies and asthma.

Need help getting a new filter for your furnace? Go to Air Filters Delivered. Our business is the air you breathe.


A new filter can help fight Fall allergies!

For many, fall is the best time of the year. The weather is great, there is often more time to spend with friends and family and nearly every product imaginable is available in a pumpkin spice flavor. However, one issue can make fall slightly unpleasant for some people—fall allergies.

What Causes Fall Allergies?

You may think that fall would be a time of fewer allergies–since flowers aren’t in bloom. However, there are still some allergens in the air. According to WebMD, ragweed is one of the biggest culprits and causes the majority of problems with fall allergies. Other issues to watch out for include mold and dust mites.

Luckily, fall allergies do not have to rule your life. One way to help reduce the impact of fall allergies on yourself and those you love is by making sure you change your furnace filters regularly. HVAC furnace filters have an enormous effect on the air quality of your home. After all, do you want to breathe air that has flowed through an old, dirty filter?

If you, or someone you love, has asthma or severe allergies, changing these furnace air filters in fall (and throughout the year) becomes even more important. How often should you change your furnace filters? Well, the frequency recommended varies depending on the manufacturer of the furnace as well as the air filter, but every two to three months is usually recommended.

If you have pets or your home is exposed to additional pollutants such as smoke or low-quality outdoor air, you may consider upgrading to a high-end furnace filter. These can reduce the impact of fall allergies, and low-quality indoor air, in general, on everyone in the household. It is worth doing everything you can to improve the air in your home—many studies have shown that improving indoor air quality can have a big impact on asthma, allergies and your health as a whole. A high-end filter provides an extra layer of protection between you and allergens.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when it comes to fall allergies. Check your filter today—before the temperatures drop and you need to turn on that furnace. Autumn is on its way!

For more information or helpful tips, visit us at Air Filters Delivered.


Hair-Raising Dust Mites, Mold and Bacteria Are Invading Your Home…

Mold, bacteria, dust mites and other creepy allergens could be invading your home and causing real nightmares. Fight the real boogieman this Halloween

Mold – Is a fungus that can cause major damage to your property and serious health problems for you and your loved ones. Disease may result from allergic sensitivity to mold spores. An effect from ingested or inhaled toxic compounds produced by mold.

Dust Mites – Live on human habitation and feed on organic debris like sheds of human skin. Dust mites are a common cause of Asthma and allergic reactions like wheezing that result from potent digestive enzymes that persist in their feces

Bacteria – is a major cause of respiratory ailments of humans, causing allergies, asthma, and pathogenic infections of the respiratory tract. Symptoms include inflammation in the nose, throat, sinuses and lungs.

One of the simplest yet most effective things you can do is to change your air filter regularly. A fresh filter will help you maintain cleaner air quality and help protect your loved ones from creepy unwelcomed nightmares.

For more helpful tips, stay tuned to our next edition of #FilterFridays or visit us at Air Filters Delivered.