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  1. #1
    In dealing with customers knowledge base, how would you compare Trane Clean Effects vs Lennox PureAir. I install systems in a large package unit market. The Clean Effects is not a fisable application. Lennox's 15 SEER gas pack allows for the PureAir to be installed inside the cabinet. With so much about IAQ these days. How can you truely make and "apples to apples" comparison?

  2. #2
    You can't compare these units to each other because they focus on different pieces of the IAQ puzzle. The Lennox unit focuses primarily on VOC's while it's ability to capture particles is no better than any 4 or 5 inch pleated filter (although I now hear they are putting MERV 16 filters into these units, which will marginally improve particle capture). The Trane unit is much stronger at particle capture, but doesn't address VOC's.

    It's important to remember that there are three elements of airborne pollution that needs to be addressed to be an effective IAQ product.

    1. Particulate
    2. Biolgical
    3. VOC (chemical)

    Unless the product you're using addresses all three than you are not completely solving your IAQ issues.

    Sorry for spelling errors etc. I did not proof read or spell check

  3. #3
    Thanks for the input. You are correct about the PureAir moving to the MERV 16 filter. In this case is should match the particulate removal to that of Trane, 0.03 microns??? Is there a IAQ product on the market that address all 3??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Lennox PureAir is now available with the Merv 16 Filter as standard. This product does combat all three types of contaminants.

    It will protect against particulates, bioaerosols & chemical/vapors.

    Pamilico Pirate, you make a good point, with a Lennox 15 SEER package unit, you can put this system inside the equipment, this will eliminate putting in in a crawlspace or building a bulky duct cover for access. This enables easy access for the service techs on the scheduled maintenance (filter, bulb, catalyst changes).

    The Trane Clean Effects produces OZONE where the Lennox PureAir DOES NOT.

    One of the biggest benefits for using the Lennox PureAir is that there is no maintenance for the homeowner. No Cleaning. The Trane Clean Effects requires routine cleaning which should probably be done every 30-60 days.

    The PureAir only requires the changing of filter, bulbs & catalyst. Think about it from a contractors standpoint. The typical life of the filter is 12 months (depending on lifestyle), the bulbs and catalyst have a lifespan of 24 months. This is continual revenue for the contractor over the life of the unit. These changes can be made on routine maintenance calls (which a homeowner should be doing anyway. It is not very likely that the homeowner is going to pay for a contractor to come out and clean the Trane Clean Effects every 30-60 days.

    The PureAir system is the only product made that combats all three contaminants. With the new Merv 16 filter it is as effective as the clean effects on particulate reduction.

    If a customer doesn't want the extra's that the PureAir will do for the homeowner, they can simply have a MERV 16 Healthy Climate filter installed.

    Remember, the Trane Clean Effects cannot give a certified MERV rating because it is a plug in filter, the PureAir can because the filtration portion of the product is not a plug in.

  5. #5
    It sounds like iaqfouru is writing marketing copy for Lennox.

    We had a fairly lengthy discussion of the pros and cons of the various systems including the Lennox HC16 and the Lennox Pure Air in the "Trane Clean Effects" thread on this site - pages 9,10 and 11. I hate to repeat points here but the bottom line is that "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

    Let's take the Healthy Climate 16 (HC16) as an example.

    First, the purpose of a MERV is not to show the relative efficiency of a filter. The purpose is to provide the necessary measure for gauging the efficiency of a filter for a target particle size. In most cases the target particles for homeowners are allergens. Almost all allergens are 3 microns and above. So why would you need a MERV 16 that is supposed to be 95% efficient on particles down to 0.3 microns in size? When you consider the average home where you have air leakage, doors that are being opened all the time, people and pets, the use of a MERV 16 filter is rather ridiculous.

