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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    67

    Which is better ? Grille Media Filter vs. Housing Media Filter +

    I've been looking into this option - replacing my 1" with a 4" media filter at the return grille.

    Would this option at the return grille gives the same performance as the one at the blower? If not, what is the differences?

    Also, I was thinking about adding a UV light behind the media filter. Is it really worth it?

    Thanks in advance pros.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    New York
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    174
    Quote Originally Posted by seanhoang View Post
    I've been looking into this option - replacing my 1" with a 4" media filter at the return grille.

    Would this option at the return grille gives the same performance as the one at the blower? If not, what is the differences?

    Also, I was thinking about adding a UV light behind the media filter. Is it really worth it?

    Thanks in advance pros.
    A media filter is great no doubt about it yet in my experience on any install done i've always placed them closer to the unit in either a pre-cut box or just a 4 inch opening on the sheet metal. The upside to placing it near the unit is that it wont make as much noise, it will just increase the static of the system. By placing it at a return grille its going to have a long run back to the unit and it will be much louder, you will most likely hear the suction of air. If you do install it I would definitely install it closer to the unit and just remember to remove the one in the filter grille assemble. I would really only replace it if someone has asthma, keep in mind the x4 filters are a little bit more costly. As for the light it depends your use, will it be for coil treatment or used as an air cleaner. The lights themselves are pricey as well as the replacement bulbs. If your using it for coil treatment i would hard wire it to run all the time. If your going to use it to treat the air I would wire it in series with a sail switch so when the blower comes on the light comes on. Check out Honeywell's website for the light depending on the size of the duct and then the choice of placing it in either the supply or return is upto you. Good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    67
    How annoying is it at the grille? Is it pretty noticeable? And did you say "increase" static pressure at the box? Don't we want to keep static pressure lower though? Please advise...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,215
    I just bent back the side tabs on my 20x20x1 filter grills so the 4" media would fit. Works great, static is low enough that filters never get sucked into to the return. I can buy the 4" media at the supply house for about the same price at the 1" filters at the big box store in the fancy retail packaging. 4" media filters are awesome, well worth it IMHO. The UV light, I'm not sold on those...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,739
    unless you can guarantee the return ducting is 100% sealed i would rather have it at the unit.
    with it at the grill any leaks in the return duct will allow dirt into the unit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    279
    Agree with t527ed. Also look at where you will have the largest square inches of filter size. The larger the area,the slower the velocity.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by rglasgow View Post
    Agree with t527ed. Also look at where you will have the largest square inches of filter size. The larger the area,the slower the velocity.
    How would that affect performances? Does slower velocity equates to better cooling? Better humidity reduction? Better noise reduction? Lower electricity costs?

    Also, would a larger media filter makes much of a difference, such as 4" vs. 5"? Again, thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    40
    the 4" media filter at the air handler is the way to go. What size is your unit? Sizing is important to determine which filter to use. Common sizes are the 16x25 and 20x25. On the 4 and 5-tons the static will increase so with that said what size is your return air duct and existing grill opening?

    As you increase the static you will affect the effeciency and capacity of your cooling system. Most filters are 4", but some that are 5" are higher MERV filters like Lennox's MERV16. I would keep it simple, like the Honeywell F100 or 200 (4" filters - MERV 10-12)

    UV-lights, becarefull they can burn the media filter. Why do you want a UV-light?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    279
    Quote Originally Posted by seanhoang View Post
    How would that affect performances? Does slower velocity equates to better cooling? Better humidity reduction? Better noise reduction? Lower electricity costs?

    Also, would a larger media filter makes much of a difference, such as 4" vs. 5"? Again, thanks.
    Lower velocity will not affect cooling ability, that is affected by volume of air. The slower velocities allows the filter to hold particles better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,943
    You want to have the filter as close to the blower as possible. With the filter located at the grill, the static pressure in the return duct now has to include the pressure drop across the filter.

    Lower velocity across the filter increases the filter's efficiency.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by RoBoTeq View Post
    You want to have the filter as close to the blower as possible. With the filter located at the grill, the static pressure in the return duct now has to include the pressure drop across the filter.

    Lower velocity across the filter increases the filter's efficiency.
    The reason for this thread in the first place was really to see if it is worth the trip to just to go with a replacement media filter at the grille or spend the money to go with the media filter cabinet. Is performance, as well as saving monthly cost, worth doing it?

    By the way pros, I have 2.5ton units, 20x25x1 filter, 1750sqft house, 1 story.

    While I have you on the topic of return grille. How does one determine if 20x25x1 is right for a 2.5ton unit? It is confusing the heck out of me when I read many threads different sizes for different unit and some home have 2 or 3 returns?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,943
    Quote Originally Posted by seanhoang View Post
    The reason for this thread in the first place was really to see if it is worth the trip to just to go with a replacement media filter at the grille or spend the money to go with the media filter cabinet. Is performance, as well as saving monthly cost, worth doing it?

    By the way pros, I have 2.5ton units, 20x25x1 filter, 1750sqft house, 1 story.

    While I have you on the topic of return grille. How does one determine if 20x25x1 is right for a 2.5ton unit? It is confusing the heck out of me when I read many threads different sizes for different unit and some home have 2 or 3 returns?
    A 20 X 25 4" pleated filter at the air handler is a little more than is needed, which is really good. That same filter located at a filter grill is just about what you'd need to account for ducting static pressure and the decrease of free area space due to the grill.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,215
    I'm a bit confused on how the location of the filter affects the total static pressure drop. If the filter has a drop of .2" @ 1400CFM and the return duct has a drop of .1" @ 1400CFM doesn't that equal .3" no matter if the return duct or filter comes first?

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