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.


Scented Candles May Cause Indoor Air Pollution

scented candles air pollution

Studies show that scented candles can cause air pollution. We recommend one or more of these alternatives.

Indoor air quality experts at the Oregon Environmental Council say that the chemicals used in scented candles can cause indoor air pollution, potentially causing a wide range of respiratory health effects, including asthma. Companies are not required to disclose the specific chemicals used in scented candles on the labels, and many labels simply list “fragrance” as an ingredient, without revealing any specifics. Some contain “pthalates”, which are used in the production of plastic, and have also been found in bottled water. According to an EPA report on pthalates, these chemicals may cause birth defects and reproductive problems.

Many people will use scented candles or fragrance sprays to mask odors that linger indoors. But there are other alternatives  to these chemical-laden, pollution causing solutions. Spring is in the air, and opening the windows of your home for even just a few minutes a day can improve air circulation, while letting in the natural scent of fresh flowers. Running the fan in your bathroom and turning on the fan inside the hood vent above your stove, during and after cooking will also help. It is important to clean and change your microwave and hood range filters on a regular basis, as these prevent the spread of odor-causing smoke and food particles. We also recommend changing your HVAC furnace filters regularly, and investing in a HEPA air purifier if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Most air purifiers remove odor-carrying particles naturally, without adding chemical-laden fragrance to your home.

If you’re not sensitive to fragrances, and you absolutely can’t do away with your craving for cinnamon or french vanilla, or if it’s too cold to open the window, supplement your air filter with a Fresh Scents Air Filter Freshener in “Fresh Flowers” and other scents. This fragrance gel pad attaches easily to any air filter, providing subtly scented air throughout your home, without the smoke given off by candlewicks.

A Simple Guide to Home Air Filtration

We just published our first Buyer’s Guide on air filtration and wanted to share it with our site visitors.

If you’ve ever been to our website before, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a seemingly endless list of product categories – air filters, water filters, humidifiers, air purifiers, water bottles, etc. We know it can be overwhelming to search through all of this, so we’ve implemented a few new features:

One is our new-and-improved search box at the top of the page. When you search for a particular filter or type of filter, the search box offers a drop-down list of suggestions based on what you type in, making it easier for you to find the product you need:

Filters Fast search

The second feature is our list of buyer’s guides on air and water filters. We have already published several water filter buyer’s guides, and today we have uploaded our first buyer’s guide on air filtration.

If you’ve been wondering the difference between an electrostatic air filter, a HEPA filter, or an air purifier, look no further. Our Simple Guide to Home Air Filtration breaks it down for you. And if you’ve been asking yourself who this MERV character is that we keep referring to in our furnace filter product descriptions – MERV and his rating system are described in more detail in our guide.

Be on the lookout for more in-depth Buyer’s Guides on particular types of air filters and purifiers in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions, our filter experts are available to chat with you, M-F from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.