What Type Of HVAC Filter To Use

What Type of Filter Should I Put In My HVAC System?

Routine maintenance is essential to keep your home’s HVAC system running properly. One of the easiest, and most important, aspects of furnace maintenance is keeping the air filter clean. Not only does a clean air filter improve the quality of the air in your home, it also helps your HVAC system perform at peak efficiency. A dirty filter will restrict the flow of air, which can cause your HVAC system to fail. That’s why experts say that HVAC air filters need to be changed every 30 to 60 days. The problem is, choosing the right one can be a challenge.

Types of HVAC Filters

There are a few different types of HVAC filters that will filter the air and improve your HVAC system’s performance. Some are very inexpensive, and readily available at a local home improvement store, other options require installation by a trained professional. Here are some tips to help make the choice easier for you.

Fiberglass Filters

This the most common type of HVAC air filter since they’re both widely available and inexpensive. These filters are created from fiberglass strands that are held together in a frame. They’re good at catching large airborne particles like dust, but they aren’t able to purify the air like some of the other types of filters available.

Pleated Filters

These filters can be polyester, paper, or cotton. The material is folded into accordian-like pleats which increases the surface area. That means they are able to capture dust, dirt, pet dander, dust mites and even hair before it enters the HVAC system. They’re available in both washable and disposable forms.

MERV Filters

The majority of the HVAC filters available for residential units carry a MERV rating. MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it’s used to describe the level of filtration a filter provides. MERV rankings range from 1 to 16 and the higher the ranking, the better the filter performs.

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters are very good at trapping airborne contaminants. Because of the densely packed fibers, they’re able to remove up to 99.7 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. They virtually eliminate allergens, dust, dirt, and other irritants from the air before they reach the HVAC system for improved air quality.

Which Filter Is Best?

The answer to that question depends upon the manufacturer’s recommendation, what you expect from the filter, and ultimately your budget.

Manufacturer’s Recommendation

Before you go out and buy a new HVAC air filter, take the time to read your owner’s manual. You’ll not only find instructions for changing the filter, but also recommendations about the size and type of filter to use. They’ve tested the different types of filters and they know which ones work best.

Your Air Quality Needs

Indoor air quality can have a major impact on people who suffer with allergies or other breathing problems. If this is the case for someone in your household, consider a filter that removes more particles from the air. If not, then a less expensive, fiberglass filter may well satisfy your needs.

What’s Your Budget?

HVAC air filters start at a few dollars each for the fiberglass type while the higher-end filters have a heftier price tag. While it’s true in this case that you get what you pay for, you don’t have to break the bank to make an improvement. If you’re on a tight budget, an inexpensive, new filter is better than a clogged high end filter.

Conclusion

Your HVAC system works hard all year to keep your family comfortable and it needs a little attention from time to time. Make sure that you’re checking your air filters and changing them regularly to ensure the air flows freely. You’ll save money on your utility bills because your unit will run more efficiently and it will extend the life of your HVAC system. Contact us if you want more information about HVAC filters and we’ll be happy to help you make the right choice for your system.

What Is A Kitchen Plumbing P-Trap

The Kitchen Plumbing P-Trap Explained

If you've ever encountered problems with your sink's drain, you've probably heard the term "P-trap" thrown around here and there. While the P-trap is a simple device, few homeowners understand how it works and why it matters. Here's a quick overview of P-traps that you can reference when sink-related plumbing issues arise.

What Is a P-Trap in Plain English?

In a nutshell, a P-trap is a U-shaped bend in the waste pipe that connects a sink's drain to a home's septic tank or to a municipal sewer system. Under normal circumstances, P-traps always contain a certain amount of water much like the trapway of a toilet.

Why Are P-Traps So Important?

The most critical task of the P-trap is to prevent noxious gases such as methane from making their way into a home. P-traps also allow homeowners to quickly and easily recover small items that fall down the drain. Long story short, P-traps are an integral part of responsible modern plumbing design.

P-Trap Problems You're Likely to Encounter

By far the most common issue associated with P-traps is the accumulation of debris in the bend. Over time, things like hair, food, grease and mineral deposits build up and reduce the diameter of the drain pipe. Eventually, the drain will clog up and have to be thoroughly cleaned out.

The other big problem with P-traps is that they can eventually vent sewer gases into a living area. This usually occurs because the water in the P-trap evaporates over the course of several weeks and isn't around to capture expanding gases. Fortunately, this problem can be remedied by periodically running water through drains that are seldom used.

3 P-Trap Cleaning Techniques

If you have a sink that's draining slowly, the simplest way to deal with the problem is by running a drain cleaner through the pipes. Drain cleaners attack and destroy grease or mineral deposits on the walls of a pipe to increase water flow through the P-trap assembly.

