What Are The Different Types Of HVAC Air Filters

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC air filtersOne of the most critical parts of your HVAC system is the air filter. The air filter is responsible for keeping the air that enters your home clean of contaminants. Bad air quality can also clog your HVAC system. Understanding the different types of HVAC air filters will help you to determine which is best for your home.

Fiberglass or Synthetic Filters

If you are looking to spend the least amount of money, what you are looking for are fiberglass and synthetic filters. These are both affordable and disposable. Particles 50 microns or larger are filtered out up to 80% by these filters. Particles between the size of 3 and 10 microns are filtered at 25%. BY using these filters, you can filter out dust and dirt but not all harmful contaminants from your home or office.

Polyester Based Filters

Filters made from polyester are one of the highest quality that you can get. Particles at or above 5 microns are filtered between 80 and 95%. You will get extreme filtration but at approximately four times the cost of the fiberglass or synthetic filters mentioned above.

Electrostatic Filters

The fibers in these filters are self-charged to create electrostatic attraction. Both standard versions of electrostatic filters and washable versions are available. Between the two there will be a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 4 to 10 depending on the specific filter. Washable filters will last longer than disposable filters.

Pleated Filters

For those that desire to catch the smallest particles floating around, the pleated filter is the right option. They can catch particulates that are down to .3 microns in size. That includes most contaminants and allergens. At the same time that pleated air filters give you the best filtration, they allow decent airflow.

HEPA Air Filters

Out of all of the HVAC air filters, a HEPA filter is the most effective. It will capture up to 99% of particles that are .3 microns or above. HEPA filters provide fantastic filtration at the cost of some airflow. Your system will have to work slightly harder when using these filters, costing more money.

Now you know the major types of HVAC air filters out there you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your system. Are you okay with minimum filtration with the benefit of cost saving or do you need something more robust? If you already have an HVAC system in place, make sure that the filter you decide to use is compatible with your system.

For more information on HVAC air filters contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

5 Tips For Better Indoor Air Quality

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air qualityWe spend most of our home maintenance time investing in stuff like window screens, weather-proof sealants, and air-tight doors and windows. We’re taught to keep things like bugs, the heat, and cold out of our homes. It keeps us from getting sick, we tell ourselves, and yes this is true. However, if you trap the air inside your house, you’re risking air quality problems.

Believe it or not, your furniture can lower the quality of your indoor air. According to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and household products like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously.” So your couch, your blankets, and other things you’re around for hours a day can emit harmful gases and chemicals.

We live in a time in which most of us spend a majority of the day indoors. Consider the time someone sleeps in their bed, wakes up and goes to work, sits in their car to transition between home and work, and then return home. On average, many of us spend more time indoors more than outdoors now. Exposure to these pollutants are problematic for not just for people with asthma, in poor health, or are differently-enabled, but can have long-term effects on anyone if precautions aren’t taken. Here are five ways you can make the quality of your indoor air better.

Switch From Chemical to Natural

DIY (Do It Yourself) projects are all the rage online. Hundreds of videos are available and can teach you how to make virtually anything from home. These videos are helpful for creating Galaxy-style tennis shoes, and they’re also very helpful in helping raise your indoor air quality. Many chemical-based products, such as aerosols, are doing your house more harm than good. While it may make your house smell good and leave your counters sparkling, these products are also leaving hazardous particles in your home.

The better way to clean your house is to use natural products. For instance, for the removal of hard stains, instead of going to your local store and buying a chemical product, consider investing in baking soda, vinegar, and natural citrus oil to create cleaning products that are eco-friendly and smell good!

Mop, Sweep, and Vacuum Regularly

Sure, this seems like something people regularly do but how many of us admittedly wait until our floors look dirty before cleaning them? Dust isn’t just an annoyance; it’s also a breeding ground for dust mites. So, you’ll want to make it a habit to clean your floors at least once a week.

When you’re cleaning once a week, consider taking a few other “shortcuts” to help keep the dust at bay. Mopping after sweeping is a good idea because it helps to get up what the broom didn’t. Vacuuming with a HEPA filter will aid in your fight as well. Lastly, don’t keep the cleaning and vacuuming to just the floors. Remember that dust settles in your upholstery and furniture as well!

Watch the Humidity Level

In especially higher humidity climates, mold and humidity love to be in each other’s company. Between 30-40 percent is the ideal humidity range. If your home is naturally more humid (i.e., if you use a swamp cooler), you’ll want to invest in a dehumidifier. Those of you with air conditioners are in luck as these can help keep the humidity down.

Also, consider places like your bathroom. Showering creates humidity, which can create mold. Consider investing in a ventilation system if you don’t have one. Open a window, or crack the door. Wiping down the tiles after a shower also helps.

Don’t Smoke Indoors

According to the American Lung Association, cigarettes “create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous.” These chemicals linger in everything, from the furniture to clothing, to the walls and are why a “cigarette smell” lingers in smokers’ cars and houses. These chemicals, especially when you’re exposed to them over an extended amount of time may result in health issues.

Bring the Outdoors In

Don’t underestimate the power (and beauty) of indoor plants. Not only are there a wide variety of indoor plants to pick from, but your relationship with it is symbiotic. They need CO2, and you need oxygen. It’s a win-win scenario! They help to filter your indoor air as well. Some of them even give off natural fragrances, so you don’t need to buy air fresheners anymore!

Speaking of the outdoors, don’t be afraid to open up your doors and windows in specific intervals. Get a cross-breeze going by opening them on each side of the house. Doing this for five to ten minutes a few times a day will work wonders.

Keywords: Air quality, American Lung Association, US Consumer Product Safety Commission, DIY (Do it yourself)
*Author’s note: Sources are hyperlinked.

How to Assess Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air qualityTracking and managing the indoor air quality is a priority for most of us. But the problem here is that there are many factors which interfere with getting the results you want. That being said, you can find some methods that will help you quickly test the indoor quality.

Why should you check the indoor air quality? The primary focus here has to be on removing things like bacteria, dander, rodent urine and droppings, dust mites, or mold. These problems can easily lead to various health issues for you and your family. Thankfully, you can avoid those with the right approach.

How can you assess or improve the air quality?  One thing to take into consideration is the dryness inside your home. Humidity levels should read no greater than 60%. Usually, a lower value is better. When humidity readings are higher than 60%, installing a dehumidifier is the right option.

Moreover, we recommend you to do some general cleaning, vacuuming, and wet dusting too. These will help remove the droppings and any contaminants.

Then you have to think about maintenance. Changing HVAC filters and opting for a better filtration system can indeed come in handy. Opt for cleaning products that have natural ingredients. Stay away from harsh chemicals; it will help you stay healthy in the long term.

Using natural pesticides or chemical alternatives is also a good idea. Infestations will end up lowering the overall air quality.

Indoor ventilation needs to be at its best, so make sure that you use a proper ventilation system. Circulating air throughout the house is vital for a healthy home.  Open the windows on nice days to bring in outside air.  Warmer temperatures can also promote the appearance of various microorganisms. In time, these can lead to allergies. Use carbon monoxide detectors to identify any potential problems, especially during the winter when the house is sealed.

Is there a way to boost the air quality? Make sure that you are always focused on improving the air quality using the methods above. If you need help with this and you want to take better control over heating/cooling as well, Good Deals Heating & Cooling is here to help. We are fully committed to helping you with any cooling or heating problems, so just get in touch, and we’ll happily assist!