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  1. #1
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    Dec 2016
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    Question Question about new HVAC system with different filter options

    I apologize if this doesn't belong here. Looking to have new HVAC system installed in house. Was told there was a standard 1" filter, a 4" thick upgrade for a bit more money or what was suggested, was a hospital grade filter system for a little over $1800 more than the 1". Is the hospital grade that much better, or would a 4" suffice? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    The 4” filter should be fine unless someone in your family has respiratory issues. Make sure they build the duct system to allow for the additional static pressure drop of the 4” filter.
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  4. #3
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    Go with the 4" pleated filter option. Because it has more media surface area, it actually has less resistance and there is less pressure drop. I have no idea what they are talking about when they say "hospital grade filter system" and I am in the filter business. This is not a defined term and sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo. If you like, you can go to a higher efficiency (ie. MERV 11 or 13) with the 4" filter and still be able to have low pressure drop.

  5. #4
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    Dec 2016
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by breathe easy View Post
    Go with the 4" pleated filter option. Because it has more media surface area, it actually has less resistance and there is less pressure drop. I have no idea what they are talking about when they say "hospital grade filter system" and I am in the filter business. This is not a defined term and sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo. If you like, you can go to a higher efficiency (ie. MERV 11 or 13) with the 4" filter and still be able to have low pressure drop.
    I appreciate the info. I wasn't sure, as it was like a $2000+/- option. I believe 4" will be fine, it sounds like. Thank you all, again!

  6. #5
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    Sep 2019
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    I was going to do this for my new Rheem, but after talking to contractor he said its best to keep it 1". The supply did not have 4" brackets/cabinets for residential due to no one was buying them. Even though I think he was pushing for 1", the only good thing you get out of the filter is probably 6 moths to a year depending on model. Also, space restrictions along the bottom with stands was another issue as I have a 4 ton unit and its BIG. To preserve space for return air to the air handler, we kept the 1" cabinet with stand.

  7. #6
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    I am afraid your contractor did not give you accurate information. Unfortunately, this mistake is pretty common. While it is true that the 4" filter will last longer, the major benefit is that it has less resistance to airflow. HVAC systems need sufficient return air to run efficiently. Since the 4" filter has less resistance, it delivers more air to your system.

    I wrote an article for RSES Journal on this subject. This is the leading magazine for HVAC technicians. It is reprinted here: https://www.texairfilters.com/select...r-air-quality/ Hope this helps.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by breathe easy View Post
    I am afraid your contractor did not give you accurate information. Unfortunately, this mistake is pretty common. While it is true that the 4" filter will last longer, the major benefit is that it has less resistance to airflow. HVAC systems need sufficient return air to run efficiently. Since the 4" filter has less resistance, it delivers more air to your system.

    I wrote an article for RSES Journal on this subject. This is the leading magazine for HVAC technicians. It is reprinted here: https://www.texairfilters.com/select...r-air-quality/ Hope this helps.
    Yes that makes a little more sense on the air flow. But I even searched online on gemaire and other supplies, there is no stands with 4 inch filter cabinet with door that I could find. What I mainly see is 4 inch electronic filter. My unit (4 ton) is vertically up and needs floor stands, he said that usually the electronic filter must be put on the side of the unit and there is not enough space due to room on the back plus the electronic filter is like 8 inches more down and I would need a minimum of 12" of return air space between the electronic filter and the floor. So I don't know if either the side install is true or the minimum clearance is true or he was not well knowledge or distributor lied to him. I did see in a smaller home a 2 ton unit and it had electronic filter installed horizontally and Handler sitting on it, but was not on stands (was on plywood base).

  9. #8
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    Sep 2006
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    I would not recommend an electronic filter. There are plenty of reasons for this that I will not go into here. Let's just say you are better off with a 4" pleated filter.

    I just searched for a 4" filter base and found several models. My favorite is the EZ Filter Base. It comes in 1", 2" and 4" versions.

  10. #9
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    Sep 2019
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by breathe easy View Post
    I would not recommend an electronic filter. There are plenty of reasons for this that I will not go into here. Let's just say you are better off with a 4" pleated filter.

    I just searched for a 4" filter base and found several models. My favorite is the EZ Filter Base. It comes in 1", 2" and 4" versions.
    Wow thanks!! Would those EZ filter base hold the weight for vertical upflow air handler sitting on it and what about leg stands?

    Thanks that was very helpful!!

  11. #10
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    Sep 2006
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    I don't think there would be a problem holding the weight of your unit. That is what the base was designed to do.

    Remember - the thicker the pleated filter - the better. By reducing the pressure drop you increase your options on the efficiency of the filters that you can use.

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