    Secondly, most of the mass of particles in the air is in larger particles. In fact, over 90% of the mass is in particles over 5 microns in size. So, what does this mean? It means that most of dirt we see on filters is the big stuff. A cardinal rule in filters is that you do not let the big stuff clog up your high efficiency filters. So you use a pre-filter to catch the "boulders." This will extend the life of your primary filter. The Lennox HC16 does not have a prefilter. At least the Trane CleanEffects has a prefilter. (That is what you are cleaning every 30 to 60 days.) Even though the HC16 has alot of surface area, it will clog up with the big stuff relatively quickly. This is just physics. So if you have a homeowner where normal pleated filters get dirty after 30 days or 90 days, the chances of having the HC16 last one year is pretty close to zero.

    Thirdly, the cost for the HC16 filters is really high. I know we are not supposed to mention prices on this sight. Suffice it to say you need to check it out before installing or purchasing these systems. Consider what would happen if the homeowner had to replace this filter every 6 months.

  6. #6
    So Breathe, you would not reccomend either product then, I guess, because the Clean Effects is also overkill if you are concerned only with 3 micron particles and above.

    By the way I disagree with your comment about capturing small, respirable particles, such as 0.3 microns being "ridiculos".

  7. #7
    Breath,I can see your point about cost. And you do make a valid arugument about a pre-filter to trap some larger particulates. But would it be safe to say that there is expense involved in all types of IAQ. The Clean Effects and PureAir both are costly pieces of equipment already. And to me as a contractor and salesman, many times I think about cost. But who am I to judge how much money my customer may or may not want to spend. There are affordable types of IAQ out there. When you are dealing with customers who ask about these products, most of the time you are dealing with customers who don't care alot about cost. They typically are more concerned with there child who has allergies and gets shots every month. Also if you weigh cost as a factor. If my understanding is correct and the Clean Effects has to be cleaned every 30-60 days. What is that customers time worth?? B/c if they are not willing to pay to have the unit cleaned then they have to clean the unit themselves. Maybe the reccomendation should be made to Lennox to add a prefilter that can catch the large particulates thus allowing the MERV 10 or 16 to last longer. It seems that the ease of cleaning the pre-filter would out weigh the cost of cleaning the Clean Effects.

  8. #8
    Oops, my apologies for not reading everything breathe. I was under the impression that there was more to cleaning than the pre-filter on the Clean Effects.

  9. #9
    First, to respond to "to air" I am skeptical about the claims of both of these systems. Both have their pluses and minuses. There is no "silver bullet" in this IAQ business and I think everyone who reads marketing literature needs to understand this.

    You have a very valid point about capturing respirable particles at 0.3 microns. I am sorry if I gave the impression this is not important. My point was that in the average home it is not very realistic that you are going to be able to make much of a difference in these very small particle sizes. The reality is that they are tough to decrease in a meaningful way.

    We have done work with clean rooms for pharmaceutical, medical and manufacturing operations. All of the components have to right. The room has to be properly sealed, the walls and floors need to be constructed properly, the workers need to be properly clothed, the doors need to be neutralized, the pressure needs to be right . . . and so on. One screw up like an open door sets you back big time.

    So do you think you are going to achieve meaningful sub-micron particle reductions in a house with 3 kids, two dogs, a cat, doors opening all the time, open windows, etc.? Possibly on a warm summer night with the AC cycling on pretty often and everybody asleep in their beds you might have some luck. But the rest of time forget it.

    Let me give you an example. The temperature outside today is 77 degrees. The AC is cycling on about two times an hour. (Which means that neither the Clean effects or the Lennox Pure Air or HC16 would be doing much of anything if we had them installed.) The particle count 10 feet from the front door is 1,050,000 over 0.3 microns per cubic foot. I walk outside, shut the door and take the particle count outside. It is 2,500,000. I go back inside and the particle count in the same place inside is 1,279,000 over 0.3 microns per cubic foot. Go figure.

