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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    8

    Filters at return air grills being sucked into duct

    Hello,

    New member here. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    I have two return air grills, each approximately 14x30. I began to use pleated air filters with a high Merv rating (10 or 12 I think) because I was concerned with air quality in my home. I began to notice that when the air came on, the filters would be pulled out of place, and nearly sucked into the duct because of the air pressure. I searched for grills that could trap my filters but didn't find any at the local home improvement stores. Instead, I set up some velcro around the rim of the grill. I would then attach velcro to each new filter as I installed them. This kept the filters in place. I then spoke with someone with several years of A/C experience, and he explained I shouldn't be using such a restrictive filter. He said that plain, cheap, fiberglass filters are "nearly" as good at trapping air born pollutants. Additionally, they restrict a lot less air flow and are better for your a/c unit.

    I finally honored his advice and custom ordered a box of 12 fiberglass filters. Installed them, A/c came on, and up went the filters. Seems that the pressure is so high that its even pulling these less restrictive filters. Is that much air pressure normal? Should I go back to searching for a grill that can trap the filter in place? Should I stay with the cheap filters, as long as I change them out monthly?

    Also, one of the returns is just outside the master bedroom. Anytime that the unit comes on and the door is only partially open, the pressure will slam the door shut. A/c guy (see above) recommended that I wedge something in the door to help the air escape more easily, and thus improve the effeciency of the unit. Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    962

    Wink

    Not much info to go on, like Manufacturer, model# of Cond, AHU.....but it sounds like your returns are undersized, but if they are as bad as you say I can't see how your system would be running correctly.

    The more info for us the better.........
    I love to Cook...HVAC is a hobby that pays the bills!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    962

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by pimy View Post
    Also, one of the returns is just outside the master bedroom. Anytime that the unit comes on and the door is only partially open, the pressure will slam the door shut. A/c guy (see above) recommended that I wedge something in the door to help the air escape more easily, and thus improve the effeciency of the unit. Thoughts?
    Yeah....That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I'm alot dumber now that I heard that.
    I love to Cook...HVAC is a hobby that pays the bills!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    135

    Filter Grilles

    See if you can get someone to add another filter grill to the system, or in large the ones that are there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by makinmoney View Post
    Yeah....That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I'm alot dumber now that I heard that.
    Actually it isn't dumb at all. The problem he describes is typical of a room that has a presurization problem due to not having enough/any return air, or a return path for air to get out of the room.

    Wedging the door open is the best "free" fix for the problem...
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    962

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    Actually it isn't dumb at all. The problem he describes is typical of a room that has a presurization problem due to not having enough/any return air, or a return path for air to get out of the room.

    Wedging the door open is the best "free" fix for the problem...
    I respectfully disagree...The HO shouldn't have to manipulate his house to get the system running correctly. That's the same as you taking your car in for service and the mechanic saying " It was only running on 7 cylinders......so, we disconnected one more, now it's a V6......That'll be $300.00.
    I love to Cook...HVAC is a hobby that pays the bills!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by makinmoney View Post
    I respectfully disagree...The HO shouldn't have to manipulate his house to get the system running correctly. That's the same as you taking your car in for service and the mechanic saying " It was only running on 7 cylinders......so, we disconnected one more, now it's a V6......That'll be $300.00.
    Like I said, it is the best "free" fix for the problem. Other more correct solutions will cost money. A good part of my business is correcting pressurization issues in homes. If someone doesn't want to pay, or can't afford to pay for the real solution to the problem, blocking doors open is their only real option.

    Your engine analogy is a bit over the top...
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    962

    Talking

    [QUOTE=mark beiser;1554108]Like I said, it is the best "free" fix for the problem./QUOTE]

    What got fixed...........the door slamming? It sure wasn't the system! I guess anytime he wants to have some alone time with the wife, ALL he has to do is go to the stat and put the fan in manual? That way the kids wont be able to open it due to the Vacuum being created..
    I love to Cook...HVAC is a hobby that pays the bills!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    I never said it was a good fix, there are no better "free" fixes for room pressurization issues though....

    Duno why you are getting bent out of shape about it anyway, lol.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Near Atlanta, GA.
    Posts
    14,513
    Quote Originally Posted by makinmoney View Post
    I respectfully disagree...The HO shouldn't have to manipulate his house to get the system running correctly. That's the same as you taking your car in for service and the mechanic saying " It was only running on 7 cylinders......so, we disconnected one more, now it's a V6......That'll be $300.00.
    You're correct, but until the problem is remedied he can help by leaving the door ajar. That's all he's saying.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    962

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    I never said it was a good fix, there are no better "free" fixes for room pressurization issues though....

    Duno why you are getting bent out of shape about it anyway, lol.
    I'm not getting mad.......my thing is that he was told to wedge the door and problem solved......There is a major problem in that house. From what we read you and I both know it.
    I love to Cook...HVAC is a hobby that pays the bills!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Near Atlanta, GA.
    Posts
    14,513
    To the original question....

    Not much to go on but it seems like you may be short on return. You need to get a good HVAC man out to assess the situation and possibly add more returns...including one in your mater bedroom.

    Don't use the high MERV filters in the 1" size, they are way too restrictive. The cheapo fiberglass filters on the other hand flow well but are often quite flimsy. For 1" filters my choice is the economy pleats.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by makinmoney View Post
    I'm not getting mad.......my thing is that he was told to wedge the door and problem solved......There is a major problem in that house. From what we read you and I both know it.
    I have the same problem in my own house, just bought it in March, won't be reducting the house until next year.
    I have all my interior doors blocked open at the moment.

    I also have one of those Rheem/Ruud furnaces with the "3 ton" blowers that are notorious for being weak. I'm running it with no filter to improve airflow until I replace it next year.

    Between my 2 "free" fixes, I have dramatically improved the cooling performance of my system until I get a chance to fix it for real.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

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