Washable Electrostatic Furnace Filters - Use While Wet?

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I was looking at one of these "permanent" furnace filters at the Borg the other day:
http://www.webproducts.com/Detail.bok?no7
My question:
After you rinse one of these can you put back in while it's still wet or should you keep a spare "regular" filter on hand while the electrostatic one dries out?
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

I usually swing them around to get the water out or use a shop-vac to blow/suck the water out of the filter. How gentle do you want to be with the filter?
TDD
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On 2/16/2010 8:59 PM DerbyDad03 spake thus:

Dunno, but funny thing: just today I helped a client who had washed out his electrostatic filter units and couldn't figure out how to get them back in. But these were the real McCoy, part of a Honeywell electrostatic unit--you know, like with 20,000 volts and all.
How do these so-called "electrostatic" filters even work? There's no source of electricity, so they must depend on some kind of static charge. I can't believe they can be very effective.
By the way, the real electrostatic units held just an incredible amount of filth. Really black crap. (They hadn't been cleaned in a while.) So they really work. And since they weren't quite dry, I advised my client to dry them out first before putting them back in (we used a hair dryer).
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That's what I was wondering as well. Bottom line is whether these filters really have some benefit or are just using the alleged electrostatic feature as a marketing hype, hoping people think they work like the real thing.
In any case, if I were using them, I'd probably let them dry out, at least most of the way before putting them back in. Seems that wouldn't be hard to do if you clean them 2X a year when the ambient temps are appropriate.

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Electrostatic filters work on the same principle that causes static cling in the dryer. The main thing I have found with them is that they can't be cleaned too often. If they are allowed to get real dirt, the dirt gets imbedded and the are a chore to cleanthen. If they must be installed while they are still wet, the air flowing through them will dry them quickly.
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On Feb 17, 9:16am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

re: "Seems that wouldn't be hard to do if you clean them 2X a year when the ambient temps are appropriate."
Per the link I posted:
"simply rinse entire filter once a month then reinstall in system."
It doesn't say to dry them (or not) but at 12 times a year, leaving them out to dry is probably going to mean at least a few furnace cycles with no filter, especially in the winter.
If I bought one of those, I think I'd I keep a relatively inexpensive one on hand for temporary use.
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If the package said to clean them six times a day, would you do that too? I'm sure there are some extreme conditions where you need to clean a furnace filter every month. But I've lived in and had experience with lots of houses and changing filters twice a year worked just fine. At that point, they were a little dirty, but easily could have gone even longer. IMO, a lot of telling people to change filters frequently is to sell more filters. I know the ones you are considering are washable, but I wouldn't be surprised the same company sells disposable ones as well and the industry needs a consistent message. And the more you wash them, the sooner you'll need a new one of those too.
I have a friend who has a new house and I was showing him how to clean his electrostatic filters last Fall. Real electrostatic ones, not the dubious non-electric ones. He has two identical 4 year old furnaces. Those filters were uncleaned for at least a year, which is how long he owned the house. We don't know when the previous owner last cleaned them. There was hardly anything on them at all. He does have a very clean house, no pets, no kids, etc., which certainly is a factor.
The best thing to do is see how fast they get dirty in your particular application and adjust accordingly.
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(PST), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:
-snip-

Yup-- about 100 hours of usage works for me in my house. Sufficient grunge to let me know it was really time- but no decrease in airflow at the registers.
Thankfully my cheap thermostat keeps track of the time for me. Works out to about 2-3 changes per winter season. [often Sept to April] If I think about it I wash the filter in the summer and zero the usage meter.
Jim
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On Feb 18, 9:34am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

A question not worth answering.

Why would any industry need a consistent message for dissimilar products? In fact, this company alone has various furnace filters with specs that range from "rinse once a month" to "lasts 90 days" to "lasts up to 1 year".

Per the link I posted:
"Comes with a Lifetime Warranty". The receipt is in the filing cabinet.

I have 2 dogs, a indoor/outdoor cat and 4 kids.

