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Old 02-25-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
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Improved Air Quality Question/Help


Hi All,

I'm a new user and after doing some searching on the forum I thought I would post my question because I couldn't find much on the topic.

My furnace unit is a tight fit vertically so due to space limitations I have been looking at the 1" electronic filters similar to this:

http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/env...ustomerreviews

My goal is to improve the air quality inside my house because my wife, kids, and myself all have sinus and allergy issues. At the same time if I can reduce odors and dust in the house that would also be great.

I've also been looking at the larger 5" electronic filters similar to this:

http://www.trane.com/Residential/products/Air-Cleaners

Does anyone on the forum have any experience with these?

Currently I have installed a UV light in the furnace and run the highest 3M media filer I can get at the home improvement stores.

Thanks for your help in advance.

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Old 02-25-2012, 09:55 AM   #2
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Those 1" filters are fragile, the power supply connector breaks easily, the replacement media is very expensive and we stopped selling them for all those reasons. I hear the Trane unit works well so if it fits or can be made to fit go 4 it. Lennox has a VERY good but expensive PCO filter which is the ultimate IMO but it is larger than 5" so you may need to get one of their dealers to see if it can be made to fit. I have customers with severe allergies etc who love them. Needs a $300 or more annual maintenance kit but it is cheaper and better than inhalers and meds. click on view demo for a neat slide show about it.

http://www.lennox.com/products/indoo...stems/PureAir/

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Last edited by yuri; 02-25-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:04 AM   #3
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Thanks Yuri. Is the Lennox unit maintenance kit done once a year or is it based upon the hours of operation?
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:11 AM   #4
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all depends if you run your furnace fan continuosly for circ which is the best way to use that unit if you have allergies etc. then we recommend a furnace with an energy saving ecm motor as a regular one can drive up your bill. depends if you have pets, how clean the air is, how clean your house is etc. the UV bulbs are good for a year and most people can get a yr out of the Merv 16 HEPA filter. after that the bulbs are less effective and I have not seen the filter go more than a yr as it is very tight. they work VERY well and I have a customer with extreme sensitivity to perfume/cologne etc and he cannot work for that reason along with his other allergies and he loves that unit. Lennox patented it so I guess no one can sell it and the catalyst is their patent. The Trane apparently works well too. If you have the UV bulbs with the Trane it is a good pkg but the PCO has the catalyst which I doubt the Trane can do as well w/o it.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:17 AM   #5
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Thanks again. The fan doesn't run continuously; only when the unit kicks in. Do you have a rough idea on the pricing on the Lennox unit? Normally I would do the instal myself but with my space limitations I might have to scab it in-line with the duct which means a transition might have to be made.

We have 3 cats, 1 dog, and about 100 fish. We've removed all the carpet in the house also.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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Not really, depends on the cost of living in your area and what the local dealers chg. I would start at $1500 - 2000 installed. Lennox does not sell that unit to anyone other than their dealers so I doubt you can access it. I recently got the sinus issues and am going to an allergy specialist and I suspect the high humidity from the fish tanks if you have that can be an issue. the PCO cannot deal with humidity/ no filter can. post some pics of your furnace and return duct and maybe I can help more. how old is the furnace and what brand?
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Last edited by yuri; 02-25-2012 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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Hey Tiberian
3 dogs, a cat, fish tanks and allergies???? Who says love doesn't hurt.

(Quote)
I've also been looking at the larger 5" electronic filters similar to this:
http://www.trane.com/Residential/products/Air-Cleaners
Does anyone on the forum have any experience with these?

I have dozens of customers with 5" electronic air clearners that I've been servicing along with their furnaces for 30 years. Many Hvac guys here consider them a real pain to deal with compared to a throw away medium filter solution.
My customers with serious allergy sensitivites swear by them but they do require regular cleaning or they are a waste of time. They also need to be handled gently during the cleaning process or repairs will be needed.
There big advantage is that they cause very little restriction to the air flow (when clean) compared to other systems. They also end up being very cheap to operate when well cared for and properly set up.
Do consider a continuous fan operation for 24-7 air cleaning. You can probably have your furnace set up on a continuous low fan speed which will then switch up to a heating speed when the needed.

As Yuri points out... check what your house humidity might be with your fish tanks. Mold and fungal spores would be my concern.

Last edited by how; 02-25-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiberian View Post
Thanks again. The fan doesn't run continuously; only when the unit kicks in. Do you have a rough idea on the pricing on the Lennox unit? Normally I would do the instal myself but with my space limitations I might have to scab it in-line with the duct which means a transition might have to be made.

We have 3 cats, 1 dog, and about 100 fish. We've removed all the carpet in the house also.
Get rid of the fish
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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Thanks How. The relative humidity in the house is 37%.

veesubotee - I would get rid of the cats before the fish.

Yuri - I'll get the pics posted up.

Also slight correction....3 cats and 1 dog. Had an old man moment!!
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:41 PM   #10
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Here are some pics. The unit is is the garage which is below the master bed room. Between the top of the unit and the bottom rafter is about 4 inches. I have a dual 1" filter tray at the bottom. Under the unit is my plenum box which is about 4" from the wall.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net...35802364_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net...42627856_n.jpg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net...88299707_n.jpg
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:46 PM   #11
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Install a good thick cartridge filter in there and keep it changed
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Install a good thick cartridge filter in there and keep it changed
Thanks. Are you referring to a 4" media type?

We change the 1" ones regularly. I use the highest 3M we can get in slot #2 and a cheap one in slot #1. Theory is to let the cheap unit catch the big stuff and the 3M catch the rest.

Been doing this for years but I have to believe their is a better way.

Last edited by Tiberian; 02-25-2012 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:30 PM   #13
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The blower in that furnace is not strong enough to handle anything tighter than a Merv 10 filter. There is no room for a 5" filter and box. That is not a bad furnace but if it is 10 yrs old or older then the inducer fan will need replacing and more repairs in the future. I would recommend you get a local HVAC guy to check out the furnace condition and give you advice on whether a different filter can be used as some serious adaptations are going to be needed. I would recommend a new 2 stage furnace with an ecm energy saving motor and probably the Trane filter and run it continuos on low speed to filter the air. Otherwise you are not going to see very much improvement. Some but it all depends how much healthier you want to be. You can call a local Lennox dealer and ask for a quote on a new furnace and at the same time ask about the filter just to get some advice.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:43 PM   #14
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Thanks Yuri. The unit is about 6 to 7 years old. We replaced the HVAC system when we started to renovate the house. Looking at some other posts I might back off to a 4" media filter instead because they appear to not restrict the air flow. Another option I just started reading about is a HEPA bypass system.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:04 PM   #15
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The blower in that furnace is not very strong and the ac will freezeup and the furnace overheat with anything tighter than a MERV 10 so you may want to use a HEPA bypass filter. You won't be able to use a 4" HEPA MERV 16 so the bypass is the only way to go. The ecm motors can easily handle most HEPA filters but then you need a new furnace.

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