It’s Time to Spring Forward

Image Credit: habitsforahappyhome.wordpress.com

It’s time to spring forward! Daylight Savings Time begins March 11 and ends the first Sunday in November. So you know what that means right? It’s time to set those clocks ahead one hour, and lose that all too important hour of sleep. On March 11, the clocks are moved ahead one hour from 2am standard time to 3am daylight savings time (or DST). Interestingly, not all places in the U.S. will participate in Daylight Savings Time. Hawaii and parts of Arizona will not observe DST, while around the world, countries like China will also not participate.

This is also a good time to remind ourselves to do maintenance around the home. Changing batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are a must and can prevent some very serious situations down the road. Also remember to change filters, such as the filters in furnaces and HVAC systems, as well as water filters.

We have offered yearly maintenance suggestions in our November 3, November 1 and  October 24 blogs, but they bare repeating and remembering. Doing your yearly maintenance can save you a lot of time, money and heartache.   Filters Fast offers a wide selection of furnace filters and air conditioning filters for your home. We also offer water filters for your water purification system, refrigerator, and ice maker.

So as you are setting those clocks ahead, remember to put your maintenance on your “to-do list”. You’ll be glad you did.

Falling Back to Standard Time

The term “Daylight Savings Time” is generally understood to mean the time when we either set our clocks forward or back one hour, and the 6 month period of time in between these points. Although this term is widely used, the correct term is Daylight Saving Time, and the actual period that is Daylight Saving Time lasts from spring until fall. The period from fall to spring is actually referred to as Standard Time. So as the time approaches for us to fall back to Standard Time on Sunday, November 6, at 2 am, this is a good way to remind ourselves to do some yearly maintenance around the home, such as changing batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and changing the filters in our furnaces and air conditioning systems, as well as any other filters around the home, such as water filters.

We offered many of these suggestions and tips in our October 24th and November 1st blogs. Some of these bear repeating, such as changing smoke alarm batteries. Changing furnace and air conditioning filters is a good way to ensure the air in your home stays clean and fresh, that your heating or cooling system doesn’t use excess energy, and to extend the life of your heating or cooling system. Filters Fast offers a wide selection of furnace filters and air conditioning filters for your home.  We also offer water filters for your water purification system, refrigerator, and ice maker.

The approaching time change reminds us all to do those household maintenance tasks that might otherwise go undone. This is also a good time to prepare our homes for the coming winter months. Winterizing is a simple yet effective way to ensure that energy isn’t lost through cracks and other escape routes in the home. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Taking this time now to ensure our homes are safe, clean, and energy efficient will keep winter outside where it belongs.

 

Is Your Indoor Air Affecting Your Allergies?

Staying indoors during allergy season may seem like a good strategy when you have allergies, but indoor air can be just as irritating to allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s website, “dust mites, animal dander and even cockroaches can cause problems indoors.”

Dust mites are a chief culprit for allergy sufferers, affecting up to 8 out of 10 Americans. The best way to control dust mites is to minimize their effect  by keeping all surfaces in the home clean, and by minimizing clutter. The AAFA recommends eliminating carpet altogether, or at a bare minimum to use only washable throw rugs or a low-piled carpet. The AAFA goes on to say that:

The single most important method is to put zippered allergen impermeable or plastic covers on all pillows, mattresses and box springs. Encasing mattresses works better than air cleaners to reduce allergy symptoms. Every week, wash bedding, uncovered pillows and stuffed toys in hot water (130 degree F.) to kill mites.

Animal dander is another culprit, impacting up to 6 out 10 people in the U.S. Doctors recommend not having pets if you are allergic to pet dander. If you must have a pet, first take a break from the animal, either by vacation, or keeping the pet out of the house for at least two months, since pet dander can linger in homes that long. The AAFA recommends slowly introducing the pet back into the home, and seeing if symptoms are attributable to the pet. If so, they advise carefully considering if the pet is worth the discomfort. They also recommend keeping the pet out of your bedroom, and perhaps choosing a pet without fur or feathers.

By vacuuming once or twice a week using a HEPA filter or double-bagged vacuum, some allergens can be controlled. Also cleaning dust with a damp cloth is another good method for keeping irritating particles at a minimum in the home.

Keeping moisture out of the home wherever possible can help control mold, which is another offending allergen. Also keeping only a few house plants and using a dehumidifier will help as well.

Cockroach debris is another culprit that reduces indoor air quality. Following recommended methods for controlling cockroaches can limit the effects of their debris.

Finally, running air conditioning in warm weather, recycling the indoor air, goes a long way to control outside allergens from entering the home. Window unit filters should be changed often. Also, air purifiers and cleaners can help to keep allergens at a minimum.