Another great way to deal with a fully or partially clogged drain is running a "snake" through the conduit to dislodge obstructions. Snakes are simply flexible cables that are inserted into drains for the purposes of scraping pipe walls. Good snakes have a handle on them that allow users to rotate the cable to grind off deposits.

If a chemical cleaner or a snake won't clear a clogged pipe, physically removing the P-trap and cleaning it by hand is the only solution. Once removed, P-traps should be scoured thoroughly to ensure that waste water flows through efficiently. Care must be taken when reinstalling the P-trap to guarantee that no seals or PVC welds leak.

What to Do When P-Trap Problems Arise

When drainage issues plague a sink in your home, it's likely that a P-trap problem is to blame. Bringing in an a local Denver plumber to assess and rectify the situation is highly recommended. Doing so will save you time and money when all is said and done.

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How Much Can A Low Flow Toilet Save Me

How Much Can I Save By Using A Low Flow Toilet?

Investing in a low-flow toilet saves water and money. You may think that a low-flow toilet will not flush as good as your old toilet. But the truth is that the low-flow toilet today does not resemble the original model that was first manufactured in 1994. At that time, a low-flow toilet used less than 2 gallons per flush while a standard toilet might have used up to 7 gallons. Unfortunately, the small amount of water used in low-flow toilets performed in an inefficient manner.

Step into the Modern World Filled with High-Efficiency Toilets

Today, low-flow toilets flush with a greater sense of accuracy even though they still do not use excessive amounts of water. Consequently, think about purchasing a high-efficiency toilet (HET) when it is time to update your bathroom. You may save at least $90 on your water bill every year. If you have several bathrooms, multiply the $90 in annual savings for each toilet.

Shop for a Toilet Bearing an Approved WaterSense Label

Shopping for the right HET toilet is easy when you look for a WaterSense label identifying the toilet as a certified HET receptacle. The WaterSense certification means that an independent laboratory certified the toilet. Each HET toilet has a specific Maximum Performance (MaP) rating. The MaP figure lets you know if the toilet's low-flush also removes waste in an acceptable way. For instance, you can find toilets with MaP ratings as low as 250 grams and as high as 1,000 grams. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the minimum acceptable number equals 350 grams while the gold standard number equals more than 500 grams.

Select your Preferred Flush Option

Similar to an older low-flow toilet, an HET toilet has various flush mechanisms. Each flush option has a different price tag and noise level. Plus, you need to decide how much of an impact you want your toilet to make on the environment. A gravity-flush toilet features the standard type of flush mechanism relying on the water's weight. A pressure-assist toilet relies on compressed air created at the top of the toilet tank. Unlike the gravity-flush option, a pressure-assist mechanism increases its flush capabilities based on the amount of compressed air. Plus, the pressure-assist option performs each flush with less than 1 gallon of water.

The drawback associated with a pressure-assist flush is that its annoying sound is too loud, especially for youngsters. If you do not want to hear a noisy sound each time the toilet flushes, choose a gravity-flush HET toilet. You can also find tankless HET toilets. An example is the Kohler Hatbox toilet that flushes via an electric pump in lieu of gravity or pressure. The problem with this type of toilet is that you need to use electricity every time you press the flush button. Plus, the toilet is more expensive to maintain.

Consider the Amount of Money you will Save on an Annual Basis

If you want to cut down on the amount of water used in your household, a new HET toilet will help you reach your goal. Boasting approximately 27% less usage, you will save an admirable amount of money on your utility bill each month. With an average life span exceeding 20 years, you may eventually end up with an additional $2,000 in your savings account. Furthermore, the city or state in which you reside may offer a special discount or rebate if you purchase an HET toilet. Some cities even provide homeowners with free HET toilets. Nonetheless, you will use less water in comparison with your older toilet that does not offer a low-flow feature.

Think About Installing a Dual-Flush HET Toilet

Additionally, you have the option to install a dual-flush HET toilet featuring two flush buttons on the toilet's tank. You can select the half flush button or the full flush button. If the toilet only contains liquid, choose the half flush option. Otherwise, select the full flush button. Caroma is a toilet manufactured in Australia featuring two flush buttons. In Australia, the law stipulates that HET toilets must feature two flush options. The Caroma brand has also been sold in the United States for about 10 years and currently features approximately 12 different dual-flush designs.

Remember to do your Research

Look at online reviews before you buy a toilet. Read about different models and maintenance costs. Study positive and negative reviews. Check out the prices at various online vendors. Calculate the shipping costs and read the vendor's policy regarding returns. You can also buy a more elegant model for an additional price. However, remember that your new toilet is designed to last a long time. Accordingly, choose an HET toilet featuring practicality, convenience and appearance so that every person in your family enjoys the luxury of a modern receptacle. When you've got your new toilet and are ready to have it installed, give our Denver plumbing company call and schedule a plumber to come out!