How-To: Eliminate indoor pollution

Save yourself and your family from indoor pollution by changing your filters regularly -- here's how.

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012  |  Updated 3:26 PM EDT
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How-To: Eliminate indoor pollution

Changing your air filter reduces indoor pollution from dust, dirt, mold, and even insect remains.

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This article is sponsored by Michael and Son, the leading full-service plumbing, heating, HVAC and remodeling company serving the Washington D.C. area for over 30 years. Learn more about Michael and Son at MichaelandSon.com.

From smog, to exhaust, to chemical fumes, everyone knows that outdoor pollution can be a killer.

But did you know that indoor pollution can be just as detrimental to your health?

A top 5 health problem in 97% of American homes, indoor pollution occurs when your home's air contains an abundance of dust, dirt, mold, and insect remains.

There are several ways to improve your home's air quality, but one of the best and most efficient is to switch out your heating and air conditioning system's filter on a regular basis.

Changing your filter improves the air flow in your home, keeps your family cooler in the summer, prolongs the life of your HVAC system, and ultimately saves you money.

Types of Filters
There's no shortage of filter types. The basic four are pleated, non-pleated, electro-statically charged, and flat throw-away.

Filters are qualified by a MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) between one and 11. Filters rated between one and four are generally good for window AC units and stop contaminants like dust, pollen, and mites. As you go higher up the rating scale, the filters stop more types of contaminants. Filters rated 13 and above prevent the spread of bacteria, sneeze particulants, and even cooking oil and face powder.

How-To Replace a Basic Filter
Many homeowners elect for a basic filter (MERV 5) to protect their air quality. These non-pleated, non-charged filters are designed to be changed every month. Not changing your filter reduces your air flow and allows contaminants to build up in your home.

The basic filter costs about $5, and you can buy it at your local hardware store.

To change a basic air filter, locate your HVAC system. Place your hand in front of the filter -- if you feel a very weak air flow, your filter's probably dirty.

Shut the system off first. Locate the small door that gives you access to the filter. Open it, then pop out the filter. Simply slide the new filter in. These filters are meant to be replaced, so the process is engineered to be simple.

How-To Install an Electro-Static, Pleated Filter
More advanced filters require more expertise to install, and that's where Michael and Son comes in. 

To see our full range of filters and get expert advice, or to order home service, go to MichaelandSon.com.

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