Air filters play a significant role in keeping particulate matter, including dust, debris, viruses, and bacteria, out of your home’s air. This keeps you from contracting respiratory diseases and allergies while prolonging the life of your HVAC system. Read on for four tips for choosing suitable air filters for your home.
1. Determine the right size
Air filters come in different sizes and shapes. Ensure that you choose the right filter size and shape to prevent dirt, dust, pet danders, and debris from slipping into the air conditioner, as this could compromise the indoor air quality. To determine the correct filter size, you could consider carrying the existing filter with you when buying a new one. Other ways to determine the correct filter size include;
- Checking the manufacturer’s instructions
- Measuring the opening or filter
- Referring to printed dimensions
2. Figure out the correct MERV rating
MERV ratings determine the efficiency of your filter unit. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings dictate the size of particulates a filter can keep out of your house’s airflow, how long the unit can last and how well air flows inside the HVAC. The higher the ratings, the smaller the contaminants the air filter can trap. With that being said, do not go for an air filter with the highest MERV rating, as this could increase your home’s energy consumption. An ideal rating should be between MERV 8 and 10 to help you balance energy efficiency, airflow, and air purification.
3. Consider the filter’s maintenance
Continued use of an air filter causes particulate matter to accumulate in the unit. You have to clean or replace the filters every three months to prevent an HVAC malfunction and increased energy bills. If you are working on a tight budget and do not want to purchase a new filter once the existing one becomes clogged, consider choosing a reusable or washable unit. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions about the proper cleaning procedure.
4. Consider the material
Your filter’s material plays a crucial role in the performance of your air conditioner and the type of particulate matter it captures. The different air filter materials include;
a) Electrostatic Polypropylene filters
Electrostatic filters use a combination of triboelectric charge and airflow to remove air pollutants. These filters are perfect for removing small-sized pollutants such as dust. However, this filter material is expensive to purchase and maintain and could strain your AC as it reduces airflow.
b) Pleated air filters
Pleated air filters are the most common filters in most homes as they trap particulate matter as small as 0.3 microns, such as bacteria and viruses. They also have pleats that increase the filter’s surface area for maximum air purification,
c) Fiberglass air filters
This is the cheapest air filter material, so it is perfect under a tight budget. However, fiberglass filters only trap large particulates, which means that it may not be ideal when looking to improve your indoor air quality.
d) Carbon filters
Carbon air filters prevent odor and fume build-up in recirculated air through adsorption. However, carbon filters do not trap smaller particles such as bacteria and dust from the air.
Air filters are crucial in improving indoor air quality. Keep the above tips in mind to help you select the right air filter for a healthy home environment.
Hardwood Floors Refinishing: Top Care Tips for a Lasting Shine
Revamping your hardwood floors requires both a time and financial investment, yet the returns are evident in the enhanced aesthetics and functionality of your residential or commercial area. However, the longevity and durability of these newly refinished floors are contingent upon proper maintenance. This detailed guide is designed to offer expert guidance on how to preserve the quality and look of your newly refinished hardwood floors. We’ll cover a variety of subjects, from the science of wood aging and types of wood that need more frequent treatment, to top tips for floor upkeep. Your investment in hardwood floor refinishing need not be short-lived; with the correct care, it can be a long-term enhancement to your property.
Tips for Ensuring Durability in Your Newly Refinished Floors
After you have spent money on hardwood floor refinishing, maintaining their condition becomes a top priority. Here are strategies to prolong the lifespan and appearance of your updated flooring.
1. Regular Cleaning
A clean floor is a happy floor. Use a microfiber mop or cloth to pick up dust, dirt, and grime daily if possible. For a deeper clean, opt for cleaning products specifically designed for hardwood floors. Make sure to read the labels and opt for pH-neutral cleaners that are free from abrasives or harsh chemicals. Weekly or bi-weekly, consider a gentle vacuuming with a hardwood-friendly vacuum cleaner to remove debris that may have settled between the wood planks.
