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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Best Whole House Air Cleaner (Lennox HC16 or IQAir Perfect 16)

    I am looking to find some expert advice on what the best whole house air cleaner (NON-ozone producing) is.

    Currently, we have a Honeywell Environcaire Elite electronic air cleaner as we were told that this was the best (about 6 years ago). Recently, I found many articles stating that the amount of ozone emitted is not safe. My wife has asthma and allergies and my son and I have allergies as well. We have 2 cats that we refuse to get rid of and have already taken other extreme measures (e.g. replaced all carpets with hardwood floors, encase mattresses/pillows, etc.)

    From the research I've conducted, it appears that the top two NON-ozone producing whole house cleaners are the IQAir Perfect 16 and the Lennox Health Climate 16 models. However, I have found no direct comparisons of the 2 models.

    There is a significant price difference between the two models and IQAir seems to argue their MERV 16 rating is above all other models, while the Lennox model also states they have a MERV 16 rating. I also understand that the IQAir states that they have a very low pressure drop compared to other models, which also is important since we have a builder grade comfortmaker furnace (which I'm not even sure if that will be sufficient enough to handle either of this cleaners effectively).

    Any advice would be Greatly appreciated!

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    35
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    Good question. I didn't know that IQAir was getting into in-line filters.

    I looked on the web-site, and the IQAir looks expensive as all get out! It also looks like you contact them, not a professional HVAC company for the install. That's not bad, but those companies tend to to charge a premium, where HVAC companies now are really looking to earn business and prices should reflect that. I also could be totally off base here, but this is my thought.

    I sell the Lennox MERV 16 systems, and they are really the cat's meow. There is a low cost of installation (depending on the market obviously), but it is MUCH lower than the IQAir. Yearly filter changes are needed, at a cost of under $150 per filter per year (varies). And it rated at MERV 16 and stays there through the life of the filter.

    I would hate to see the cost of the IQAir filters every 3-years, which is also a little bit long to not change filters, but that's between them and their engineers.

    Hope this helps. Go with the Lennox & keep it easy & much more affordable!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    4
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    Clean effects - TRANE - Need filter replacment info

    Does anyone know where I can get filter for my cleaneffects system by TRANE? I need these filters replaced. Is there anyone who sells them? Any aftermarket replacement? All info is appreciated. Thanks

    MGriffin0711

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Thanks Joseph.

    Yes there is a significant price different between these two models, but they seem to be pretty similar in specs (as far as I as a totally non-HVAC person can tell).

    That is why I'm posting this question to find out if there truly is much (or at least noticeable) difference between these two to justify buying one over the other.

    The IQAir works where you buy it directly from them, but they have HVAC companies that participate with them that perform the install (just like many HVAC companies work directly with Trane, Lennox, etc.). I even asked them if I could have my normal HVAC company do the install and they told me that wasn't a problem at all (the HVAC company has to agree to sign up with their program though, which they state they do 95% of the time once they hear about it).

    The things that make me lean towards the IQ Air Perfect 16 over the Lennox Healthy Climate 16 is:
    -They talk about their low air pressure drop, thus requiring minimal loss of air to be lost when flowing through their system.
    -Money back guarantee
    -Test of air Before and After Install and they GUARANTEE that your air will be 90% cleaner after the install (although .3 or maybe it was 3 microns or greater)
    -10 Year warranty vs. 5 yr. with Lennox

    Since you have experience with the Lennox Product, how efficient is it as far as amount of air loss (pressure drop) compared to the IQ Air.

    One website that IQAir pointed me to for a showing of comparison was:
    http://www.arvellmoore.com/wholehouse2.html
    They rated the IQAir at 97% efficiency with only a .11" pressure drop.

    If the Lennox product is anywhere close to that, then it's a no brainer.

    I just don't want to pick the Lennox because it cost less (although significantly less), because I'm more interested in the best product that will ensure the best air environment for my family to breathe clean healthy air.

    By the way, the IQAir replacement filters are $295 for the 4 filters, so that averages to only $100/year, which is comparable to other cleaners on the market.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lubbock Texas
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    774
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    The IQ Air is over marketed and over hyped, huge and you better recheck your pressure drops. And a 3 year filter is ludicrous, how in the world can you guarantee that?http://www.iqair.com/residential/who...eairpurifiers/
    The Lennox unit is more practical and the marketing hype isn't over done.A one year replacement is more believable.
    A Merv 16 filtration system is what it is. Unless you achieve more air changes in your residence you wont measure much of an improvement in particulate count in your home from a standard auto fan operation. Just remember with a Merv 16 filtration system all you are doing is reducing the particulate count to 95% of .3 to .1 microns in a single pass. Cigarette smoke is .1 they do not removing VOCs (odors) and only capture a small percentage of biologics. And by capturing them it gives them a place to grow and thrive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
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    Exclamation what the filter is there for

    The filter in a furnace is not there for your lungs----it is there to protect the A coil. If you install a 16 MERV filter, you're giving your system an asthma attack. It can whack out your delta T, heat stress components, burn out your blower, etc.

    I recommend you install adequate filtration in the ducts for the coil such as a 6 or 7 MERV then install a freestanding HEPA filter in the room(s) you predominate in. Try bathing the cats as often as possible. If you really wanted a healthy house, get rid of the furnace and use hydronic heating. Manage your humidity closely, too. BTW, if you have chemicals stored near the furnace, leaky returns will distribute those chemical nicely throughout your home. Seal your ducts and balance them.