Of course. Past experience already tells me that "2X a year when the ambient temps are appropriate" will not be enough. There will still be periods during mid-winter in the north-east when the furnace will be cycling while the filter is drying, thus the reason for the question in my OP.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

The filter will dry in minutes with the fan running. Don't worry about it.
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I have two separate systems with two washable furnace filters. I turn off the furnace, wash the filters, and set them outdoors in the sun for 2-3 hours. Setting them with one corner on the ground helps drain them quickly. After the 3 hours, I pick them up and swing any drops out and put them back and turn the system back on.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

As I noted in the other furnace filter post, I don't believe those drop in replacement "electrostatic" filters are effective either. I suppose they marginally get away with using the "electrostatic" term in the same way as those cling film window decorations, but they are not in any way comparable to a real powered electrostatic precipitator.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

I tip them up on a corner for awhile to drain them, then re-install them. Any moisture will evaporate quickly when the fan runs. You could manually run the fan for 10 minutes if you want.
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On Tue, 16 Feb 2010 20:59:43 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

FWIW- my Dr. recommended the Bo-Air 15 [or so] years ago http://www.riteair.com / 3 times as much as the ones at the Borg- but read on.
I bought one-- then decided it would be nice to be able to dry it completely or soak it overnight, so I bought a second one at the Borg. Patted myself on the back for getting it for a third of the cost of the original. But I never felt like it was filtering as well. There was a lot less visible stuff on the surface- so I always assumed it was probably letting a lot more particles through.
When I replaced my furnace this summer I needed new filters because the old ones were a different size. I couldn't remember the name of the company that made my original & the sticker had fallen off years ago.- so I started looking online. All the asthma, allergy & 'trouble breathing' groups were recommending the Bo-Air filters.
When it got here it was exactly the filter that I got way-back-when that my Dr. had recommended.

My thoughts were that the fine end of the filter was *so* fine that a speck of dust would turn to concrete in a damp filter and render the filter that much less efficient. Plus, I like to be able to just grab the filter when my thermostat says it is time-- and do a good job of cleaning at my leisure.
Jim
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I had a real electrostatic filter on a house I used to own. It was hardwired into 115v on the same circuit as the air handler. It had plates and they did get pretty dirty. I would put them in the dishwasher. Take them out clean and dry. I don;t think you can leave them wet cause it would probably cause arcing. Once in a great while you'd hear some big piece of dust get zapped by the thing.
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yup, I have one of the Honeywell deals in my house. if you turn it on too soon after cleaning you can hear it arcing.
One of these days I need to have my ductwork cleaned; the PO's had been running the furnace with no filter at all for some unknown (presumably long) period of time. The electrostatic helps but the house is still full of dustbunnies if I don't vacuum every week. At least I'm not loading up the condenser coils, anyway. (filter was installed as part of a package with adding A/C to house)
nate
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I've installed furnaces and AC for a few years. Can't say as I've ever seen an air filter on a condensor. How do you keep your condensor filter dry, when it rains or snows?
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I install filters on condensers for refrigeration units in restaurants. I explain to the owners that unless they want to spend another $1,200.00 to replace a compressor, wash the filter once a week. Why do people always want to shoot the messenger? *snicker*
TDD
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On Feb 18, 11:16am, The Daring Dufas <the-daring-

I use medium size/opening filters, not the el-cheapo fibreglass ones that are almost totally open, but not the real fine particle types either. I change them once a month if I remember to. They are always dirty looking if you hold them up to the light. They keep loose dirt from entering the blower and then maybe clogging the A-frame air- conditioning condensor coils
I don't understand cleaning ductwork. If the ducts start out clean and then gradually accumulate dirt, that dirt either stays put, or blows out into the room. If they start out clean, and you have a filter, how does the ductwork get dirty? And, if it is dirty, once the loose dirt blows out, how does more loose dirt occur to get blown out. That new loose dirt will get blown out whether the duct is clean or has a build-up of dirt that isn't loose, so cleaning the ductwork is only needed if it gets so bad that it impedes air-flow. What am I missing besides enriching all the ductwork cleaning firms?
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hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

I think you may be referring to the "evaporator" which is the cold part of the AC. The "condenser" is the hot part located outside of the house. Your refrigerator has a condenser that is either a big wide spaced coil on the back or a compact coil underneath with a fan.
The evaporator in the form of an "A coil" is what most home central AC units have on top of a typical upflow furnace. I won't chastise you for using the wrong terminology because there are many things that I have little knowledge of myself, like taxidermy, never done any. Remember, ignorance means you don't know but you can learn, stupid means no way.
TDD
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