FURNACE FILTERS

Most of my retailers have stopped stocking fiberglas furnace filters. All they carry is the new pleated ( hypo-allergenic? ) filters
Is it a drop-in replacement for all furnaces ?
I know the extra filtering cuts down on air flow. Doesn't it put additional load on the furnace fan motor ? ( I haven't seen any cautions on the package )
???? <rj>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't know where you live, but Menards, Lowe's, and Home Depot all still carry regular filters here.

I don't understand that question.

Yep. Especially during the AC season where the blower typically runs at a higher speed.
JK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The pleated filters are much better and are available in the same size as the cheap fiberglass filters. Obviously they have to be changed more often but you will see less dust in the house particularly if you go with one of the expensive Filtrete brand filters. If you have a old marginal blower that barely moves enuf air then you should probably go with a filter that does not filter as well as the Filtrete ultra but most newer systems have strong blowers with plenty of capacity. Sometimes they have multispeeds and your may or may not be set to run at the optimal speed for a quality filter.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

often
and
filter.
Just because you have a new furnace with a blower that moves more air means nothing.
With today's high efficient furnaces you have a few things happening.
#1 high efficient furnaces have thinner heat exchangers to transfer the heat faster. So the equipment requires more air-flow to maintain a proper temperature rise across the heat exchanger. This not only cools the heat exchanger, but allows the unit to transfer more heat into the conditioned space by cooling down the flu gases. <<<End result - more airflow>>>
#2 the equipment manufactures are concerned about cost per unit. In order to make their products cheaper, they use less materials/metal. This thinner heat exchanger, requires a lower temperature rise than the older models. If this is compromised, you end up with a cracked heat exchanger that requires it to be replaced (either with a new heat exchanger or a new furnace). <<<End result - more airflow>>>
#3 the blowers are manufactured to operate with-in a range of static pressure. Most units today are manufactured with a maximum TESP (total external static pressure) of .5" wc. <<<End result - less restrictive HVAC components>>>
Now look at the filter you're about to use... many are adding .15-.25" wc or more to the total. So when you add in the evaporator coil, supply/return ducting, supply/return grills, you're above the manufacture's specifications!
If you look at the data, you're needing more airflow with less restrictions. This is why most older duct systems require modifications when installing new equipment. If your concern is air filtration, you should look into a media type filter. They're less restrictive since they have much more media material.
BTW, using a highly restrictive filter is the quickest way to kill your HVAC system!
***This is a partial list of failures due to high temperature and high static pressures! ***This doesn't even address the issues that the restrictive filters have on a cooling system!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've been using Filtrete Ultra filters in the 3 systems in my 10 year old house for 10 years. Absolutely no problems during that time. According to Consumer Reports, the Ultra has fair air flow.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would think that kj will correct me if I'm wrong, because he is an HVAC expert, but I think that the filter in the furnace is there to keep the dust out of the furnace, not to keep the dust down in your house. We use a stand alone HEPA filter to improve the air quality in our home. There are other systems that do a better job improving the air quality of a home without shortening the life of the heating & cooling system.
JK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Filtrete Ultra filters do a good job removing dust from the air in your home to the extent that the air goes thru the filter. That is true of your separate HEPA system too. Consumer Reports tested a bunch of filtering systems and thought the filtrete was a pretty good solution. But obviously if you put a separate HEPA filter system in each room that would probably be better.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can bet they rated the filtration of the filter and not the effects it had on the HVAC system!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They rated the resistance to air flow and it was rated below average or fair..... it had a half black circle. As I said in my original post, if you have an inadequate blower you should not use a filterete ultra filter. In the Raleigh NC area, I can tell you that over the last 10 years if anything they are over doing it with the blowers. I also mentioned in my post that the blower may have several speeds and he may have to adjust the speed to compensate for the increased resistance.
More resistance seems to come from incompetent duct installers. 4 years ago I had someone replace duct work in my parents condo. They ripped out 40 feet of unnecessary ductwork. It was spaghetti up there. The installer must have been paid by the foot of ductwork.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I was just in Lowes today. I noticed new Filtrete filters that are even finer than their previous finest version (which was the Ultra). There was a warning on them that if you let them get dirty, restrictions could cause HVAC problems.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

as
blower
that
have
multispeeds
conditioned
order
HVAC
wc
installing
have
to
When was the last time each of those systems was thoroughly checked out by a competent HVAC technician?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They have been checked out by a HVAC technician. But if you can find a competent one in Raleigh NC area that would be news to me. I've tried several including the biggest company in the area who installed the 3 systems new for the builder. They were typical of the area. They were supposed to install 3 different size systems, one on each floor. The geniuses put a big system in the small finished basement and the smallest system on the top floor. Then when I called them on it they switched it but forgot to switch the circuit breakers. In Raleigh, "competent HVAC technician" is an oxymoron.
By the way, with the 99 degree weather, my top floor system is struggling a bit and I am thinking of calling some one in to look at it. With my digital instant read meat thermometer, I read a T delta between the return and several ducts at 16 degrees. I thought it should be 20 degrees but on line, the range of acceptablility was 12 to 20 degrees. Is that true?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

With a lower Delta T [temperature difference] means the airflow is lower [400 cfm per ton is the industry standard for air conditioning - 450 cfm per ton for a Heat Pump] with a Delt T of 16 F you are around 300 cfm per ton.
A qualified HVAC technition, can measure the static pressure on your system, determine the airflow, and measure the wet bulb / dry bulb temperatures, apply [Temp.'s] them to a psycometeric chart and determine system capacity. Once he's done that, you will be un-happy.
You can go as low as 200 cfm per ton, but the system becomes a dehumidify instead of an air conditioning system.
Most systems inherently do not have enough return air. That's why kpro's comments are correct. A pleted air filter just adds fuel to the fire.
Zyp
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I called a HVAC guy today. I'll be interested to see what he says. The 3rd floor has always been like a hurricane. The air moves ridiculously fast. Those rooms are almost always empty (we are empty nesters with a first floor master) so I've never paid too much attention but we are sleeping up there now because of renovations in our master bathroom.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What do you mean [fair air flow]. As opposed to UN-FAIR?
Read kpro's comments. You'll find they're correct.
Zyp
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Comsumer Reports rated airflow good, excellent, fair, poor. The filtrete ultra was rated fair.
I don't disagree with most of kpro's comments but there is nothing wrong with the filtrete filters provided they are replaced often and you have plenty of blower capacity. If your system is borderline then the filtrete is likely to make things worse including the possibility of frozen coils.... just like any filter restriction.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Walmart, Kmart, Meijers, Lowes, TrueValue, etc

No
Not only the motor, but it can stress your Heat Exchanger, Compressor and many other parts.

Why would they do that? It might hurt their sales!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.