Home Improvement Tip: Upgrade Your Home Air Filters


You may soon begin work on a home improvement to-do list. This can include no shortage of priority items such as making general upgrades around your home. In fact, we all have undergone some sort of home upgrades at some time in the past. Of all the items you can add to your to-do list, there is one critical improvement that is often overlooked. If you’ve read previous blogs on The Filtered Files then you may have guessed that I’m talking about furnace filters.

At the risk of sounding redundant, installing a more efficient and effective furnace filter can drastically improve the indoor air quality in your home. Consider the two main reasons you should upgrade your furnace filter.

1. Remove more contaminants from the air: This is big especially if you deal with seasonal allergies and/or asthma. While all furnace filters will (to some degree, at least) reduce contaminants from your air, it may not remove them to the extent that you need. Removing the common asthma and allergy triggers is critical for relief and for protecting yourself from respiratory ailments associated with poor indoor air quality.

2. Prevent contaminants from building in your HVAC unit: Over time, contaminants will begin to build in your HVAC unit and reduce its efficiency. Upgrading your filter will lessen the chances of this occurring so that contaminants are trapped in the filter pleats and not in your system.

While upgrading your furnace filter, be sure to pay careful attention to the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of your filter. When it comes to knowing what MERV ratings mean, keep in mind that the higher the rating, the more efficient the filter will be. For example, a MERV 13 will be more efficient than a MERV 11. Read Three Questions to Ask before Choosing Your Next Air Filter for more information.

home-air-quality-filterRecently, all of our customers were asked to upgrade their furnace filter to the Filtrete Ultra Allergen Home Air Filters. The reason was for the numerous health benefits that the Ultra Allergen Air Filter provides.  Pollen, bacteria, dust mites and pet dander are just some of the contaminants that this filter will remove from your indoor air. With better air flow provided than its competitors, this filter is not only efficient in your system (by allowing less air flow resistance) but is also more beneficial to your health.

If you’re going to upgrade your furnace filter, be sure that you are getting maximum protection from harmful pollutants. If the Ultra Allergen doesn’t sound like a good fit for you, simply type in your air filter size and search furnace filters for all available models for your home.

Out of the Home Improvement items you can add to your to-do list, I believe that upgrades are chief among them. In addition to furnace filter upgrades, consider switching to more water efficient models. Toilets, faucets and showerheads have all become more water efficient over the years and will provide a nice touch (as well as savings) to your home and wallet.  What’s on your to-do list around the home?

There Is Hope for Your Hard Water Problems

U.S. Water Hardness Map

If your water smells and tastes like metal or if you find yourself constantly scrubbing that unsightly scum that forms around the interior of your bathtub, then chances are you are suffering from a hard water problem. Water hardness results from the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium deposits in natural water. Hard water buildup is responsible for most scale formation that clogs and corrodes your pipes, plumbing fixtures, appliances and water heaters. Ion exchange systems, often called water softeners are effective for reducing water hardness with little or no hardness remaining in the water if they are used.

Here are 7 economical reasons why you should consider purchasing a water softening system to condition your hard water:

  1. Cost effective: Saves money on constantly buying cleaning supplies, because you will use less detergent and soap.
  2. Clothes last longer: Hard water shortens the life span of your clothes and dulls the color. Conditioned water will help your garments last longer and you may avoid the need for using fabric softeners.
  3. Eliminates stains: Hard water creates mineral buildup on your bathroom fixtures and darkens your porcelain. Softened water will deter this problem.
  4. Reduces streaky dishes: Hard water creates streaks and water spots on your dishes and glasses. Conditioned water eliminates this problem and helps your dishwasher last longer and perform better.
  5. Preserves faucets and protects pipes: Hard water corrodes and clogs the valves in water-using appliances and creates scale buildup. Softened water reduces the attack of hard water on your faucets and pipes.
  6. Ideal for your face and body: Hard water is harsh on your face and body. You will find that you tend to use a lot of moisturizing lotions and crèmes to soften your skin.  Conditioned water leaves your skin feeling cleaner and fresher.
  7. Wonderful hair: Hard water can contribute to damaged hair. Conditioned water will contribute to manageable, radiant and healthier looking hair. You will also use less shampoo.


Our certified Filters Fast Lifestyle Expert recommends some of the following solutions for tackling your hard water issues:

Hydrotech Water Softener System CAB5600CC-835-75

This basic cabinet model valve water softener features a brine safety float for convenience and worry-free operation.

Pentek PCC-1 Phosphate Cartridge

This filter cartridge reduces lime, scale build-up, rust staining and corrosion caused by hard water.

We offer a complete line of water filter cartridges and water filter housing units that will be ideal for your residential, commercial or industrial water application. Water softeners require periodic regeneration once their softening capacity has been exhausted. During the regeneration process, water will bypass the softener and subsequently come out hard. Water test kits are a convenient way of testing your water for contaminants. Water softeners should not be used to treat water that is microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality without adequate disinfection.

Are you a bottled water addict?

Sure, we all love to go into a store and walk out with water sourced from a mountain spring, cove, lagoon, glacier or iceberg and then poured into a plastic bottle. One of the reasons so many people love bottled water is its convenience. It’s certainly easy to pick up a bottle at a gas station or grocery store, but bottled water is anything but easy on our wallets and our world.

There is nothing inherently wrong with bottled water in moderation. The real problem arises when you rely on bottled water as your only water source, and allow it to control your every action.

You cannot overcome your bottled water addiction until you realize you have a problem. Read through the following questions and see how many you can relate to.

  • Do you ever drink bottled water by yourself?
  • Have you ever lied about how much bottled water you drink?
  • Do you avoid places where bottled water isn’t served?
  • Do you regularly drink bottled water upon waking or before sleeping?
  • Does the thought of having to drink tap water scare you?
  • Do you find it impossible to live without bottled water?
  • Do you drink bottled water to have a good time?


How to Break Your Bottled Water Addiction

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a bottled water addict. Don’t worry, you can beat bottled water. Take up a new hobby to keep your mind away from it. Avoid places that serve bottled water, and also don’t hang around any “friends” that drink it.

But the best way to beat bottled water is surprisingly simple, and won’t even require you to take up fencing or shun your friends and family. Just filter your tap water.

What, you don’t like the taste of tap water? It might surprise you to know that many bottled waters are nothing more than filtered tap water, often taken from the same municipal water supplies that send water to your home. It’s probably more accurate to say you don’t like the taste of the chlorine disinfectant many municipalities use to rid your water of harmful contaminants.

Several water filters will remove chlorine, and many other contaminants as well. Consider purchasing a water faucet filter,  which mounts easily to your kitchen sink – no tools required. If your refrigerator comes equipped with a refrigerator water filter, ensure that you change it out regularly. If you want to have ice cold water at a moment’s notice, fill up a water pitcher filter  and throw it in your fridge.

Isn’t it actually more convenient to have water that you know is clean, healthy and delicious in your very own home?

“But I can take bottled water with me wherever I go,” you say.

With a Klean Kanteen water bottle, you can now take your filtered tap water with you wherever you go. These stainless steel water bottles are BPA free, which is more than we can say about many plastic water bottles out there.

Take comfort in knowing there are many others out there on the road to recovery. It’s a tough road, but one that is easily travelled with clean water and a Klean Kanteen. We’ll walk with you.

If you or someone you love suffers from bottled water addiction, you can contact Bottleholics Anonymous at 1-866-438-3458 or at sales@filtersfast.com.