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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,139

    What filter size would you get in your house?

    I am planning on installing a new furnace in my house soon. I would like opinions on what filter thickness/merv rating I should plan on going with.

    I am looking for the best all around combination of not too restrictive, good at insuring that my heat exchanger/evaporator stay clean, low cost, etc. I am not looking at trying to turn my house into a clean room, I just want something that will do a decent job at a fairly inexpensive price.

    I don't necessarily care how often it needs to be changed. What I am wondering about is how much of a difference do different sizes/merv ratings make on how often a filter needs to be replaced, and what the overall cost would be? For example, which filter would be least expensive per year, a 1" pleat that needs to be replaced every month, a 2" that needs to be replaced every 2-3 months, or a 5" that needs to be replaced twice per year?

    Also, what is the best place to get air filters. Should I get them from a place like Grainger or J-Stone, or should I check into online sites like Amazon or a dedicated filter place?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Sacramento,ca
    Posts
    195
    I always go with the biggest filter i can fit in the hallway. 30x25 or 30x36 is not uncommon for me. I know it may be overkill but my customers love how they can barely hear the air moving due to its size. I am a big fan of 2" merv 11 pleats because they only cost me 2$ more (5$ total per filter 30x25)than a 1" and they last 2-3 times as long. Its not uncommon for a customer that has a 3000 sqft house to get 4-6 months out of them. I buy all my filters at a dedicated filter place, better price and quality than big box stores.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,557
    I agree with the two inch thick pleats, four inch will start to grow mold long before they are used up, and are a bit of waste.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    181
    Back in my residential days, we always pushed the space gard filter at the time it was a model 2200. Those are no longer made, newer models are lower profile and higher merv..I think. At any rate, as a technician and seeing the inside of 1,000's of blower compartments, motors, blower wheels, secondary heat exchangers and evaporators, I can honestly say when a space gard was installed initially and in service for years no dirt was ever present. Not the case when other filters where installed including electronic. I think electronics could do a good job if kept clean, but who religiously yanks them once a month and cleans them ? There is more choices now than when I was in the residential market, but I think if you got a space gard or comparable style filter you will be in good shape. Your favorite wholesaler will have the filters and replacement media.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cleveland
    Posts
    590
    Aprilaire 1210 is the newer version if the 2200. Merv 13 if you use a 213 filter. They seem to work very well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    3,960
    Two 20"x20"x4" ZL Merv 8 media filters are what I use in my own home for my 2 ton AC. Buy them from local supply house, priced less than the 1" retail packaged filters at the big box stores. Last about 6 months, best value for the $$ IMHO. http://www.glasfloss.com/Pleated%2020121.pdf

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    somewhere between here and there
    Posts
    478
    carrier EZ FLEX fi;ter only way to go in my opinion


    Please, Please Please......keep the Factory Smoke in the Wires!!!!!


    Is it Rum'Oclock yet???

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,139
    Quote Originally Posted by BigBacardi View Post
    carrier EZ FLEX fi;ter only way to go in my opinion
    What is so great about these? I just did a quick internet search and it seems that I could get a whole case (12) of 2" filters for about the same as it would cost for me to get 2 of the 4" EZ Flexes.

    I guess I am on the fence right now between going with a 2" or a 4" filter. I am still not convinced on which would be the most sensible choice. By the way, this will be for installing right at the furnace, not in a filter grill, if that makes any difference.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    3,960
    Check out the link I posted, it shows the differnce in media area vs. filter size and also the static pressure drop. How many CFM are you moving and what filter size is "native" to the furance you are considering?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,078
    Taller X Wider X Thicker X (+11 merv) = Better
    24 X 24 X 4" is the smallest filter I would use.
    I you have a mold problem because your filter is big, you have a big moisture problem.
    For indoor air quality, assure a fresh air change in 4-5 hours, maintain <50%RH throughout the home, and merv 11 air filter.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,139
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Check out the link I posted, it shows the differnce in media area vs. filter size and also the static pressure drop. How many CFM are you moving and what filter size is "native" to the furance you are considering?
    Thanks 54, that is some good reading material. I haven't decided on which furnace I will get yet. I don't plan on doing it for another couple of months from now. I know that I want something that is variable speed, probably 2 stages of gas heat, around 60k btu, and I will be re-using my old 2 ton A/C (for now).

    Also thanks to everyone else who has replied so far.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    3,960
    Since you have the advantage of being able to time the run cycles with your current system do so. It will give you a good idea of the REAL heating requirements for your house. If you get a design day, see what percentage your current system runs. Keep in mind if you are even 30% oversized a 2 stage does you no good compared to a smaller single stage system. If your house only has a 40k heat loss and you install a 60k furnace, it will never kick onto 2nd stage. If you are close to the next smallest size you may be able to tighten up the house to get there.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,139
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Since you have the advantage of being able to time the run cycles with your current system do so. It will give you a good idea of the REAL heating requirements for your house. If you get a design day, see what percentage your current system runs. Keep in mind if you are even 30% oversized a 2 stage does you no good compared to a smaller single stage system. If your house only has a 40k heat loss and you install a 60k furnace, it will never kick onto 2nd stage. If you are close to the next smallest size you may be able to tighten up the house to get there.
    Thanks for your advice. Since you brought it up, I do plan on trying to do a Manual J at some point and taking a close look at my ductwork before I decide on what to get. My house was built in '78. It has the original 108k btu, natural draft, GE furnace in it. Shortly after I bought the house about 10 years ago I noticed the burner short cycling on the limit switch all of the time. I rigged the fan to run on high speed and lowered the gas pressure until it would get me a more acceptable temperature rise and run with out tripping out. I just left it go like this for the last several years. Just yesterday I clocked my gas meter and found it was only sucking down about 56k btu worth of gas.

    I think it is supposed to be a 65-70% efficient furnace, but I am sure it is running much lower.

    So the air filter is probably the least of my worries, but it is something I have been wondering about. Once again, thanks.

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