Trane CleanEffects collector cells ... how dirty should they be?
I've had an American Standard Accuclean (Trane CleanEffects) running in my house for the last 9 months. I clean the collector cells every month with a vacuum, but have never noticed any visable dirt or dust on the cells; This hasen't bothered me a lot since I clean them regularly and there is also a pre-filter. Over the holidays, however, I skipped the regular cleaning and didn't get around to it until this weekend. Even after 10 weeks there is still nothing visable on the cells other than some discoloration on this side that faces the corona wires.
Is this normal? If it's actually working shouldn't I actually be able to see something on this inside of the cells?
It is different from house to house, but you should only be cleaning the collection cells 2-4 times a year. The prefilter is the only part that needs monthly cleaning.
They won't get dirty at all in a clean relatively dust free house, especially if you have ceiling level return air intakes.
The amount of dust particles that collect on the cells will vary drastically from one install to the next, and from one season to another with a properly working air cleaner.
Each cubic foot of air in each environment contains x amount of particulates. This obviously varies considerably from one environment to another.
The total number of cubic feet of air traveling through the air cleaner in x number of weeks will also vary dramatically if the thermostat is operated in the "auto" position, because this causes the fan to operate only when the system is heating or cooling. So obviously the system will operate more during periods of extreme weather.
And obviously the system will operate more if the thermostat is set to a cooler temperature setting in the summer or a warmer temperature setting in the winter.
So the big picture is that there is x amount of dust in each cubic foot of air being moved and you're moving x cubic feet of that air per month, with each cubic foot of that air containing x amount of dust. Obviously if the blower never comes on, you're not going to trap anything. And if there is very little dust in the vicinity of the return grilles, you're also not going to trap much either. In both cases it's because it isn't being delivered to the air cleaner to be captured.
The ideal way to determine how any filter system is working is to remove the blower compartment door and inspect that area. If the area was previously clean and is now dirty, the air cleaner might not be getting the job done for some reason.
As I understand it the Clean Air Effects air cleaners have MUCH more surface area to trap the particles. So if you were to spread the same amount of dust you find on the cells over the cells on the other air cleaners, it would be a much thicker coating, and therefore it would appear to be much dirtier.
Mine has ineffective collection cells due to silicone sealant
I had Trane CleanEffects installed last Fall and I'm now suffered the dust due to collection cells not working properly.
Did you have the system sealed using silicone sealant? The installation manual said clearly that it should not be used and will effect the effectiveness of collection cell.
The HVAC contractor that installed the one in my house used LOTS of silicone sealant. I had them removed it but did not replace the CleanEffects. I got tons of dust on my cold air return. The prefilter is very dirty, however the collection cell is not much dirty. The contractor is coming to check it tomorrow. I wonder what the remedy is.
Is dust actually getting through the air cleaner and collecting on the inside of the air handler?
Originally Posted by CuriousPat
If you are talking about suffering from dust in your home, no air cleaner mounted on the HVAC equipment will have a significant impact on the amount of dust found in the home, unless the primary source of the dust is return air leaks.
The vast majority of the dust that enters a home settles out of the air before it ever has a chance to make it to the HVAC systems air filter. It is possible that the dust particles are primarily larger particles, so the prefilter may be removing most of it and not much is getting though to collect on the cells.
If you have a dust problem in your home, you need to go after the source of the problem if you want effective control. If your house has excessive infiltration through dirty areas like wall caveties, crawl spaces and the attic, either due to duct system leaks, room to room pressure imballances, leaks in the building envelope, no HVAC filter will have a significant impact on the dust in the house.
Pets and lots of traffic in and out of the house can also cause severe dust problems that no HVAC system mounted air filter will have much of an impact on.
I have a Honeywell F50A installed in1981. I don't have a dishwasher to clean the cells, so I use dishwasher detergent in the basement tubs. Stacking one on top the othe and filled to submerge them, so how thick are they? After soaking, I can't see the bottom of the tub because the water is so black!!
The house was built in 1956, 1976 sqft. and I live alone. So you say that a majority of the dust fall before it gets to a filtering system?? Lots of traffic may stir it up but I don't have that. If the filter isn't dirty, either it isn't working or you have a clean house.
The power supply in the EAC was replaced and the new one has a ozone normal/max jumper setting which was orginally set to max. My particle counts would drop by 50% when the fan was running but since I changed the setting to normal that doesn't happen. On the next cleaning, I plan to experiment by switching it back to max.
I've read here that the Trane unit has a similiar settings which "also" reduces it's operation.
Mark the majority of the large commercial EAC systems I have removed from air handlersin casinos charge the particulate to a point the .1 to the 1 micron size that by passes the filter collects on the first metalic surface that it passes when its velocity slows down, usually the heatexchanger then by passes the evap and collects in the supply duct to the point after 5 years or so it starts balling up and falls out of the supplies. I have seen good filtration results with EACs but I don't know if any studies have been done with a fully operational system over a period of time.