Why You NEED to Replace Your Air Filter

Replace Your Air Filter

You don’t want to simply enjoy your HVAC system, you should also make sure that you take good care of your HVAC system in order to get as much use out of it as possible. A big part of extending the life of your unit and maintaining a high degree of comfort in your home is changing out your air filters. Not only that, but changing out the air filters can also help lower your energy bills.

Air Quality

You might not realize just how compromised the air inside of your home can be. Your indoor air quality is oftentimes worse than the air quality outside of your home, which is one reason it’s so important to make sure you have a clean air filter in order to improve air you breathe inside.

Indoor air pollutants can come from pet dander, mold, dust mites, gas-fired appliances and combustion devices. Compromised indoor air may lead to a number of health conditions, such as chest tightness, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, asthma attacks and watery or itchy eyes.

It’s also wise to have a HEPA air purifier to help cleanse the air, as well. While changing your air filter helps improve your air quality, there is no better method than using this type of air purifier.

Clean Filters and Clean Air

Not only do air filters keep your indoor air supply clean, they also help protect the interior components of your HVAC system. The transfer of energy inside of your unit can be hampered by a buildup of debris and dirt, which can cause your unit to work harder than it has to. The unnecessary stress can increase the risk of your HVAC unit malfunctioning and can also cause premature wear and tear.

In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, switching a dirty air filter with a clean one can reduce your HVAC unit’s energy consumption by as much as 15 percent.

How to Choose the Right Air Filter

Now that you understand why it is important to change your air filter, it’s a good idea to learn more about selecting the right air filter for your HVAC system. Filters are rated by the size and number of particles that they are able to trap. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale is used to rate air filters. The larger the MERV number, the better the filter is at filtering out airborne particles. One thing to take note of is that high efficiency filters are composed of thicker materials, which means that they can potentially hamper the flow of air in your home. It’s a good idea to turn to a professional HVAC company to help you figure out which air filter will work best for your home.

If your main intention is to improve your indoor air quality, then you’ll want to consider using a HEPA filter the next time you need to switch out your air filter.

When You Should Change Your Air Filter

How often you should change your air filter will depend on how often you use your HVAC system. If you use your systems often, then you’ll want to change out your air filter more often, possibly as much as every month. Towards the end of the cooling and heating season you’ll more than likely be able to use your filters for longer. Even though a majority of filters are good for up to three months, it’s still a good idea to visually inspect your filter every month just to make sure that it looks good.

If all else fails, follow the popular method of changing your air filter the same day you pay your monthly electricity bill. Even though your filter may last a little longer than this, this method ensures that you change it out regularly.

Additional Maintenance

Besides changing out your air filter, there are other things that you can do to keep your HVAC unit in good condition and running for as long as possible. Preventative maintenance can extend the life of your HVAC unit and can potentially keep you from having to pay for extensive repairs later on by identifying small problems before they become large problems.

Having a certified HVAC technician perform a tune-up can also improve the life of your heating and cooling system. During the tune-up the technician will most likely make adjustments to the moving parts of the unit, check for breaks and leaks and clean out system components. Optimizing the system can go a long way in making your equipment operate more efficiently and saving you money on energy bills.

Taking out twenty minutes to change out your HVAC system’s air filter can go a long way in improving the performance of your unit, your health and your utility bills as well. If you’ve never changed an air filter before and are unsure about which filter you need, seek out the help of a local HVAC company.

INFOGRAPHIC: How to Keep Your Home Warm During Winter

Will your home stay warm when jack frost comes to visit? Our infographic below will show you how to keep your home warm and cozy all winter long. From no-cost ways you can save money right now, to low-cost home repairs that will save you tons of money in the long run, here’s how you can keep your home warm all winter long.

How to Keep Your Home Warm During Winter

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Winter is coming here. And with this dreaded season comes the hassle of keeping your home at a comfortable temperature without breaking your wallet. From no-cost savings to buying better appliances for your home, let’s take a look at some easy things you can do to keep your home warm during the winter.

10 Ways to Save Money Right Now

  1. Reverse your ceiling fan to a clockwise direction.
  2. If you have a radiator heater, place tin foil behind it to move the warm air outward instead of upward.
  3. Let sunlight in during the day by opening curtains, but close them at night to help keep the cold out.
  4. Move furniture away from vents so heat can circulate throughout the room.
  5. Roll up a towel and place it at the bottom of doors and windows.
  6. Leave your oven open after baking to utilize the heat.
  7. Close doors in rooms you are in to keep them warm, or close doors to unused rooms.
  8. Close vents in unused rooms, so your heat will be utilized where it’s needed.
  9. Turn your thermostat down to 68°F during the day and lower at night when you sleep. To stay warm, use a heater in your room while you sleep
  10. Clean out your gutters to help prevent icicles from forming

9 Ways to Save Money For Under $60

  1. Weatherstrip your windows to help seal gaps and prevent warm air from escaping (and cold air from entering)
  2. Replace your air filters. Not only does this extend the life of your HVAC unit, but also helps reduce your energy costs.
  3. Seal your doors. This helps prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from entering.
  4. Caulk your windows shut. Same benefits as weatherstripping, but a permanent solution.
  5. Install fiberglass insulation to help keep the warmth in and the cold out.
  6. Insulate your window panes to help keep the warmth in and the cold out.
  7. Use an insulation blanket on your hot-water heater to help keep the heat in your unit.
  8. Get a programmable thermostat to help automate your heater and prevent it from running unnecessarily.
  9. Get a chimney balloon to help prevent cold drafts from entering.

