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Old 06-25-2013, 04:32 PM
 
284 posts, read 433,446 times
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So I'm living in a home with under 2000sq ft and have 2 20x25" filters for my air conditioning. I've been using the Filtrete air filters but have recently seen neighbors putting in the fiberglass type. I'm wondering if these cheaper green fiberglass ones are better or made for these homes.
I'm considering a change b/c I have wood floors and I sweep up a lot of white dust on my dark wood floors and thought maybe the green fiberglass ones would not result in the fine dust that maybe dust or maybe small particles coming off the filtrete filters.

Any HVAC experts here know the difference besides the price?

Fiberglass ones at walmart
EZ-Flow Fiberglass Air Filter, 20" x 25": Heating, Cooling, & Air Quality : Walmart.com

Filtrete one at walmart:
Filtrete Allergen Reduction Filters 1103DC-4, 20" x 25" x 1": Heating, Cooling, & Air Quality : Walmart.com
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:37 PM
 
418 posts, read 1,195,844 times
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welcome to one of the dustiest places on earth .. I preferred the cheap ones .. and change often
But having said that I found ones that hose off monthly with a 10 year life expectancy ... but just put them in so am not able to tell you how well they work

May I also suggest really quick damp mopping instead of sweeping .. as it picks up instead of kicks up the dust
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Giethoorn, Netherlands
629 posts, read 1,017,734 times
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There's an "eco-something" one at Home Depot that looked really interesting. It can be rinsed/reused. I think it was $10-20 for one.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:48 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,783,986 times
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the cheap units should be used in conjunction with some form of oil to legitimately trap particles. I use amazon.com fro my filtre... and I buy the highest count I can find(2000). I have been told this can tax the fan in the system though... however I have a brand new system.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,683 posts, read 8,334,842 times
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Before you use one of the high MERV Filtrete filters, you need to make sure you've got enough square inches of filter return for the volume of air you're passing through it. The air velocity needs to be kept low for the more restrictive filters, otherwise your system won't pass enough air over the coil and at best will be inefficient. At worse it can shorten the life of the fan motor in your air handler. In areas with higher humidity, coil freezing can be a problem if you restrict the return air to the air handler.

In that HVAC forum where the pros insult homeowners all the time, most of the pros don't recommend the high MERV Filtrete filters. Personally, I think they're ok as long as you've got sufficient return area. I've got 800 square inches on my 3.5 ton unit and 500 square inches on my 2.5 ton unit. Figure 500cfm per ton and you can figure out the velocity at the filter face (divide volume in cfm by filter area in square feet, then divide by 60).

If your filter return box is deep enough to handle a 4" filter (needs to be 8" deep or more), I recommend these (FC40 by Honeywell)



rather than the 1" thick filters that most people use. They're similar to the filter you'd use if you had a whole-home air filter incorporated into your HVAC system. They have a lip so they can fit into the standard filter boxes, but are 4" deep with pleated media so the effective filtering area is greater, reducing the air velocity at the filter face.

I haven't examined the HVAC system in that many homes in LV, but given how important good A/C is here, I'd think most homes built since the mid-80s have sufficient filter return area to allow use of the high MERV Filtrete filters.

Last edited by MediocreButArrogant; 06-25-2013 at 08:13 PM..
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,683 posts, read 8,334,842 times
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FYI, the cheap fiberglass filters are sometimes referred to as "rock catchers" because that's the smallest particle they can capture. The high MERV Filtretes capture much smaller particles, at the expense of more restricted air flow and higher cost.

Last edited by MediocreButArrogant; 06-25-2013 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:19 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,783,986 times
Reputation: 1072
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediocreButArrogant View Post
Before you use one of the high MERV Filtrete filters, you need to make sure you've got enough square inches of filter return for the volume of air you're passing through it. The air velocity needs to be kept low for the more restrictive filters, otherwise your system won't pass enough air over the coil and at best will be inefficient. At worse it can shorten the life of the fan motor in your air handler. In areas with higher humidity, coil freezing can be a problem if you restrict the return air to the air handler.

In that HVAC forum where the pros insult homeowners all the time, most of the pros don't recommend the high MERV Filtrete filters. Personally, I think they're ok as long as you've got sufficient return area. I've got 800 square inches on my 3.5 ton unit and 500 square inches on my 2.5 ton unit. Figure 500cfm per ton and you can figure out the velocity at the filter face (divide volume in cfm by filter area in square feet, then divide by 60).

If your filter return box is deep enough to handle a 4" filter (needs to be 8" deep or more), I recommend these (FC40 by Honeywell)



rather than the 1" thick filters that most people use. They're similar to the filter you'd use if you had a whole-home air filter incorporated into your HVAC system. They have a lip so they can fit into the standard filter boxes, but are 4" deep with pleated media so the effective filtering area is greater, reducing the air velocity at the filter face.

I haven't examined the HVAC system in that many homes in LV, but given how important good A/C is here, I'd think most homes built since the mid-80s have sufficient filter return area to allow use of the high MERV Filtrete filters.

what constitutes enough return area? my system has two inlets... one is 20x30(600) and a 20x20(400) for a single level 2800sqft home
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:03 PM
 
2,466 posts, read 2,436,647 times
Reputation: 1585
I use the reusable mesh ones. Wash them off about every 3 months. My vents are clean and have been for years.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,683 posts, read 8,334,842 times
Reputation: 2964
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchu View Post
what constitutes enough return area? my system has two inlets... one is 20x30(600) and a 20x20(400) for a single level 2800sqft home
You need to know the airflow. Typically, an air handler is set to 400cfm per ton of A/C (not 500 cfm, that was a mistake in a previous post), so if you know the size of your A/C units, you can infer the airflow.

Depending on the size of your A/C unit, you could be fine, or it could be a little undersize. A rule of thumb I've heard is 1 sq inch per 2cfm, so for my 2-1/2 ton A/C upstairs, that's 1000cfm total and 500 sq inch of filter, which is what I have, 20"x25". I do use the purple Filtrete filters that you can buy at Costco, as my filter boxes aren't deep enough to use the Honeywell filters. If you had significantly less than 1 sq inch of filter per 2cfm, you'd want to use a less restrictive filter.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City/Las Vegas
1,589 posts, read 2,202,658 times
Reputation: 1857
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediocreButArrogant View Post
Before you use one of the high MERV Filtrete filters, you need to make sure you've got enough square inches of filter return for the volume of air you're passing through it.

I can attest to that. Last year I thought I was doing the right thing by upgrading to one of the new (and expensive) 3M Filtrete filters. My furnace sucked it right out of the frame and into the fan compartment (fortunately, no damage). It was simply too restrictive for my system. I went back to the much less expensive filters.

Bill
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