    As far as the "pirates" issues go, I think you have some very good points. What is the salesperson/contractor supposed to do? 1. Become as knowledgeable as possible. 2. Be skeptical of any "silver bullet" products 3. Make no medical claims about IAQ products having health benefits for your customers and 4. Keep your customers interests in the forefront of your decisions. I talk with homeowners every week (sometimes several times a day) who are mad at their contractors for installing systems they can't fix, find filters for or maintain at a reasonable cost.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    HC16 ?


    I am just a homeowner that has been doing research on a better filter for my HVAC system. I actually read the ENTIRE "Trane Clean Effects" thread...WOW! I had reviewed some of the "marketing" for most of the systems discussed in that thread and it was eye opening. Thank you for all your comments.
    Prior to reading that I was set on finding a system that included some type of electric or charge particle set up and ideally had no replacement filters and little maintanece..Ha!..I guess the many comments about "too good to be true" make sense. this point I think I have decided to install the HC16 AND, if it would not reduce airflow too much, a basic 1" cheap filter as a "pre filter" that I could change regularly to extend the life of the HC16 main filter. Does this make sense and should it work? I have yet to look into cost...are there other comparable systems I should look into that are simple "media" systems?
    One other ? for the experts...unfortunately I hired someone to install my system 2 years ago(Heil)90%+. Have been extremely happy with the performance/cost. But the guy was a bit of a hack and I am paying for it now...need to get some ducts resized, add 2 zones and the way he set up the filter is really a mess. I think some stuff(dust etc) got through the filter because there were initially sizable gaps around the filter. My ? is do I need to have someone service/clean the inside of my unit?
    Thanks for any feedback.

  11. #11
    Frankly, I would go with the Honeywell media filter base. You can buy replacement filters in a MERV 11 which is probably all you need. These filters are easy to find, relatively inexpensive, have low pressure drop and should last about 6 months. No need for a pre-filter. They should capture somewhere around 95% of airborne allergens.

    If allergens are a problem, you might also check my post on the "In search of better air" thread.

    We are testing the HC16 now. The initial tests are right on the money. Very efficient and 0.31wg pressure drop. However, to achieve this they probably had to charge the heck out of the fibers which will neutralize in about a month. (meaning pressure drop will go up and efficiency will decrease dramatically) Efficiency has dropped from 85% at 0.3 microns to 79% in the first week. We have had to temporarily stop the test. Should start up again later this week. If it turns out OK, I will let you know. If you go with the Honeywell, you can always switch to the HC16 since the filters are the same size.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Thanks breathe easy. I will go with the Honeywell(which, at least in the marketing, touts being able to upgrade to the electronic cleaner with ease in future if desired). The website seems to be very user freindly as to descripitons. Not sure if you would recommend another website to use for best filter price?
    For the FC200E1037 media filter 2 pack they currently list
    "2-Pack Original MERV 13 Honeywell Factory Replacement (new more efficient filter replaces previous merv 11 rated filter)"
    is the increase from MERV 11 to MERV 13 related to new/better fiber or just additional "charging" of the fiber?

    Any comment/suggestions related to cleaning of my unit? And if I should use some type of UV in the coil? Unit has been in use for 2 years and has not been cleaned.

  13. #13
    You can't go too far wrong with the Honeywell filter base. Replacement filters are fairly easy to find. Most of the non-branded replacement filters are as good and usually cheaper.

    My favorite system is a standard 4 inch filter base. This enables you to buy standard 4 inch MERV 11 commercial filters. This gives you high efficiency, low pressure drop and a price under $20 each. There are plenty of places on the web to find them.

    It looks like Honeywell has joined the "MERV race." I was not aware they had a MERV 13. Two questions: Why do you need a MERV 13? Are you willing to sacrifice filter life and pressure drop for the higher efficiency? My experience would tell me this is not a very good trade for the little, if any, benefit of the higher MERV number.

    Yes, in all probability they are using charged fibers to obtain the higher MERV. There really is not another good way to do this without creating a much higher initial pressure drop. However, I have not seen or tested these filters.

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