7 Home Filters You Probably Didn’t Know Should Be Changed

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Home cleaning is a catch-all phrase for the general de-clutter and organizational projects that abound when messiness trumps neatness. But in addition to clearing out the garage, don’t forget to change those oft-neglected filters that can harm your health if left unclean.
“Humidifier filters, for example, are designed to wick the water and make it easier to evaporate in the air to increase humidity. But, if not changed they can become oversaturated and susceptible to mold, mildew, and bacteria growth that can make you sick,” says Alex Hertzog, a water specialist with Filters Fast who is certified by the Water Quality Association.
Most of us eventually remember to change the obvious filters, like those on our stove vents or the PUR filter on our tap. But what about changing filters you don’t even know you have?
According to the experts, there are seven filters you probably don’t know you should be changing.
1. Microwave filter. The filter traps grease and odors from the air, thus protecting the appliance and also preventing odors from recirculating and affecting the taste and smell of your food. The microwave filter should be replaced every 6-12 months.
2. Showerhead filter. The filter reduces harmful chemicals that can dry out your hair and skin, leading to other negative effects on the body. It should be replaced every 3-6 months.
3. Humidifier. Most people know humidifiers have a filter that should be changed, but what they don’t realize is that many humidifiers actually have up to three filters. It’s important to change all three filters.
4. Coffee maker filter. A filter is used in most coffee makers, and it should be replaced approximately every 60 brews.
“They’re designed to remove the disinfection chemicals from tap water. If the filters aren’t changed, they cause more exposure to ingesting chlorine,” says Hertzog.
5. Furnace filter. To reduce allergens like pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spores and dust mites from leaking into the air, it should be changed every 3-6 months.
6. Dryer lint filter screen. The lint filter screen should be replaced as needed, if it has build-up or tears in the screen. Changing the filter can prevent fire hazards, extend the life of your dryer and reduce energy bills.
7. Refrigerator filter. The filter on a fridge keeps ice fresh and cleans the water dispensed from the refrigerator.
Get more filter-related advice at www.filtersfast.com.

Need a Hot Holiday Gift Idea? Try Steam Cleaners

No matter what gift you give a loved one – a new set of golf clubs, a gold necklace, a teddy bear – it’s going to need proper care and cleaning. So why not give your loved one a way to care for their present?

Whether you give a stylish sweater or a new recliner, a steam cleaner or steam iron will clean, deodorize and disinfect without using harsh chemicals. Steam cleaners generally produce steam that is 220 degrees Fahrenheit or more at the tip. When the steam meets a surface, it penetrates its pores and breaks the bond between the surface and any dirt. Because the steam is so hot, it also kills mold spores, dust mites and bed bugs and bacteria.

Steam Power at Home

In the late 18th and 19th centuries, steam powered factories, boats and locomotives. Now, steam power can be harnessed at home – to thoroughly clean every room.

Americans aren’t used to the idea of steam cleaning, but Europeans have been steam cleaning their homes for years. Steam cleaning machines work by releasing hot steam vapor into the pores of surfaces, where it breaks up dirt and stains. While a vacuum cleaner removes surface dirt, a steam cleaner removes deeply embedded dirt without using harsh or potentially harmful chemicals.

Do Carpets Really Make Allergies Worse?

Many Americans worry that carpets can contribute to allergies and asthma, but studies suggest that it’s time to sweep those worries under the rug.

Allergens exist in every home. When inhaled, these allergens can cause an immune system response, which manifests as watery eyes, a runny nose, sinus congestion, conjunctivitis or hives. Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is a common problem in children and adults. But the problem does not lie with carpeting. In 2002, Research Triangle Institute and University of North Carolina investigators studied two North Carolina schools — one with tile floors, and one with tcarpetst. The study found that airborne allergens existed in higher concentration in the school with tiles.

The Truth About Allergies and Carpet

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Many Americans worry that carpets can contribute to allergies and asthma, but studies suggest that it’s time to sweep those worries under the rug.

Allergens exist in every home. When inhaled, these allergens can cause an immune system response, which manifests as watery eyes, a runny nose, sinus congestion, conjunctivitis or hives. Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is a common problem in children and adults. But the problem does not lie with carpeting. In 2002, Research Triangle Institute and University of North Carolina investigators studied two North Carolina schools — one with tile floors, and one with carpets. The study found that airborne allergens existed in higher concentration in the school with tiles.

Why? Carpet can hold a large amount of soil before it looks dirty. While it traps dust and dirt, it also holds potential allergens like mold spores and dander. Allergens cannot cause symptoms unless they become airborne and are able to be inhaled. Serving as a filter, carpet doesn’t allow allergens to enter back into the air. Once trapped, allergens can be easily removed with vacuuming and steam cleaning.

In a recent paper, Dr. Mitchell Sauerhoff, Ph.D., DABT, wrote that “with respect to asthma and allergies, multiple studies have reported fewer allergy and asthma symptoms associated with carpet.”

In addition to allergens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may still cause some people concern about their carpets, but scientific evidence suggests that carpets emit very few chemical irritants. According to a study by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), carpet VOCs reduce so quickly that they do not pose a health threat. If concerned, consumers should look for low-VOC carpets like those made by Shaw Floors, which meet the CRI’s Green Label Plus standard, the most stringent standard in the industry for low levels of VOCs.

For more information, visit www.shawfloors.com/allergens.