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MistyLee 11-30-2009 02:03 PM

Furnace filter brands to avoid?
I am planning to replace a disposable furnace filter with a permanent washable electronic type. The furnace manual states that a permanent filter replacement must only allow maximum airflow of 600 fpm.

My current filter is a disposal Flanders and it has no rating or merv info on it. It came with the furnace which was installed this month. The dealer seems to think any filters are acceptable if they are correct size.

I am hoping to purchase a permanent filter that does not have the anitmicrobial agents embedded in it. 3M seems to have the type I want, but I have seen negative comments about 3M filters.

Can anyone tell me what are the main problems with 3M filters.? I also have heard they use a different rating than is normally accepted.

beenthere 11-30-2009 04:16 PM

They are too restrictive.

Use a general pleated filter. MERV 8 at most.
Don't use any of the electrostatic air filters. They are also too restrictive.

yuri 11-30-2009 05:37 PM

Merv 8 or 10 is good. But you should have a tech check the air temp rise thru the furnace if using a Merv 10 and change it regularly. The replacement media for those plug in electrostatics is ridiculously expensive and the unit breaks easy. We stopped selling them. The other washable type are difficult to keep clean and I doubt if you can ever wash them back to as clean as new. 3M rates theirs in microns which is not illegal but confusing as the industry standard is MERV.


MistyLee 11-30-2009 07:59 PM

Thank you both. I will get a pleated type. Regarding the electrostatic ones to stay away from, is that just the permanent ones to avoid? Are the disposable pleated electrostatic acceptable?

yuri 11-30-2009 08:35 PM

There are 2 types of "electrostatic" filters. The permanent washable type which are restricitive and impossible to get totally clean. They supposedly use the air passing thru their special material to create a electrostatic charge. I have never found them to work very well and they are difficult to keep clean. The plug in type uses a small electric power transformer and a thin wire to the filter to energize it. The replacement membrane/pad is very expensive, the power connection breaks easily and they are restrictive. Disposable accordion type filters are the best.

MistyLee 11-30-2009 08:43 PM

I am planning to get a pleated type with a 7 or 8 MERV, but the details of the Kimberly Clark brand indicates the pleated style is electrostatically charged. Is that okay for a disposal filter?

yuri 11-30-2009 09:01 PM

"Electrostatically" is nothing more than a clever marketing buzzword to charge more $$ to unsuspecting consumers. 3XX brand is very good at that. Static electricity occurs when it is dry and you rub your feet on carpet, how can they "charge" a paper filter? Just like "new and improved". The MERV rating is all you need.:thumbsup:

MistyLee 11-30-2009 09:27 PM

Thanks for the info. The brand I was looking at was a Kimberly Clark pleated style which is formulated from some type of synthetic material. I didn't necessarily want the "electrostatically charged" feature, but apparently it comes with that feature. I am hoping the MERV 7 rating will not have too much of a "pressure drop" since it is going to be installed in a furnace as an alternative for a permanent type which I assume would normally have a very low pressure drop. There sure seems to be a lot of detail involved in furnace filters. I just don't want to damage a new furnace.

carollbert 10-28-2015 04:26 AM

Furnace filter brands to avoid?
3M will catch more dirt than your $3 filter. But they do not let air through either. A furnace duct system efficiency is measured in Static Pressure (SP). Average duct system should create .5" SP across a furnace. The higher the number the harder the furnace blower must work.When you use a 3M filter it is like your furnace running a marathon with a rope around its neck. The furnace can't breath.Which causes over heating in the summer and over cooling in the summer. if you planning to replace a disposable furnace filter with a permanent washable electronic type you can go any brand.

mkretsinger 11-09-2015 05:58 AM

3M makes a good filter as long as you choose one that is not too restrictive for your air handler. In my personal opinion, the electrostatic filters are great in the short term, but they lose their "static quality" over time and never really regains the factory qualities. Making them a terrible choice in my opinion.

mkretsinger 11-09-2015 06:01 AM

As a follow up ... the only problem I have with 3M filters is that they are terribly expensive. Personally, I buy Purolator Air Filters. The pleated filters are the same MERV rating and are much cheaper than the 3Ms. The only problem is you have to buy in bulk and wait for delivery. But, if you plan it right, you can buy a year's worth for much cheaper than having to run out to the store at the last minute and paying up to $25 each. :)

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