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  1. #1

    Filter recommendations

    For years I've used inexpensive purolator fiberglass filters. I find it harder to find this type with many more expensive types showing up at the store. I'm torn between filter types. I understand that some of the filters that last longer can restrict air flow. I don't mind changing monthly. Should I know more or can I keep using the inexpensive choice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    From a fellow homeowner, not an HVAC pro:

    I don't like those 99-cent cheap-o blue spun fiberglass filters. They allow too much dirt to pass thru and deposit on the coil.

    I use NaturalAire Standard Pleated Filters (MERV 8) made by Flanders. They are not too restrictive. A 3-pack for $7 at HD.

    Best to you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    somewhere between heaven and hell
    Posts
    955
    Use a standard type pleated filter not 3m filters. they tend to restrict air flow. The standard pleated are only a couple of bucks. Which reminds me I need to check mine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Dallas TX
    Posts
    192
    the fiberglass filters can allow grains of table salt to pass thru. This can clog some evaporator coils quickly. That can cost up to OUCH $$$.$$.
    I recommend my customers to select a MERV 6 or 7 filters. For problems with allergies, the supper filters often need to have two in parrallel to reduce the restriction on airflow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    23
    Anyone use or have info on the non-allergenic type that you can clean? These use non-ferrous metal media that trap dust via static charge. I've been using these for years and clean them once per month with a garden hose. From what I can tell they capture plenty of foreign matter, but have never seen any comments or tests on their effectiveness versus the common non-cleanable types.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    The Gray Northwest
    Posts
    661
    MERV 8, pleated, as wide as will fit. Also make sure your filter rack has a good seal around the filter so air will not bypass.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    132

    why use a filter at all?

    cheap blue fiberglass filters catch virtually nothing, why even bother putting a filter in? on the other hand a horse blanket makes a dandy filter but restricts to much air. so what we are really trying to do is strike a happy medium between no filter and to much filter. i am told the cheap blue fiberglass are falling out of favor because they are fiberglass a carcinagin in california and probably here to and they are poor quality. the polyester s are great and do a very good job. if your return (S) are big enough the medium priced pleated filters are really good , but most everyone now has opted for whole house filters that last a year and restrict virtually no air . using those cheap blue filters sure made me a lot of money cleaning evap coils. i never could understand why the homeowner would rather pay 77 cents for a filter and several hundred to clean a coil every few years?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    10

    Filters

    I have been told by a PRO cleaner friend of mine that after installing a 4" filter media cage at his home that with regular filter media changes of just 3 times yearly that the difference in dust and particulate accumulation dropped significantly at his home. Even more so than changing a fiberglas filter one a month.

    Thermostat Salesmen!... leave'm in the truck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,852
    Quote Originally Posted by nubbin View Post
    the fiberglass filters can allow grains of table salt to pass thru. This can clog some evaporator coils quickly. That can cost up to OUCH $$$.$$.
    I recommend my customers to select a MERV 6 or 7 filters. For problems with allergies, the supper filters often need to have two in parrallel to reduce the restriction on airflow.
    Sounds like you fell for one of the old snake oil salesmans little salt demos. Just how much salt do you see floating around the air to get pushed into the return grills anyway?

    Now, how large of an item can pass through an electronic air cleaners pre-filter, or worse, the electronic cell?

    The point is that fiberglass and most other filter materials become electrostatically charged when air passes through them. Only materials light enough to become airbourne make their way to the filter, and the filters charged media attracts that light material to the charged material of the filter.

    A tightly fitting cheapo fiberglass filter, replaced monthly, is the most forgiving filter you can use and is perfectly capable of doing what HVAC filters are intended to do; keep the equipment clean.

    If you want whole house allergy control, have a self contained by pass HEPA filter system installed into the return air ducting and get rid of all of those chemically scented air fresheners, candles and detergents.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,852
    Quote Originally Posted by jasond1011 View Post
    cheap blue fiberglass filters catch virtually nothing, why even bother putting a filter in? on the other hand a horse blanket makes a dandy filter but restricts to much air. so what we are really trying to do is strike a happy medium between no filter and to much filter. i am told the cheap blue fiberglass are falling out of favor because they are fiberglass a carcinagin in california and probably here to and they are poor quality. the polyester s are great and do a very good job. if your return (S) are big enough the medium priced pleated filters are really good , but most everyone now has opted for whole house filters that last a year and restrict virtually no air . using those cheap blue filters sure made me a lot of money cleaning evap coils. i never could understand why the homeowner would rather pay 77 cents for a filter and several hundred to clean a coil every few years?
    Absolutely wrong about the figerglass filters. Properly fitted and maintained, a cheapo fiberglass filter will keep the HVAC system as clean as it needs to be.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The 49th State
    Posts
    17
    I recommend the 1" pleated (middle of the road) filter changed every 2-3 months. The fiberglass ones you are using allow most dust, dirt and pollen to pass through and collect on the blower and motor. This will cause the blower to get out of balance and wear out the motor bearings or will insulate the motor windings causing them to over heat. I usually show customers that use fiberglass filters just how much it costs for me to relpace the blower motor after it burns out!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    885
    2 or 4 inch pleated are all we install.
    Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Cheapo fiberglass filters,won't keep the system clean over the long run,IMHO.
    This is based on thousands of clean and checks we do every year.Techs find Merv 8 ,4" pleated filters keep the equipment very clean for years.

    Minimum Merv 8 ,as your wet coil in cooling is likely a merv 6 filter,don't let the coil be the best filter in your system.

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