U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 04-24-2008, 11:48 AM
Location: Decatur
11 posts, read 208,028 times
Reputation: 52


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.

Quick reply to this message

Old 04-24-2008, 01:54 PM
445 posts, read 1,881,375 times
Reputation: 369
Bad idea.
Quick reply to this message
Old 04-24-2008, 01:58 PM
Location: Floribama
13,308 posts, read 29,098,693 times
Reputation: 11559
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.
Quick reply to this message
Old 04-24-2008, 02:30 PM
Location: Marietta, GA
857 posts, read 4,348,566 times
Reputation: 797
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.
Quick reply to this message
Old 04-24-2008, 08:58 PM
3,020 posts, read 22,950,110 times
Reputation: 2684
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.
Quick reply to this message
Old 04-26-2008, 08:28 AM
27,903 posts, read 33,204,425 times
Reputation: 4015
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)
Quick reply to this message
Old 07-06-2014, 07:49 AM
1 posts, read 82,315 times
Reputation: 11
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.
Quick reply to this message
Old 01-27-2017, 02:44 PM
2 posts, read 33,852 times
Reputation: 12
I have an air intake on hallway floor(1935 built home) 12 X 30 Looking through the grid ( 2.5x2" openings) into the return duck is a big black scary abyss! I have only 1 return for my 1000 ft living space and furnace is Carrier~ 1998 with a washable filter in unit.
Is it o.k. to put One more. vent/grill filter that would 1. Block the abyss, 2.add a little more filtering to house since one must walk over grill since it's floor type in a hallway? What filters recommended?
Quick reply to this message
Old 01-27-2017, 02:55 PM
Location: Johns Creek, GA
11,741 posts, read 45,051,495 times
Reputation: 12788
Originally Posted by Kathryn E. K. View Post
Is it o.k. to put One more..?

Quick reply to this message
Old 01-28-2017, 08:15 AM
1,807 posts, read 1,951,992 times
Reputation: 2558
My system was just updated and the experts installed two filters, one at each air return. They suggested to replace the filters every 60 days with a see through filter.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top