    I guess you know those cats can kill your wife ( spoken as a retired paramedic). Asthma is serious stuff. I've treated enough patients and have enough code on me to respect how quickly they can go from just another attack to doing CPR with no success.

    HTHm
    Hearthman

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lubbock Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by hearthman View Post
    The filter in a furnace is not there for your lungs----it is there to protect the A coil. If you install a 16 MERV filter, you're giving your system an asthma attack. It can whack out your delta T, heat stress components, burn out your blower, etc.

    I recommend you install adequate filtration in the ducts for the coil such as a 6 or 7 MERV then install a freestanding HEPA filter in the room(s) you predominate in. Try bathing the cats as often as possible. If you really wanted a healthy house, get rid of the furnace and use hydronic heating. Manage your humidity closely, too. BTW, if you have chemicals stored near the furnace, leaky returns will distribute those chemical nicely throughout your home. Seal your ducts and balance them.

    I guess you know those cats can kill your wife ( spoken as a retired paramedic). Asthma is serious stuff. I've treated enough patients and have enough code on me to respect how quickly they can go from just another attack to doing CPR with no success.

    HTHm
    Hearthman
    Prehistoric attitudes and scare tactics in residential HVAC and IAQ. That's why Engineers and Hygienist have to educate the contractors in IAQ.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
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    Confused spit it out please

    Excuse me genesis but would you care to explain your comments? We each have the right to disagree but it is customary to explain your position. What, pray tell, is "prehistoric" in my post and where did I use scare tactics? Are you disagreeing with my recommendation for separate filtration or my medical comments?
    Thank you for your professional response.
    Hearthman

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Thanks Genesis and Hearthman for your input.

    As for in-room HEPA air cleaners, yes we already have 3 of those (one in each bedroom and one in our family room).

    I've read that the pressure drop quoted by IQ Air seems to be impossible to achieve, but I would like to hear from someone that has firsthand experience with the IQ Air model and can attest to the performance directly from experience of use and/or installations, etc.

    This factor is important in our decision because we do only have the builder grade furnace (and components), so I'm not sure if they can even handle a high quality filter such as both of these models.

    I guess if we need to go all out and replace our furnace (and whatever else is a part of it) in order to make this more of a complete system and solution, then I guess I'm up for that as well (although price wise, it would be more sensible to opt for the Lennox solution if that was the case).

    As Hearthman mentioned, the fact of "wear and tear" on the system, if one filter is superior to the other as far as lower pressure drop (which from what I understand) means that there is less work required from the system to force the air through it, then that is definitely a selling point for me.

    Again, I really appreciate everyone's comments on this!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine, Florida, United States
    Posts
    1,187
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    Trane clean effects filter is the black pre filter (you can wash this one out), the big white things are collection cells. Either would be available from a trane or american standard dealer. Their techs can properly service that system and ensure that it is running correctly.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    I have to agree with Genesis on the way way way under value of the static pressure drop of the IQ air at 3-years of use. The Lennox M16 has a higher SP rating when new and used, but it is within the limits of what a furnace with a modern blower can handle (as long as your ductwork is properly sized as well). That is very important.

    As far as warranty, it means nothing with these products. They are both boxes, and I seriously doubt there have been any warranty claims on these filters EVER!

    The fact that IQAir guarantees a 90% reduction in particulates means that the company that installs the filter has to own or buy a $2000 hand-held particulate measuring device. We have one, and when used with a TRUE HEPA filter, you can see reductions of near 100% without any stretch, so the IQAir guarantee is really safe for them. The Lennox M16 will have the same performance, just at a MUCH LESS out-of-pocket expense for you!

    My 2 cents!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Joseph,

    Thanks for your input again.

    The more feedback I receive, the more I think the Lennox product will meet our needs without costing an arm and a leg to purchase.

    Consumer Reports did rate the Lennox Product with the 2nd highest score possible for efficiency, so I guess that means something along with the information that you and the others provided.

    Two more questions:
    1. Our current HVAC company only deals with Trane, but is willing to install "whatever we need." We have used them for as long as we've been in our house (8 yrs) and we really trust them. Is there any reason that I should have a "lennox authorized dealer" install the Lennox Healthy Climate system over our trusted HVAC company?

    2. Would there be any reason to upgrade our furnace or any other part of the 'system'? I'm just curious if there is any advantage to doing this in case it helps increase the air flow, thus improving against the static pressure drop compared to our basic system we have now.

    I've read several other posts that mention having a good system in place for a "whole house" solution. I've recently purchased a humidity gauge to start monitoring our humidity level, which I'm sure is too high with our hudifier that we have on the furnace because we often see condensation on our windows in the winter. So, I'll probably need to lower the humidity output or turn it off completely because I know it should be between 35% and 50% for an ideal level.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Good discussion. Here are some thoughts.

    1. Asthma is serious business.
    2. There is an old saying among my Allergist friends: "Patients would rather get rid of their Allergist than get rid of their cats."
    3. I know the IQ Air people. They are top-notch and technically accurate. I guess that is the Swiss influence. So even though I have expressed the same doubts to them about their claims of little additional pressure drop on their MERV 16 product after 3 years, I would believe that they have tested their claim.
    4. If you are constantly running 3 stand-alone HEPA air purifiers already you are not going to receive that much additional benefit with a whole house system. Remember the central HVAC is a recirculating system so if each air purifier is running 200-300 cfm that means that you will be running 600-900 cfm of air through a HEPA filter 24/7.
    5. I would have your contractor install a filter box that could hold a commercial 4" filter (usually 3 5/8" thick). Use a MERV 11 filter which you should be able to purchase for about $20 and change it every 6 months.

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