8 More Expensive Ways Cut Your Energy Bills

  1. Get a home energy audit. A professional will come inspect your home and tell you ways that you can improve your energy efficiency.
  2. Buy an energy monitor to help measure your energy use and project your monthly bills.
  3. Clean all the air ducts in your home. Not only does this help improve your indoor air quality, but also keeps everything running smoothly.
  4. Buy a heated ceiling fan to assist in heating your room. A personal space heater will also accomplish this with less installation requirements.
  5. Install storm doors; giving you another layer of insulation between the cold outside air and your home.
  6. Buy an electric fireplace to not only help heat your home, but also provide ambiance to your home.
  7. Buy a new furnace. For optimal efficiency, it’s recommended to replace your furnace every fifteen years.
  8. Re-insulate your home. this is easily the most expensive and labor-intensive option to winterizing your home, but you will save lots of money in the long-run.

What are your favorite tips to keeping your home warm during the winter months?

How to Pick the Perfect Electric Tea Kettle

Electric Kettle

With a little homework, you can find the pot that fits your family’s needs.

All electric teakettles are not created equal. They come in a myriad of shapes and sizes, have varying degrees of wattage, and can contain various safety features. Don’t get intimidated though! Picking the right electric tea kettle is hardly a chore, and may just become one of your most used and beloved kitchen appliances.

Here’s how to make sense of all the different features when choosing an electric tea kettle.
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4 Appliances that Increase Your Home Energy Bill

Home Computer

See how these four appliances are siphoning money from your wallet.

When you get your energy bill in the mail, do you ever wonder which one of your appliances is the biggest drain on your wallet? While your furnace and air conditioners are the biggest culprits, you might be surprised by the amount of power some of your smaller, everyday appliances are using.

We’ve previously discussed a few home improvements that will cut your energy bills, but here we’ve outlined a list of the top four most surprising appliances that are jacking up your energy bill. We’ve also included a few quick tips to keep these surprising energy-eaters in check.
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6 Easy Ways to Soundproof Your Home

Install Carpet

Use these DIY tactics for creating a quiet and peaceful home.

If noise from your neighbors drives you to distraction, or you’ve gotten complaints about your own volume level, it’s time to soundproof your condo or apartment. The following do-it-yourself (DIY) soundproofing secrets may block and absorb noise, helping to ensure that you and your wall-sharing neighbors live in peace and harmony.
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Stove Care & Maintenance Tips

Stove Top

Today’s homes are filled with many time-saving gadgets and appliances. Modern homeowners enjoy the convenience of appliances that wash dishes, cook almost instantly, and practically eliminate the need for an open flame in the home. The stove is a popular cooking appliance that has made meal preparation simpler and faster.

In some homes, these hardworking appliances are used every single day, sometimes more than once. This constant wear will inevitably have an effect on how well and how long the stove works. In order to improve the performance and extend the lifespan of your stove, it’s recommended that you follow a regular routine of maintenance and cleaning. The below tips will typically cover both gas ranges and electric ranges, but it is important to refer to your owner’s manual on what to do for your specific unit.
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6 Tips to Eliminating Allergens in Your Bedroom

Bedroom

As the season changes, your allergies are probably kicking into high gear. If you have allergies, for some reason your eyes, throat and nasal passages aren’t fond of the shifting seasons. In fact, they’re irritated. To fight back, you break out the tissues and meds, hoping for fast relief.

While you can’t control the seasons, you can control your indoor environment. Your bedroom is especially important. Considering we spend a third our time sleeping, it’s the most important room to de-allergen. If your room isn’t battle tested for allergens, you could be making those annoying symptoms worse.

To help, we have some tips to keep your bedroom an allergen-free sleep sanctuary.
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10 Reasons to Moisturize Your Indoor Air

Humidifier Uses

Moisturizing the air in your home with a humidifier or vaporizer is an effective way to make your living conditions more comfortable and alleviate symptoms of a variety of bothersome health conditions. Below, we list out ten of the most common reasons why people use a humidifier to moisturize the air in their home or office.
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10 Ways to Save Energy While Cooking & Preparing Meals

Preparing Dinner

Almost everyone wants to save on their monthly energy bills. From turning off your lights to using a portable air conditioner, conserving energy and cutting down on your utility bills is easier than you might think. One way you might not have considered, is to conserve energy while cooking and preparing meals at home. Not only will this make a big difference over time, it’ll save you quite a bit of money.

It is highly important to understand your cooking habits and recognize that energy efficient kitchen appliances might not help much if you do not know how to use them properly. Additionally, it might not be realistic to purchase an entire new set of kitchen appliances, even if you do not currently have a convection oven, which is on average about 20 percent more efficient than a traditional oven.

You might be surprised at how easy going green can be. You also might be surprised to learn that saving energy while cooking can actually save time and make your life easier. Below are 10 quick and easy ways can save energy, cut your utility bills and still make delicious meals while cooking.
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Vaporizers vs Humidifiers: The Pros & Cons

Vaporizers vs Humidifiers

As you prepare your household for battling the discomforts of the impending flu season, you may question whether a vaporizer or humidifier is the best choice for your situation. Neither appliance prevents or cures illnesses, however, they do have the ability to deliver some much-needed comfort when the symptoms get rough. They just deliver that comfort in different ways.

Before you rush out and buy the first humidifying appliance you come across, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each type to determine which one is the best pick for your family and home environment.
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