Any benefit to adding 5-inch media filter when new system is installed?
I've been using 3M Filtrete Filters to help with my dust/pollen sensitivity, either their MPR 1000 (Merv 11) or MPR 1500 (Merv 12), depending on what's on sale at BJ's or Sam's Club. Current system is 3.5 ton Rheem, 12 years old, struggling to maintain t-stat temps since the condenser bottom rusted and fell out and the coil fins have extensive corrosion. I'm looking into replacing the system with either an inexpensive 3.5 ton single compressor system, or going with the top of the line Trane XL20i.... 3 or 4 ton depending on Manual J load calc.
My question is this: Is there any benefit to adding a 5-inch media filter to the a/h?
One quote I received offers a "free" 5-inch media filter as part of the Trane installation. The extra 7 inches required to install the filter cabinet will require lowering the stand that my a/h sits on, which may require patching drywall or adding 2x4's or some such to repair the wall above the new, lower a/h stand. Without the media filter cabinet, there's enough space for the new a/h without changing the stand. This contractor's quote included the Trane 900 t-stat. I've since seen the Trane 950 t-stat and it's AMAZING to a geek like me! I'm thinking about asking if he'd consider dropping the "free" media filter and including the 950 t-stat instead.
Besides, if I use the media filter, I suppose I'd have to change it every so often and I understand replacement filters are quite expensive compared to the paper filters.
What do you all think?