How to inspect furnace filters?

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As there is just the wife and I here and we never open the windows we do about the same thing. Buy the ones that come in a pack of 4 or 5 for around $ 5. That is only about $ 10 to $ 15 every year. We change them on the odd months and they never look dirty. Had the coils cleaned after about 8 years and the man said the inside ones did not need it, but did it anyway as it was part of the required job.
This is with a heat pump in the middle of NC so it runs most of the year, heating or cooling.
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On 9/30/2015 2:21 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Or intake plenum feeds the bottom of the furnace -- so, the ~1" slot determines the maximum thickness for the filter. We tried pleated HEPA filters, etc. and didn't notice any difference -- other than the money we paid for them!

Here, the heating season is relatively short. ACbrrr runs for at least 7 mos "full time" (April - Oct) if we exploit night air for the early and late portions of the cooling season (e.g., our nighttime lows are still high 70's with 100 during daytime -- though that should start to drop to low 90's in a week or two)
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Bill Gill wrote:

Do you check air filter in your car? Likewise see it against light or sun.
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On Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 4:49:16 PM UTC-4, Tony Hwang wrote:

Filter"s" (plural)
I wonder how many people don't even know that there is a cabin air filter in their car.
I have bought 4 used cars in the past three years (3 in the past 12 months) and everyone of them had a fairly clean engine compartment filter but a cabin filter that was black and filled with leaves, bees and other debris.
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On 9/30/2015 7:31 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Partly because they don't know it is there and partly because it is very hard to replace. Mine is coming up for replacement and it is a hassle. In my car I have to pull the glove box out of the dash to get the filter out of its holder. Whenever I get the oil changed they always show me a really bad cabin filter and ask if I want to replace mine. I know the one they show me is not the one out of my car, because they wouldn't pull it out and I don't figure it is as bad as the one they show me. At least it wasn't the last time I replaced it. They don't say that it is my filter, they just suggest replacing it.
Bill
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On Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 9:36:36 PM UTC-4, Bill Gill wrote:

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er in their car.

ths) and everyone of them had a fairly clean engine compartment filter but a cabin filter that was black and filled with leaves, bees and other debris .

On an 04 Honda Odyssey, you not only have to remove the glove box, which re quires removing a kick panel under the dash, but you actually have to *cut* out a plastic brace that runs across the front of dash behind the glove bo x.
Yep, the first time the cabin filter is changed you have to use a Dremel or tin snips to remove a 2" x 12" piece of plastic which then gives you acces s to a metal bar that also has to be removed. Talk about a PITA!
Similar to the 2 (usually seized) screws that hold the rotors on, the plast ic brace is there only to make the van easier to put together at the factor y. It provides lateral support for the dash during installation, but blocks access to the cabin air filter.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

For some cars replacing cabin filter is a PITA. Lucky all our cars, it is very easy. Just drop the glove box and there it is. For engine air filter, I use reusable K&N filter which is washed and oiled every 12 months.
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On Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 10:18:44 PM UTC-4, Tony Hwang wrote:

It's also easy on BMW X5, goes in from an access cover between the windshield wipers.
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On 9/30/2015 2:15 PM, Bill Gill wrote:

It's entirely a judgement call. Hard to give any exact figures over the internet. Trust your own judgement.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:15:36 -0500, Bill Gill

What kind of fuel are you burning?
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On 9/30/2015 8:53 PM, micky wrote:

It's gas, but what difference does that make? The exhaust goes up the flue, not into the house. What the filter takes out is dust in the air inside the house.
Bill
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In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 1 Oct 2015 08:14:59 -0500, Bill Gill

It makes a difference.

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On 10/3/2015 10:03 PM, micky wrote:

What difference? Your bald statement that it makes a difference is a long way from being conclusive. Can you cite a source for your statement? I don't see how it could make a difference to the inside of the house what you burn in a closed system that has no direct connection to the inside of the house.
Bill
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wrote:

Well, in years gone by I could always tell if a house was heated with oil, just by the smell, and a wood-burning furnace had a different smell than a coal furnace. It was not uncommon to have "smudge" above the hot air registers. That was before the days of air-tight fireboxe, and those old dinasaurs are all but extinct today.
In today's homes, almost universally, there should be no difference what fuel is being burned.
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In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 4 Oct 2015 08:40:01 -0500, Bill Gill

I wasn't interested in being conclusive.
To tell you the truth, I'm posting in order to help you and your first answer to me, above, was argumentative, and now you're even more so.
It's annoying.

When the air mixture was misadjusted for a while, on my oil furnace, it left dirt above the forced air registers, and even on some of the walls, above the nails, or screws, that held the sheet rock in place.
So you can take your belief in a closed system and flush it down the drain.

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On Monday, October 5, 2015 at 2:17:43 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:

And did you immediately flee the house? If combustion products are somehow getting back into the house, something is very wrong. While being "adjusted" you got dirt on the walls? What's happening the rest of the time, when it's burning much cleaner, but you're breathing CO? And IDK what kind of tech would be running a furnace where it's sooting up the whole house either.
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On 10/5/2015 8:48 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Sounds like cracked heat exchanger.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On Monday, October 5, 2015 at 8:56:35 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

That doesn't make any sense. Moving air always deposits dirt and usually that's what we see around vents and other places - a hot incandescent will often have streaks on the wall around it. It's often mistaken for mold.
But a malfunctioning furnace putting combustion products in to the house? That's totally different, and unsafe. Adjusting the air mix wouldn't be enough to fix it.
One thing that adds enormous amounts to those dark streaks is burning Yankee candles. The air flow concentrates the soot where it hits.

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On Monday, October 5, 2015 at 12:55:29 PM UTC-4, TimR wrote:

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that's what we see around vents and other places - a hot incandescent will often have streaks on the wall around it. It's often mistaken for mold.

That's totally different, and unsafe. Adjusting the air mix wouldn't be enough to fix it.

kee candles. The air flow concentrates the soot where it hits.

I've been helping my Dad prepare his house for painting. We've been going t here 3-4 times a year for decades but it wasn't until we started taking thi ngs off of the walls (pictures, shelves, knick-knacks, etc.) and removing o ther "visual distractions" that we noticed the dirt (?) on the walls.
You can see the location of every stud and every nail that holds the wallbo ard on. The stud locations are darker than the stud bay areas and the nail heads are even darker.
The house is heated with base board hot water. Up until 2-3 years ago there was a oil fired boiler, now it's NG. The dirt (?) wipes off fairly easily with nothing more than a wet rag. No real scrubbing required.
Maybe the "stripes" have been there for years and we just never noticed the m, but now that the rooms are cleared, you can't miss them. Could they be n ew since the NG furnace was installed? I doubt it, but since we never saw t hem until we started clearing the room and paying attention to what is goin g to be appointed, I can't really say.
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On 10/5/2015 1:17 AM, micky wrote:

I don't see how what fuel I am using has to do with inspecting the filters, which was what I was asking. I can't see how the fuel I use and the result on the air impacts the inspection of the filters. So, I asked for an explanation.
Or do you just make off topic comments to produce something to argue about?
Bill
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