Is your home or office building sick?

Your home or office building probably doesn’t cough a lot. It doesn’t register a fever, nor does it complain of a tummy ache or go through a box of tissues every hour.
It doesn’t convey any sign of illness, but your building may very well be afflicted with Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), according to the Environmental Protection Association. The EPA uses the term to “describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.”
SBS could be to blame if building occupants are plagued with the following symptoms:
• Headaches
• Coughs
• Irritated eyes, nose or throat
• Dry or itchy skin
• Difficulty in concentrating
• Fatigue
Most of these symptoms go away very shortly after leaving a sick building. One of the more common causes of SBS is inadequate ventilation. Since most indoor air pollution comes from sources inside the building—carpeting, upholstery, copy machines and manufactured wood products, just to name a few—it is critical to ensure your building’s HVAC system operates at local standards.
Often this means increasing the ventilation rates or adding local exhaust ventilation. But there are other ways to clear the air. More efficient air filters, such as our MERV 11 and MERV 13 filters, can trap the smaller particles inexpensive filters cannot.
So while the building you live or work doesn’t show signs of illness, the people inside it might. If you or others in your home or office display any of the symptoms above and don’t know why, consider upgrading to a MERV 11 or MERV 13 air filter.

The Search for America’s Dirtiest Air Filters

Filters Fast is more than happy to exchange those old, dirty air filters for newer, more efficient models. But don’t get rid of those disgusting things just yet. They could help you win a $500 gift card.
American Home Shield (AHS), a home warranty provider, is stressing the importance of changing your air filter with a photo and video contest. With their photo contest, AHS hopes to find “America’s dirtiest air filters.” To enter, send a photo of you with your dirty filter to AHS, who will then choose one weekly winner to receive a $25 Sears gift card through Feb. 28.
The video contest requires a bit more work, but with a greater reward. Entrants must produce a video of no more than 90 seconds that explains why it is so important to change your home’s air filters on a regular basis. The grand prize winner will receive a one-year home warranty from AHS and a $500 Visa gift card, with the second and third place winners receiving $200 and $100 gift cards, respectively.
Don’t be shy. AHS wasn’t when they made their animated video of President Obama, who stresses that changing the nation’s air filters is “the change we need.”
Check out for the official rules and reasons for changing your filters.