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Old 12-24-2003, 11:38 AM   #1
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3M filters


There are some new 3M filters on the market that claim to filter the air better and last up to 3 months. Of course they cost about 3 times as much too!

Are these things any good, and are they worth the money?

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Old 12-25-2003, 11:35 AM   #2
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3M filters


Look at the % filtration they provide. If it's the same then it doesn't make sense to pay the extra money. If the % is way higher then you need to determine if you actually need that additional filtration.

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Old 12-25-2003, 11:55 AM   #3
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When I had my central air put in this past summer the company said to only use the pleated style of filter because they will filter better and help prevent the A coil from being clogged up with dirt.
I agree that the pleated filters are more expensive I use the highest rated 3M, at the orange box store it runs about $15.00; I check it every 30 days. To have the HVAC company come out to remove and clean the A coil because I used a cheap fiber filter (and the A coil clogged up) is real expensive. Plus the damage/problems it may cause the furnace if the air flow gets restricted during the heating season.

I would rather spend a few more bucks on a filter, but that is just me.
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Old 02-17-2004, 09:36 PM   #4
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3M filters


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan
There are some new 3M filters on the market that claim to filter the air better and last up to 3 months. Of course they cost about 3 times as much too!

Are these things any good, and are they worth the money?
Excellent question

There are many brands of filters that are pleated that are just as effective
and cheaper too
I usually go to home depot and use "natural aire" filters
come in a 3 pack for like $9

3m filters are the best but i think there too pricey
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:07 PM   #5
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I have been using the washable type for years now. Initial cost is high $30.00 and you should clean it once a month. I sold my last house with one that was 4 yrs. old and still in good shape, the one that I have now is 2 1/2 yrs. old and looks fine. Spread that $30.00 out over a few years and it becomes a pretty good deal.
My A/C contractor checks and cleans my unit every year and has never mentioned anything so I guess it works fine.
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Old 05-09-2004, 12:41 PM   #6
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I use that $15 3M filter and my A coil still looks like new after 5 years. But there's a cost that goes with better filtration, lower air flow. That means the furnace runs longer to heat or cool. How much your heating costs increase is hard to say.

I measured the pressure drop across a cheap $1.00 filter, you know, the kind with fiber mesh you can see right through. The pressure drop across the cheap filter is 0.12 inches of water compared to 0.28 for the $15 3M filter and 0.35 for the $8 3M filter. Measurements are using new filters. This still doesn't tell you the extra cost of running the system but it gives you some idea of the impact of using these filters.
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Old 10-20-2004, 09:57 AM   #7
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3M filters


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teetorbilt
I have been using the washable type for years now. Initial cost is high $30.00 and you should clean it once a month. I sold my last house with one that was 4 yrs. old and still in good shape, the one that I have now is 2 1/2 yrs. old and looks fine. Spread that $30.00 out over a few years and it becomes a pretty good deal.
My A/C contractor checks and cleans my unit every year and has never mentioned anything so I guess it works fine.
I am cringing just thinking about what you blower motor and a-coil look like. Not to mention the ductwork. Yikes! Ya, they work great and filter about 50% of the particles in the air. So add up all the times you have cleaned it. And that much dirt + is probably impacted into your motors, a-coil, ductwork, and drainwork. Yikes!
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Old 10-31-2006, 01:19 PM   #8
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3M filters


Hi Nathan

I am a service manager for one of the largest HVAC companys in my area. One of the things I am very insistent upon is good quality technical training. One of the things we did was static pressure of filters. The 3M filtrete filters are a very restrictive filter along with the electrostatics otherwise know as Paul Harvey brick and mortar filters. The system that is in your house is designed to run at a maximum static pressure of .50 inches of water column, this is a very low pressure drop. High pressure drops are very bad on your system they can cause premature heat exchanger failure and evaporator freeze ups, not to mention premature compressor failure. The one thing you can do to defend against high pressure drops in a filter, if you want to run a pleated filter which is a very good idea. Look at the micron rating and the merv rating, the higher the merv rating the more restrictive the filter. The other thing to look for is the material composite. The polyester filters are the soft filters, they filter as well if not better than the paper filters and are a stage loading filter. A stage loading filter is important because it starts filling the fibers that you cant see, by the time you see the dirt its time to change it. I guess all in all there are all kinds of good filters out there just research them before you chose one.

