Central air return filter grate size is just barely too small?
My location: Oklahoma City, OK
My home build year: 2004
Home size: ~1900 square feet, single story, abundant 10' ceilings
This summer I moved into a "new" home that was built in 2004. The home has a carrier heat pump and furnace and all ductwork up in the attic. There are 2 return air grates on opposite ends of the house on the ceiling.
Based on my measurements, the furnace filter grate size is probably 14"x24"x1", but I have yet to find a commercially produced filter in this size that actually fits.
I know the dimensions are actually something like 13.7"x23.7"x.75" but the only way I can get ANY filter to fit is by bending 2 of the edges so it'll flex enough to fit in the space. In my opinion, this means the filter is not fitting flush against the edges and unfiltered air is bypassing into the air handler.
It may only be cosmetic, but it drives me nuts. My last house, which was half the size of this one, had a single 20x30x1 return and every filter I bought fit perfect every time. This surely isn't so complicated that the ones in my new home just won't work, right?
Could this be an issue with this particular size, such that it's hard to get the manufacturers to agree? Can I or should I increase the size of the returns and in the process hopefully get a fitting pair with the furnace filter?
They're worth a 1000 words ...
Pretty much average install around here. I've seen much worse.
Check out the filters from Locke.
I doubt the fittings have been sealed with mastic and you're likely pulling in
lots of attic air / crud due to poor air sealing. The fittings they used were cheap
and I prefer to use angled return boxes so the takeoff collars don't leak like yours
What size a/c do you have? There's a good chance the returns are undersized.
If you look at the blower motor it should look clean. If it's loaded with dirt and
lint the returns are leaking & pulling in attic air. The particles you're seeing
suspended in air (insulation?) can be coming from the supply or return from poorly
installed, leaky fittings and it's not right. IMHO The Fall and Winter are the best time
to fix the problems in the ductwork.