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scarl 08-15-2008 11:24 AM

My HVAC repairman recommends cheap filters?
Over the last 2 years,

I have had a couple of blown run capacitors on my unit.

If I am not mistaken one was on the air handler, (inside) and one was on the outside unit.

It is only four years old.

My repairman, has told me repeatedly to get rid of my pleated allergen filters, and replace them with spun glass filters. He says they cause damage to the units because of their high airflow restriction...

Does this make sense? Both my wife and I have bad allergies, and the pleated filters make are allergies much less sensitive.

But I don't want to ruin my equipment.

Kind Regards,


8 Ball 08-15-2008 05:13 PM

Unless he can show you that the amp draw is being hockey!!

I wonder if he has ever heard of an "Air Bear", or a "Spaceguard" filter. All of these filters are designed and marketed to the residential market, very successfuly I might add, because they work, and have worked for many many years. Keep the filter...dump the tech.

He might spend his time trying to balance your service, and figure out why your capacitors are blowing.

geo fan 08-15-2008 05:41 PM

he is wrong
the increased restriction caused by the denser material is countered by the increased total surface area of the filter ( pleats ) . bottom line

8 Ball 08-15-2008 07:04 PM

What he said...golden.

scarl 08-15-2008 09:04 PM

What do you mean when you say "balance your service"?

And where can I purchase either brand of these filters, air bear or spacegaurd?

I am not familiar with either...

I am only familiar with the brands available at Home Depot or Lowes,

Again, kind regards, and thank you.


hvac122 08-15-2008 09:23 PM

Filterette filters are the absolute worse filters you can use. They are so dense that they cause very big problems with you static pressures. They can cause furnaces to overheat and cycle on limits and many other problems with air flow.

The air bears and other types of filters are designed with less of a pressure drop and will serve your system well. They are 4 or 5" media filters and require a larger opening to install or a special cabinet. If you must use a pleated filter 1" then ask your tech to get you a supply that has a better static pressure rating.

Filterettes are furnace killers.:(

scarl 08-15-2008 09:40 PM

So, besides upgrading to one of the thicker 3-4 inch deep filtering systems,
are there any 1" allergen filters, pleated or otherwise, that are worth a hoot?

Or should I just make the investment and add (retro-fit?) one of these high-end whole house systems?
What kind of costs can I expect to be involved in something like this?


concretemasonry 08-15-2008 10:03 PM

Limit yourself to a rating of 8 MERV for the filters and use 1" pleated filters. The very fine filters can plug very quickly and can overload a system by limiting the return air. Note that despite all the advertising, there is no rating on the Filtrate filters except, great, superior, super and exceptional or something else as meaningless.

Unless you have severe allergies these 8 MERV should be fine.

The good filters I use are in a green package. They work, are cheap and come 3 to a pack. As much as I dislike HD, that is the one thing I routinely buy for my allergies and dust. I change monthly.

geo fan 08-16-2008 09:30 AM

every 1 inch filter 1 month
I have stated my point already but in revisiting this post its worth restating. the worst thing you can do for your system is put a cheap filter in the dirt that gets though will stick to the condensation on your evaporator coil , increase the frequency of clogged drains, collect on the coil to resrtric air flow , act as a sponge to hold water on your coil wich causes mold growth. the ONLY way a 1 inch pleated filter will cause problems is if your return duct is under sized or if you let it get plugged , but a cheap filter getting plugged will cause the same problems and both recomdend a 1 month replacement . by the way these facts come from pro experence
I install april air space guard media filters and yes they have much less restriction much more surface area but can collect dirt for 6 months because of that

8 Ball 08-16-2008 06:09 PM

According to the ASRAE 52.2 standard;

MERV = Minimum Energy Reporting Value testing of particulates ranging in size from 1-10 microns.

MPR = Microparticle Performance Rating testing of particulates ranging in size from 0.3-1.0.

A Filtrete allergen filter manufactured by 3-M has a MPR rating of 1250, which is equal to a MERV rating of 12. not meaningless.

What it does mean is that when these filters are used properly they are more effective at trapping smaller particles than most people can imagine.

Now, granted, I should have qualified my response to say that these filters cannot just be slid into place on a system that has been in service for a while, and all is well. Ductwork should be cleaned professionaly before they are installed, and they should be replaced much more frequently than a standard filter, keeping in mind that the filter, is simply trapping more and smaller debris.

There are many many manufacturers of these types of filters, and I am not defending 3-M, make an educated choice, and understand the limitations and or benefits, of the product you are using.

To the original post... I wouldnt go spending 600-1000 dollars on a new filter system until you do a little more research on what will serve your needs best, what you have may meet this criteria.

Balancing your service means to get both sides of your electrical service drawing close to the same amperage, at full load.

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