Good luck
Rusty

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Old 11-01-2006, 08:11 PM   #9
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im sure you would also cringe if you found out what we pay for filters that home depot sells @ 30$ a pop
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:33 PM   #10
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I believe any brand of pleated filter is far better than those fiberglass junks..hold one up and look through it. They have gotten so poor, any thing smaller than a mouse could pass through it.But I worry that the top rated 3m brand is so fine that they become overly restrictive way too quickly. I use the next step down, about $9 a piece, and end up changing them about every six to eight weeks.
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:34 PM   #11
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yeah, fibreglass filters are terrible. your better off hanging a wet rag in your return :|
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Old 11-03-2006, 09:24 PM   #12
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I, too, use the 3M pleated paper filter (purple label) mthat cost about $15 a pop. My HVAC man swears by them. I asked him about the restricted airflow issue and he went into a lot of techincal jargon. At the end of a very long dissertation, his answer was the purple 3M is the way to go.
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:06 PM   #13
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3M filters


Hi everyone

I am glad t see so many responses to this question, this lets me know as a service technician that some people really do care about there equipment. I however in my initial response was not downgrading 3M by any means, they are a very good company and I personally have the upmost respect for them. I was more trying to let people know that the maintenance aspect was the key. I myself use the Glassfloss polyester and as in my earlier response was relaying the benifits of this material over paper. The paper filter is what we call a top load filter, and believe me within a few days you will notice a difference in your systems performance. The polyester being a stage loading filter allows for a better performance over the same period of time. I am not sure the differences in the color of the 3M filters, but I believe the purple uses this material. The other thing is, any time you use a pleated filter over a glass filter you get two pluses. A lower static friction loss and better cleaning. The reason for the lower static loss is due to increased surface area. The only filter that I would not run nor will I sell is the electrostatic. Most of these run a static pressure of .40 inches of water column, thats ok as long as you have no duct work attched to your furnace, and you never have any dust get into filter. We all know in reality, this ain't happening. So I appologize if I led anybody down the wrong path. But I am always willing to help when I can.

Rusty
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Old 11-09-2006, 02:05 PM   #14
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3M filters


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I use that $15 3M filter and my A coil still looks like new after 5 years. But there's a cost that goes with better filtration, lower air flow. That means the furnace runs longer to heat or cool. How much your heating costs increase is hard to say.

I measured the pressure drop across a cheap $1.00 filter, you know, the kind with fiber mesh you can see right through. The pressure drop across the cheap filter is 0.12 inches of water compared to 0.28 for the $15 3M filter and 0.35 for the $8 3M filter. Measurements are using new filters. This still doesn't tell you the extra cost of running the system but it gives you some idea of the impact of using these filters.


How can one do this pressure test at home?
Is this measuring the "static pressure" ?
What exactly is static pressure?
Where should I go to learn more as it relates to HVAC ?

thanks from a HVAC illiterate.
wink
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:32 PM   #15
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3M filters


I wish Supco or Dwyer or somebody like that would start to mass-market a differential static pressure switch that would just shut the system down and turn on a malfunction light when the filter reaches a certain pressure drop.

On the other hand, that might be bad. People would just remove the filter to restart the system, then forget to put one back in. I know that commercial equipment has either a manometer or a switch mounted to monitor filter performance. I'm kinda puzzled why the "roll" system has never made its way to residential equipment. The technician could just load a new roll during the annual PM, and there'd be no homeowner involvement with the filter change process. Whatever... I'm just thinking out loud.

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