Yule Renewal: Freshening The Great Indoors
Reclaim your home and make the most of your Great Indoors with a few small improvements. Need inspo? Our aisles are stocked with the neatest cleaning tools in town. Not into chemical-laden cleaners? You can make effective, less-toxic cleaners out of nine ingredients with recipes from our blog.
If I can’t make my own, I’ll happily use these commercially available cleaning products because they work.
Folks with sensitive sniffers, allergies or asthma, this is for you. Poor indoor air quality is easily improved with a little DIY TLC. Here's how to up your air's ante with air filters, odor removers and moisture reducers.
If your home has a heating, ventilating or air conditioning system (that's HVAC in the biz), then you have an air filter. Dirty filters reduce furnace efficiency, rile allergies and aggravate asthma.
Understanding air-filter ratings will help you breathe easier. Here's what you need to know about industry-standard MERV values, as well as filter-goliath Filtretes's proprietary MPR rating system.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)
Ranging from 1 MERV to 16 MERV, this industry-standard value indicates an air filter's efficiency. More MERV means more trapped particles, which range from 10 microns down to 0.3 microns. Home filters range from 1 MERV to 13 MERV; 14 MERV and higher is only used in clean rooms, hospitals and labs.
Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR)
The MPR is a rating system designed by 3M, Filtrete's parent company. Indicating a filter's ability to capture particles 1 micron or smaller, Filtrete filters range from a basic 100 MPR to an ultra-trapping 1900 MPR.
Monthly Filter Checks & Changes
Check air filters monthly. Change them monthly during heating season. Dirty filters can kibosh your furnace's works. Reusable filters last for years, pleated filters last up to 90 days and fiberglass filters last up to 30 days, with “up to” being key.
WATCH VIDEO: Furnace Filter Maintenance
Lingering scents leave lasting memories–so make them good ones. Get the funk out, for real, with odor eliminators that annihilate the toughest smells like urine, smoke, mold or even "human decay." I can't make this stuff up, guys.
Solid Odor Neutralizers
These powerful pots of non-toxic gel draw in and neutralize molecules of funk—even from upholstery and curtains. Open a pot, set it near airflow and be amazed as it sucks up cigarette odors, sewer gas and worse.
Old-Fashioned & Totally Natural
Grandma was right. Fresh air, a houseplant and natural odor absorbers will improve your indoor air. Activated charcoal and baking soda use The Force—the Van der Waals force—to attract and bind molecules of funk. Activated charcoal, a.k.a. carbon, is regular charcoal that's been processed to increase its porosity. Those little nooks and crannies are a funk's final oubliette.
Yes, it's cold out—so open a window. Give Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and air contaminants a way out this winter. Crack windows on opposite sides of your home for a few minutes. Easy breezy.
Nurture a living thing and keep the air you breathe clean with a houseplant! Read our blog to discover what plants are NASA-approved to filter and purify indoor air.
Leaky gutters, poor drainage or sweaty windows create excess moisture, which causes mold. If you have a room that smells musty or feels damp, the indoor humidity may be too high. Find your home's humidity with a hygrometer.
Indoor humidity between 40 percent and 60 percent is ideal in cooler months. Humidity above 60 percent promotes mold and mildew growth; humidity lower than 40 percent dries out skin, eyes, throats and noses.
For total-home humidity control, turn to an electric dehumidifier.
WHAT IS CALCIUM CHLORIDE?
It's an ice melt, a water hardener, a sports drink electrolyte and an animal-neutering agent, to name a few. This inorganic salt compound pulls water out of thin air, making it a dependable desiccant.
When to replace a water filter, no matter if it's for your fridge, faucet, pitcher or the whole darn house, depends. Check the manufacturer-recommended service cycle, which is measured in months or gallons. Regular filter changes keep drinking water clean.
WATCH VIDEO: Installing a Whole-House Water Filter
NO FILTER? NO WORRIES!
In Western Washington, first-use water flows from every tap. Our drinking water goes from atmosphere to aquifer, where it's filtered through alluvial strata, giving Northwest water its tasty reputation.
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