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Old 10-08-2019, 07:56 AM
 
7 posts, read 2,890 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi everyone- We have never owned a home with HVAC before. Our former home had window AC's and was heated with oil. Our current home has 2 HVAC-one for upstairs and one for downstairs. I have read that some people recommend getting your HVAC system cleaned and others believe it is not necessary. What is your experience? Also, while we are on the topic..I know this is personal preference but any other advice about HVAC is sincerely appreciated. We do plan to have them serviced regularly, just as we did our old furnace. Thanks as always for your help.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
34,325 posts, read 59,678,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffensmom View Post
Hi everyone- We have never owned a home with HVAC before. Our former home had window AC's and was heated with oil. Our current home has 2 HVAC-one for upstairs and one for downstairs. I have read that some people recommend getting your HVAC system cleaned and others believe it is not necessary. What is your experience? Also, while we are on the topic..I know this is personal preference but any other advice about HVAC is sincerely appreciated. We do plan to have them serviced regularly, just as we did our old furnace. Thanks as always for your help.

What are the systems' ages?
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,299 posts, read 3,493,375 times
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I'm a professional HVAC engineer (tho not residential, but rather institutional systems). Here's my take:

A national-reputation Industrial Hygienist told me that cleaning ducting is pointless, as it will get dirty again in just 6 months and is VERY hard, very expensive to clean it all. So don't. Rather spend your effort and little money on keeping your filters clean.

Size: You will have to match your existing filters thickness: typically 1" and always get an EXACT fit for height and width. Leaks around the side make filter replacement pointless!
Quality: You can't get a super-high quality filter as it will put too much strain on your systems fan. Instead of super-cheap filters, ($1/ea) replace them with medium-quality pleated ones (about $6-7/ea).
If your system can handle it, find a filter rated for "MERV 13". Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is the standard on how much it filters, and 13 is the highest number for a residential system. Note: there are other "standards" used to rate filter effectiveness, but MERV is an independent, very credible standard.
How often to replace: this is a tough call, as it depends on how dirty it is inside, it is outside, and how often the fan runs. I'd start with every 3 months and look at the filter to see how dirty it is, and adjust accordingly.

Do NOT get the replaceable-electrostatic filters that claim to clean the air. You'll never find one with a tested rating of 13. For the electrostatic method to work, you need it to be permanently wired to your house and it will consume power. Those work very well, but are $2,000+ to install and add cost to your monthly electric bill.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
10,801 posts, read 7,808,406 times
Reputation: 9162
if my HVAC system needed "cleaning", my HVAC pro would tell me so and do it. Instead, he services my HVAC's once or 2x a year and tells me to use the cheap filters, as noted above. The expensive ones make your system work too hard.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:30 AM
 
44 posts, read 2,182 times
Reputation: 30
Residential HVAC systems should be cleaned twice a year ideally but it is necessary to clean HVAC once a year to maintain the air quality. There are many allergens that spread through dirty ducts and affect your skin and respiratory system. So it is good that you have it on your to do list. Hire a professional cleaning service to do it in a proper way. HVAC cleaning and maintenance also extend the life of your equipment and your system does not take much electricity when it is cleaned.
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