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Thread: mitigate dust?

  1. #1
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    mitigate dust?

    So I have an HVAC system with a 20x25x5 FPR6 filter. I'm kinda tired of the dust that seems to accumulate around the house readily, even when the house is closed up, and the HVAC is active. So what are my options? I believe that electrostatic filters suppress very tiny particulates, like cigarette smoke, but don't do much for plain old dust. Should I just bump up to a higher FP/MERV? Is that really going to help? No question that I'll get some exterior dust anyway, if just from infiltration, but I'd like to believe that my HVAC system could do a better job suppressing it.

  2. #2
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    Seal the duct system.
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    https://www.hvac20.com/ High efficiency equipment alone does not provide home comfort and efficiency. HVAC2.0 is a process for finding the real needs of the house and the occupants. Offer the customer a menu of work to address their problems and give them a probability of success.

    Find contractors with specialized training in combustion analysis, residential system performance, air flow, and duct optimization https://www.myhomecomfort.org/


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  3. #3
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    I'm not sure if sealing the dust system is going to do anything. You think the dust is infiltrating through cracks in the ductwork? I get the same deposits of dust when the HVAC system hasn't been used for a while, so I think the ductwork isn't really in the picture.

  4. #4
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    I have a house that was originally insulated with rock wool. I added blown cellulose insulation in lots of places. There was originally no sheetrock - just wood paneled walls and ceilings. It was a Real dusty bastard for a while. Then I installed electronic air cleaners. Afterwards there was no dust. The EAC units will take cigar smoke out of the air.

    I had Honeywells at first but now I have some other brand - I can't remember the name and I don't feel like looking. I can tell you that I would never have anything But an EAC to filter my air.

    PHM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lassiter View Post
    So I have an HVAC system with a 20x25x5 FPR6 filter. I'm kinda tired of the dust that seems to accumulate around the house readily, even when the house is closed up, and the HVAC is active. So what are my options? I believe that electrostatic filters suppress very tiny particulates, like cigarette smoke, but don't do much for plain old dust. Should I just bump up to a higher FP/MERV? Is that really going to help? No question that I'll get some exterior dust anyway, if just from infiltration, but I'd like to believe that my HVAC system could do a better job suppressing it.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

  5. #5
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    Thanks I need to look into EACs. I gather that they are just free-standing thingys. That is, they don't have to fit in my HVAC closet in the flow line.

  6. #6
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    No; an EAC mounts in the return ductwork at or near the furnace or air handler.

    That is the only way to filter all the air flow.

    PHM
    --------





    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lassiter View Post
    Thanks I need to look into EACs. I gather that they are just free-standing thingys. That is, they don't have to fit in my HVAC closet in the flow line.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

  7. #7
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    OK, then. A regular EAC would require major mods to my system.

    Actually, I see that there are reasonably economical things called "electronic air filters", which replace your regular HVAC filter but, unlike an electrostatic filter, you plug it in. I see a "Wingman" brand, and it looks like I can get a 20x25. My understanding is that these give a higher charge to the dust particles, so they can clear larger ones than the unpowered electrostatic filters can. Do those work? Wingman doesn't say, but I see them labelled as MERV12 elsewhere. So would I do just as well with a passive, unpowered MERV12 filter? More specifically, for a given MERV rating, are the electronic air filters better than the unpowered ones?

  8. #8
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    Get rid of the 2 & 4 legged dust mops that run around the house.
    If the duct is sealed, the ac can only remove what passes thru.
    I have rooms that rarely need dusting on the same system having rooms needing dusting regularly.

  9. #9
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    Well, that would partly involve getting rid of me, and that's not an option.
    That's fine that the ac can only remove what passes thru. The question is how to best do that.

  10. #10
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    Get whatever you want - I'm just telling you what has worked best for me and my customers. If you want the clean air that you said that you wanted - I would install what I suggested. I know they work very well. All the other options you suggest are outside my experience and are not what I would do for myself.

    PHM
    --------



    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lassiter View Post
    OK, then. A regular EAC would require major mods to my system.

    Actually, I see that there are reasonably economical things called "electronic air filters", which replace your regular HVAC filter but, unlike an electrostatic filter, you plug it in. I see a "Wingman" brand, and it looks like I can get a 20x25. My understanding is that these give a higher charge to the dust particles, so they can clear larger ones than the unpowered electrostatic filters can. Do those work? Wingman doesn't say, but I see them labelled as MERV12 elsewhere. So would I do just as well with a passive, unpowered MERV12 filter? More specifically, for a given MERV rating, are the electronic air filters better than the unpowered ones?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

  11. #11
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    Aprilaire 8145, pressurize your house, HEPA BYPASS, Aprilaire media filter.

