One Mom's Moxie

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

MERV Ratings and Your Air Conditioning: What Do They Mean?

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Not all air conditioning filters are created equal. There are many different types of filters that you can use for your central air system, including the Filtrete filter you might already use. What they all share in common is that they all have a MERV rating.

MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. It is a measurement used to rate how efficient an air filter is on a one to 20 scale, with 20 being the most efficient. The higher the rating, the higher the ability to trap small particles in the air.

Whenever you use your heating and cooling system, it filters the air in your home at the intake. The air then goes to the system's furnace for conditioning. It must pass through the filter before the air is warmed or cooled.
High vs. Low MERV Ratings

Basically, the higher the MERV rating, the smaller the pore's filter will be. The smaller pores allow less air to pass through at once. This way, the filter purifies the air from the particles that would otherwise circulate back into your home. 

When the air filter has larger pores, then more air can pass through the filter at one time. This allows for the air to circulate back with greater speed, though some particles will escape back into the home. The average home has a filter with a MERV rating of 6 to 8. Places that have filters with a rating of 20 are usually highly sterilized environments like hospitals and science labs.

Do You Need A Higher Rated Filter?
The filter that you use should reflect you and your family's personal needs. Someone with small children might benefit from a 10 filter, while allergy sufferers, elderly people, and pet owners might require as high as a level 16. Keep in mind that the higher the MERV rating, the more energy your air conditioning system must use to force the air through the filter. This is why you should only use a higher rated filter is necessary. 

Personal preferences aside, the specifics of your existing air conditioning system will most determine what air filter you can use. When in doubt, consult an HVAC professional to find a good air filter match for your home.

Could Circulation Be Harming Your Sleep?

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When it's time to crawl in bed at night, the last thing you want on your mind is how long you'll spend tossing and turning before you're able to get to sleep. For some people who sleep on bedding that's too soft, the body gets insufficient support, leaving you with strain and tightness in your muscles and joints. While uncomfortable, the issue of tossing and turning is more closely tied to firm bedding however, as the rigid surface generates pressure issues that cause you to re-situate.

Typically referred to as pressure points, these problem areas are the result of body parts pressing too firmly against a surface, inhibiting normal blood flow. Much like a hose with a kink in it, too-firm areas against your body can reduce your circulation. When this happens to able bodied individuals, they turn or roll over from the discomfort it generates. This is actually one of the things that leads people to declare that they just can't get comfortable! While that is upsetting, it can also become a serious health issue for individuals who aren't as mobile. Left un-addressed, pressure and circulation issues can lead to sores.

To manage issues like these, sleep surfaces need a proper balance of comfort and support. This leads to a predicament for some people however, as they feel more comfortable overall on a firm surface, despite some nagging pressure issues they may be encountering. Luckily, there are materials that can add soft comfort to a bed, without detracting from its support. Memory foam is one of those products, and is particularly helpful in maintaining circulation, with its body-contouring temperature sensitivity. Often, people switch to memory foam, and wake to realize they barely moved during the night. Without pressure issues, your body can enjoy its most comfortable position, and you'll fall asleep quicker and more deeply!


Article submitted by The Foam Factory, an online source for memory foam mattress and topper products; outstanding bedding for reducing pressure point issues and improving circulation.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

How To Be The #AwesomeUncle This Holiday Season!

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Want to be the #AwesomeUncle over the holidays? Or even the awesome aunt? Don't stress, there is a perfect gift for even the most difficult to please! I know a lot of us don't think giving a gift card is personable enough or you worry the recipient will think you didn't put much time or effort into it, but neither are true. Most nieces, nephews and other family members love to receive gift cards! The best part is you can find a gift card for various places at your local grocery stores!
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  • Gift cards make great holiday gifts because they are easy to buy, and easy to use. Many grocery stores now carry hundreds of gift cards, making last minute shopping fast and convenient.
  • Many grocery stores now offer “variable” gift card options, so you can load any amount you want onto the card up to $500 without having to go to the retailer.
  • Using gift cards as cash for holiday shopping and save money! Grocers like Safeway offer increased fuel rewards on gift card purchases.
  • If you prefer to shop online, check out hundreds of gift cards on GiftCardMall.com.

If giving a gift card doesn’t feel like enough for you then I have a few suggestions. You can pair an iTunes gift card with headphones, a set of gloves or scarf to go with a clothing store gift card or an assortment of candies with a theater gift card. There is always the unique ways of giving the gift card inside an ornament gift card holder, wrapping it up in a large box as sort of a joke, or putting it inside a stocking filled with other goodies like candy or small toys. For those that are difficult the best gift cards are Visa and Amazon gift cards, they can choose their own gift! And for those White Elephant, Secret Santa or for the holiday office gift exchanges, a gift card is the perfect solution. Don’t forget your neighbor, teacher, Godchild, or boss. Happy Holidays!