Indoor Air Quality

The primary cause of home indoor air quality problems, according to the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality website,  are indoor pollution sources that release harmful gases or particles into the air. Other factors that can contribute to poor indoor air quality are inadequate ventilation, and high temperature and humidity. Sources of indoor air pollution include combustion sources, building materials and furnishings, cabinetry or furniture made of pressed wood products, household cleaning and maintenance products, as well as personal care products, and central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices. Outdoor air pollution sources including radon and pesticides can also contribute to poor indoor air quality.

When there is too little outdoor air entering a home, health and comfort problems can arise from pollutants accumulating. Many houses are designed to prevent air from entering the house, which can cause pollutant levels to rise. This can cause immediate effects such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Other immediate effects include symptoms of diseases such as asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever. There are also long term health effects that may occur years after exposure or after long or repeated periods of exposure.  These include respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer.

One solution to this problem is to install mechanical ventilation devices, such as outdoor-vented fans and also air handling systems. Air handling systems use fans and duct work to remove indoor air and bring in filtered and conditioned outdoor air into the house.  Filters Fast offers an extensive line of air filters to keep the air in your house clean and pure. We also carry many quality air purifiers that circulate and purify indoor air.

Help Your Car’s Engine Breathe Easier: Change Your Air Filter

Clean air filters will prevent dirt and debris from building up in your engine.

Are you one of the many drivers who neglects to change their car’s air filter on a regular basis? With the purchase of a new car, your sales person will normally include a maintenance schedule of things to have completed such as oil changes, tire rotations, battery checks and other standard items while your car is under warranty.

Amid respiratory concerns about outdoor air pollution, a vehicle’s air filter functions similarly to your lungs. A clogged air filter comes from gradual buildup of dirt and debris. It is recommended that you change your air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. If you live in a rural area where you frequently travel down dirt or sandy roads, you will more than likely have to change your car’s air filter more regularly. The car air filter for your engine is called an internal combustion filter. This is different from the cabin air filters that is used in your car’s air conditioning system.

There are 3 types of internal combustion filters:

  1. Paper air filters are made from specially treated, industrial grade paper that is pleated like an accordion. These standard filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace if you want to do-it-yourself.
  2. Foam air filters are made from polyurethane foam soaked in oil. These filters are highly absorbent of dust and are great for vehicles that frequently drive on dirt roads or in off-road motor sports.
  3. Cotton air filters are made of oil-wetted cotton gauze and are better known for high-performance automotive applications such as racing cars.

 

The auto air filter is usually enclosed in a black plastic casing and is probably the largest non-metal assembly that you see under your hood. Sometimes it is located near the center top of your engine or it could be found to the side in some models. You can easily do a basic air filter change. It only takes a few minutes and will save you money in labor costs.

A clogged air filter could easily cause poor performance, poor fuel mileage and reduced engine life. In addition, it is one of those quick fix tasks that will create a headache of costly engine-related repairs if it is ignored and not replaced regularly. Get in the habit of checking and replacing your car’s air filter with every oil change if you do not want to replace it yourself. If the technician doesn’t automatically check it with your oil change, then ask them to do so.

 

Can Air Filters Affect Filtration Soiling?

Carpet Filtration Soiling

What is filtration soiling and what does an air filter have to do with it? Filtration soiling is soot-like discoloration that appears primarily along the edge of your carpet. Some carpet professionals also refer to this type of staining as aromatherapy candle soot, draught marking, fogging or dust marks. It is more noticeable on lighter colored carpeting than darker shades, but the quality of your carpet has nothing to do with it.

Filtration soiling can occur more commonly under closed interior doors, baseboards, along the edge of carpeted stairs or near ventilation, central heating or HVAC systems. These areas are typical of airflow that is concentrated and directed through or over the carpet’s pile. Airflow is caused by wind blowing through frequently opened windows, seeping under walls, through ventilation ducts and between rooms. Check for drafts or gaps that will force air flowing under doors or over carpeting to prevent filtration soil from accumulating in another unsuspecting area. Some of the indoor airborne pollutants contributing to this noticeable dirtiness on your floor covering include burning candles, cigarette smoke, fireplace smoke, cooking or cleaning chemical emissions.

Besides vacuuming your carpet frequently, regularly change your air filters and clean air ducts to help reduce this problem. The level of accumulated filtration soil depends on the interior airflow volume, as well as your air quality. Installing and replacing high efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) will significantly reduce these airborne microscopic particles.

Removing filtration soil is very labor intensive. Some people feel that having scotch-guard applied over their carpet is the prescription needed to keep filtration soil from occurring, however it is only a temporary deterrent. First, you want to eliminate the cause of your indoor airborne pollutants. Next, it will be wise to have your carpet professionally cleaned, then change your air filters on a regular basis to improve indoor air quality and help reduce airborne contaminants that collect on your carpet like a magnet. Regular cleaning coupled with frequent vacuuming will also help to alleviate this unsightly discoloration.