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  1. #1

    Filters on Return Grills

    This is in reference to a relatively new home in the south, ~4 years, but I've only lived in it a short time ~6 months. The system has a filter before the blower, no filters on the air intakes around the home but oddly had these felt pad sheets in the exhaust grills, the things the cold air was coming out of just to be absolutely clear. They were slightly discolored but I'll guess they've never been replaced or cleaned in 4 years of constant use so they didn't seem to filter much. The material was relatively dense and I decided to remove some of the pads from rooms that felt warmer even with the vents full open and it seems to have easily increased the air flow by a factor of 2 to 3x. Now I'm wondering if this was a safe or good idea. Since the system does have a filter right before the blower, I assume the cold air coming out is relatively clean and doesn't need filtering, and the pads were just causing excessive air flow restriction but I can't be sure. I've never lived in a home with central AC so I'm not sure if these types of pads would be normal, or recommended, or whoever installed this system was just doing something odd. (There's been other things around the home that I know for a fact aren't quite 'standard' so I wasn't sure on this). Thanks for any advice or input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Quote Originally Posted by JSmith76 View Post
    ....The material was relatively dense and I decided to remove some of the pads from rooms that felt warmer even with the vents full open and it seems to have easily increased the air flow by a factor of 2 to 3x. Sounds about right. Now I'm wondering if this was a safe or good idea. It was a good idea for the seller of the product but a bad idea for anyone who uses it. ....so I'm not sure if these types of pads would be normal, or recommended, No and No. ...
    Remove all of them and leave them out.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    707
    If you remove those filters out of your supply grills. You will notice more airflow, cooler temps and will make your unit last longer. Better idea is a pleated filter on return. The idea of a filter was intended to keep coil clean, not for dust control in house. For any other air filtration I suggest you contact your local A/C contractor. So that filtration does not affect cooling or humidity control.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,650
    Quote Originally Posted by lynn comstock View Post
    Remove all of them and leave them out.
    X2
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361

    From Trane air handler specs (page 2)

    TAM7A0C48-SUB-1B.pdf Note what the equipment manufacturers recommend for protecting their air handlers from dirt.

    INDOOR FAN — Type Centrifugal
    Diameter-Width (In.) 11 X 10
    No. Used 1
    Drive - No. Speeds Direct - Variable
    CFM vs. in. w.g. See Fan Performance Table
    No. Motors — H.P. 1 - 3/4
    Motor Speed R.P.M. Variable ECM
    Volts/Ph/Hz 208-230/1/60
    F.L. Amps 4.2
    FILTER
    Filter Furnished? No
    Type Recommended Throwaway
    No.-Size-Thickness 1 - 22 X 20 - 1 in.


    Quote Originally Posted by JSmith76 View Post
    ... oddly had these felt pad sheets in the exhaust grills, the things the cold air was coming out of just to be absolutely clear. We call them supply grilles. ...
    No big deal though.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,627
    them filters in the supply grills are snake oil you need to trap the dirt before it goes though ac

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,721
    Filters protect your equipment. Cleaner air for you is a secondary benefit. Filters also restrict airflow which is bad for equipment, so you want to filter in the right place, not everyplace. Filter before your equipment, not after.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

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