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Old 04-24-2008, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Decatur
11 posts, read 112,441 times
Reputation: 38
Default Putting filters in return air vents -- good idea?

I have three return air vents in my ranch house (1500 sq/ft 3bdr) and noticed that they're a bit dusty. Is it a good idea to put filters on them to help purify the air in my home? If so, what kind of filters do you recommend? What rating/spec should I use so that it doesn't strain my HVAC.

Thanks.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:54 PM
 
419 posts, read 1,271,184 times
Reputation: 283
Bad idea.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Floribama
8,854 posts, read 15,790,715 times
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I have two return air vents that I put filters in. Since the air is getting filtered twice I usually buy the cheaper $2 filters. It doesn't seem to make a difference in the airflow with or without them.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
857 posts, read 3,184,954 times
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In all of my new homes (builder) my HVAC guy puts the filters in the cold air return instead of the furnace because it is easier to access and therefore it is more likely that the buyers will change their filters.
Just use the same type as you have been using all along.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:58 PM
 
3,020 posts, read 16,301,091 times
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Default Probably no standard answer......

So much depends on your exact situation. Do you have the most use in trying or heat or cool. Which is more critical for you.

How well is the system designed, how big are the ducts, how much dirt in the house, does the additional filter have any negative effects. Probably not a one size fits all.

Mine the return ducts are huge. Have had a filter cloth type bootie over the returns. Zero negative effects on operation. Probably going to build in the ability to put a another standard filter right at the return register. I do not want to mess around ever trying to clean those ducts again. Dog hairs are not easy to catch. Mine is just a heating system.

Some homes like the mobiles, the entire return air system was a disaster. Cheap flimsy thin flex type ducts installed under the floor, too small. Many folks modified the systems so there was no return ducts, cut a hole in the utility room door and put in a screen, added a filter there. Lot of those type systems came with a filter installed on each return.

So much of it is so dependent on how something was built / being operated today. What are the alternatives if you are having some type of problem.

All depends so much on your situation. If in doubt claim your way is the only way and everybody that does not follow it will freeze to death or melt as the case may be.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:28 AM
 
27,211 posts, read 20,216,772 times
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Filters aren't for your breathing air. They are there to protect the equipment from dust buildup. A filter is a filter.....it's MERV rating tells you how much it filters.


Air Filter Media Fiber Size Dictates Performance
MERV- filter efficiency simplified

Don't get pleated filters unless your system is made for them. And yes two filters inline has a dramatic effect. A wet evaporator coil has around a MERV 8 rating. The more it filters the less air it allows the system to move....sometimes to a point that it causes problems (small pleated filters)
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:49 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,372 times
Reputation: 10
You want to put a pleated filter in to protect the unit. They have some designed to help purify the air some and help with allergies, but every HVAC guy I have asked about it said that those specialty ones don't help any more then standard filters and is a waste of money. They all say that a standard pleated filter is the best to use. It will catch a lot of the dust instead of recycling it and it will keep the coils on the air handler from clogging up, which is important because a dirty coil will prevent it from cooling properly and eventually lead to you having to replace the inside unit.

If you are worried about air quality, an air purifier in each room would be more effective to be honest. An HVAC is deigned to work with filter specifically designed for them. All these newer gimmicky filter to help improve the air can actually be a hindrance to your system. Just use a plain old pleated filter and you will be fine. I have heard some people say that some HVAC units shouldn't use a pleated filter, but I have never personally seen one. Window units or ductless systems yes, but not a two piece HVAC. There is a reason if you go to Lowes or Home Depot and ask where AC filters are they are all pleated. Though I have had AC guys say that the deep pleated ones can have some problems, to use the thinner pleated ones.
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