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Unread 03-28-2012, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
15,149 posts, read 17,218,892 times
Reputation: 7570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippyman View Post
One poorly done study of 17 unidentified buildings in an unidentified climate can't overcome the basic facts. A/c units need return air - and pleated filters block airflow. You can use a pleated filter if you have enough airflow, but most homes in Phoenix don't have enough airflow with no filter at all.

I added pleated filters to my a/c system and they work great. I also doubled the amount of return air going to my a/c unit to make up for the restriction the pleated filters cause. Feel free to doubt me, but according to APS, I'm paying about $100 less than my neighbors "in similar sized homes" over the summer months, and my a/c is set cooler.
Return air was one of the problems on mine for sure. To get it dialed in they not only switched to the cheap filter but the factory replaced the grate on the return air with a more open design one (free of charge so it was not just to sell me something). It positively howls now! My house is early 90s and not a state of the art [snip] home though.

Last edited by observer53; 03-28-2012 at 11:24 PM.. Reason: deleted reference to deleted post
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Unread 03-28-2012, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Saint Johns, FL
144 posts, read 74,995 times
Reputation: 97
Has anyone done the foam insulation thing on houses from circa 1998-2003?
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Unread 03-28-2012, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
1,805 posts, read 1,993,727 times
Reputation: 637
FYI, doing some further readings, I am actually reading that restricted air flow is a larger problem on heat pumps that it is on conventional air conditioners and furnaces. Since so many homes here in the Valley have heat pumps, perhaps this could be the reason why there are so many recommendations to use fiberglass filters.
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Unread 03-28-2012, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
2,819 posts, read 2,837,936 times
Reputation: 2908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andros 1337 View Post
FYI, doing some further readings, I am actually reading that restricted air flow is a larger problem on heat pumps that it is on conventional air conditioners and furnaces. Since so many homes here in the Valley have heat pumps, perhaps this could be the reason why there are so many recommendations to use fiberglass filters.
If you still want a pleated filter, you should look at Honeywell's "FC" series filters - the media is 4" deep instead of 1" deep, and it will fit into a standard filter-grill without any modifications.

You get a much larger filtering area, which translates into a lower restriction. I've been running them for a couple of years now, and they do reduce the dust in the house without restricting airflow. You can leave these filters in for a full year ( I vacuum the fuzzies out after 6 months, then toss them at 1 year).

Honeywell FC40R1029 20x30x4 Return Grille Filter Only $45
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Unread 03-28-2012, 11:27 PM
 
Location: South Tempe, AZ
12,854 posts, read 14,141,461 times
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Anyone know how the permanent washable filters (which are not pleated) fit into this discussion?
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Unread 03-29-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
1,805 posts, read 1,993,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
Anyone know how the permanent washable filters (which are not pleated) fit into this discussion?
Actually, I heard they are very restrictive yet barely perform any better at filtration than fiberglass filters.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Location: South Tempe, AZ
12,854 posts, read 14,141,461 times
Reputation: 5382
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andros 1337 View Post
Actually, I heard they are very restrictive yet barely perform any better at filtration than fiberglass filters.
I was looking for actual verified information, not hearsay, but I don't think the point of them is that they are "better at filtration than fiberglass", but that they do not have to be replaced, just sprayed with the hose and put back in. Expensive up front, but if you replace the replaceable ones as often as recommended, the cost of the permanent one is recouped quickly. I've certainly appreciated that, and have not noticed that it is particularly restrictive as far as air flow, so long as it is kept clean.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
15,149 posts, read 17,218,892 times
Reputation: 7570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andros 1337 View Post
Actually, I heard they are very restrictive yet barely perform any better at filtration than fiberglass filters.
If you want to purify the air in your home, buy an appliance that is intended for that purpose - an indoor air filter. An AC unit is intended to cool a home, not clean the air and when you attempt to do that the performance may well be compromised.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 02:00 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 3,423,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
Anyone know how the permanent washable filters (which are not pleated) fit into this discussion?
I have one in my thru the wall LG system. It's working great. Had one on a Haier mini-split and similar on a samsung washing machine.....my tower style honeywell fan has one, too.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
1,805 posts, read 1,993,727 times
Reputation: 637
According to an expert at HVAC Talk, here is what I learned:
  • If you have a small amount of return air area and/or there are leaks in the ducts and vents, you will use less energy with the fiberglass filters.
  • If you have a large amount of return area and little to no leaks in the ducts and vents, then the pleated filter will keep the coils cleaner than a fiberglass filter. Dirty coils will use more energy than clean ones.
http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=1056711

Last edited by Pink Jazz; 03-29-2012 at 03:35 PM..
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