2. Use Protective Pads
One of the most effective ways to prevent scratches and dents on your hardwood floors is to place felt pads under the legs of furniture. This simple step can go a long way in preserving the smooth finish of your floor. You should also replace these pads every few months, as they can wear down or accumulate grime, reducing their effectiveness.
3. Control Humidity
Fluctuating indoor humidity levels can wreak havoc on hardwood floors. Excessive moisture can cause the wood to swell, leading to issues like cupping or buckling, while too little moisture can cause wood to shrink, leading to gaps between planks. Invest in a quality hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity level, and aim to keep it between 30% and 50%. Use a humidifier during dry months and a dehumidifier during humid months to maintain optimal conditions.
4. Proper Spill Management
Accidents are inevitable, but the way you handle them can make all the difference. Whether it’s water, juice, or wine, if you spill liquid on your hardwood floor, wipe it up immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Avoid using paper towels as they can disintegrate and get stuck in the crevices of the wood. Also, never let liquids sit on the wood, as they can seep in and cause staining or warping.
5. No Shoes Policy
Implement a ‘no shoes’ policy to preserve your floors. Shoes can bring in dirt, gravel, and other harmful debris from outside. If a full-blown ‘no shoes’ policy isn’t realistic for your household, at least insist on no high heels or sports cleats, which can cause dents and scratches. You might also consider placing a high-quality doormat at entrances to trap dirt before it gets to your floor.
6. Regular Inspections
Every three to six months, set aside time to inspect your hardwood floors meticulously. Use natural light or a bright lamp to look for scratches, dents, or areas where the finish might be wearing off. If you catch these issues early, you may be able to address them with a simple touch-up rather than a full refinishing job.
7. Refresher Coats
Although your newly refinished floors look amazing now, they won’t stay that way forever without some upkeep. Consider applying a ‘refresher’ coat of finish every two to three years. This isn’t as invasive or time-consuming as a full refinishing project. Instead, it’s more like a topcoat that adds an extra layer of protection, keeping your floors looking vibrant and shiny.
8. Scheduled Expert Cleaning
A yearly cleaning session by professionals can dramatically enhance the condition of your hardwood floors. Specialized machinery and products are used to eliminate tough dirt, renew the wood’s natural shine, and smooth out minor imperfections. This process not only rejuvenates your flooring but also prolongs its lifespan, maintaining its fresh appearance for an extended time.
Advantages of Consistent Upkeep
Routine care for your restored hardwood floors does more than maintain their visual appeal; it also prolongs their durability, augmenting the long-term value of your property. Floors that are regularly cared for can endure for many years, negating the need for frequent, costly refinishing. In addition, a structured care regimen lessens the likelihood that small defects will escalate into serious issues, thus promoting a cleaner and more healthful living area. In summary, regular maintenance serves as a long-term financial benefit and a means of sustaining your home’s elegance.
When To Seek Professional Help
If you notice persistent issues like deep scratches, stubborn stains, or any form of water damage, it’s best to seek professional help. Specialists in hardwood floors refinishing can assess the situation and provide targeted solutions. Companies like 1DayRefinishing offer an extensive range of services that can effectively address these problems. Notably, the company specializes in a one-day turnaround, making them a convenient option for those in need of quick yet high-quality refinishing solutions.
Finding Trustworthy Services for Floor Refinishing
If you’re in a location with scarce local options, consider exploring 1 DAY Refinishing. Their seasoned experts offer complete solutions for maintaining and refinishing hardwood floors, helping to keep them pristine for the long haul.
The decision to invest in refinishing your hardwood floors is a significant commitment to enhancing your home’s aesthetics and overall value. By diligently following proper maintenance routines, your refinished floors can continue to elevate your home’s ambience. Every effort, from regular cleaning, to hiring professionals, adds to the resilience and visual allure of your hardwood floors. Stick to these essential care guidelines, and your floors will maintain their lustre for an extended period.
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