    No dust in my house. Duct system is also sealed.

  12. Likes STEVEusaPA liked this post.
  13. #12
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    Doug,

    Do you have a lot of recessed lights?

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeyBob View Post
    Doug,

    Do you have a lot of recessed lights?
    One or two. I can't imagine that's where the dust is coming from.

    The nice thing about these "electronic air filters" is that they retrofit cleanly into existing hardware. I don't have to bust out walls and reduct to install them. Any experience out there with them?

  15. #14
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    I have EAC's in my house and I have installed more than I can count for customers. I wouldn't have anything else.

    Interference-type filters are restrictive when new and keep on add restriction as they work. An EAC never restricts air flow as they gather dirt and are simple to clean. Most can be simply run through a dishwasher cycle. Which is nice because an EAC is so effective that it generally requires cleaning every month. <g>


    PHM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lassiter View Post
    One or two. I can't imagine that's where the dust is coming from.

    The nice thing about these "electronic air filters" is that they retrofit cleanly into existing hardware. I don't have to bust out walls and reduct to install them. Any experience out there with them?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    I have EAC's in my house and I have installed more than I can count for customers. I wouldn't have anything else.

    Interference-type filters are restrictive when new and keep on add restriction as they work. An EAC never restricts air flow as they gather dirt and are simple to clean. Most can be simply run through a dishwasher cycle. Which is nice because an EAC is so effective that it generally requires cleaning every month. <g>


    PHM
    -------
    Thanks. But an Electronic Air CLEANER (EAC) isn't the same thing as an Electronic Air FILTER (EAF).The former has its own housing and requires major mods to your HVAC system, and maybe busting out walls to create room. Sure would for me. The EAF just replaces your regular air filter. No more restriction than a conventional air filter. They seem kinda slick. The question is, are EAFs just as good as a regular good air filter, or better in some way? It would be nice if they were just washable, but the Wingman's, at least, need replaceable dielectric mesh elements.

  17. #16
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    Having what I wanted and what seems to work the best doesn't seem major to me I guess.

    Why not do nothing - just use cheap air filters, spray them heavily with Filter-Coat, and replace them as often as required? Check them every week. Maybe that will do enough?

    I have no experience with EAF's - other than cleaning the for customers. I will say that they never seemed very dirty to me.

    PHM
    -------


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lassiter View Post
    Thanks. But an Electronic Air CLEANER (EAC) isn't the same thing as an Electronic Air FILTER (EAF).The former has its own housing and requires major mods to your HVAC system, and maybe busting out walls to create room. Sure would for me. The EAF just replaces your regular air filter. No more restriction than a conventional air filter. They seem kinda slick. The question is, are EAFs just as good as a regular good air filter, or better in some way? It would be nice if they were just washable, but the Wingman's, at least, need replaceable dielectric mesh elements.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

  18. #17
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    Yep. Of course the issue isn't what's major for you.
    But thanks for your insights. So if you replaced EAFs dielectrics and they didn't look dirty, I guess that's telling us something. Sure would be handy to have someone here who can give an expert assessment of them.

  19. #18
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    To address dust in a home issue, it is important to know where the dust is coming from. Easier said than done. Some top culprits include outdoor air, cooking, settled dust, clothing, skin cells, and the list goes on and on. Each source has its own solution. Outdoor air source... mechanical ventilation rather than having windows open. Cooking... run a kitchen exhaust hood that exhausts to the outdoors. Settled dust... get a better vacuum cleaner and improve cleaning practices.

    There are laboratories that can do particle identification to narrow the list of possible sources, but I have found these to only be helpful some of the time.
    Ian Cull, PE, CIH
    Indoor Science
    Chicago, IL

  20. #19
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    That's a fair point. But as I see it, there are two ways to mitigate dust. (1) Keep it from happening. That's where you're coming from. And (2) filter it in your HVAC system as it circulates. Improving cleaning is a fine idea, but the idea is to try to minimize it to relieve cleaning efforts. The idea is to clean less, not more.

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lassiter View Post
    That's a fair point. But as I see it, there are two ways to mitigate dust. (1) Keep it from happening. That's where you're coming from. And (2) filter it in your HVAC system as it circulates. Improving cleaning is a fine idea, but the idea is to try to minimize it to relieve cleaning efforts. The idea is to clean less, not more.
    The HVAC system is not designed as an Air Purifier. Yes it helps but thats not its purpose.

    As others have said, bring in filtered outside air, just enough to maintain + pressure.

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