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Old 01-15-2011, 05:54 PM   #1
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


I have a 22 year old Lenox furnace with a hammock style filter. When we had the home inspected one year ago the inspector said that I could rig the furnace to use one of the new 3M cartridge style filters.

Today I found a 3M filter that fits the opening perfectly, so I used 4 pieices of old baseboard cut to wedge the 3M filter in place.

Is there any reason this is a bad idea?

I was wondering if newer furnaces that take cartridge style filters might have more powerfull fans to pull the air through these type of filters. Or perhaps if the new filter creates more resistance, could it change the air flow in the furnace creating a dangerous situation?

Right now the furnace is running with the new filter just fine...

Any input would be great! thanks

Last edited by mibson; 01-15-2011 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:19 PM   #2
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


not that the filter idea is bad, but a furnace with hammock style filter existing, probably has a cracked heat exchanger. Have it checked by a pro!
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:47 PM   #3
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


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not that the filter idea is bad, but a furnace with hammock style filter existing, probably has a cracked heat exchanger. Have it checked by a pro!
The heat exchanger was replaced 9 years ago. Perhaps its time to check it again?
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:14 PM   #4
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


or consider how in-efficient your current furnace is weather it is broken or not.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:17 PM   #5
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


Good idea on filter rack bad idea on filter choice. The 3m filters are highly restrictive and could cause you alot of problems. I would go with a different brand of pleated filter. We do many calls where the 3m is the problem.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:57 AM   #6
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


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Good idea on filter rack bad idea on filter choice. The 3m filters are highly restrictive and could cause you alot of problems. I would go with a different brand of pleated filter. We do many calls where the 3m is the problem.
What type/brand do you think is best?
And do you think I will have problems even if I make sure I change it often? (it was $20 and I cant return it now...)

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Old 01-16-2011, 07:35 AM   #7
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


Honeywell media air filters are less resistive to air flow.

As a test. check the air temp from a register close to the furnace with that 3M filter in. Then recheck with the hammock filter in. Bet you'll see a big difference. And that big difference will indicate that its not heating with the filter just fine.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:12 AM   #8
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


Problems with installing air filters that are more restrictive include:
1. Furnace now appears to be inadequate for the house.
2. The furnace fan fails due to overload, sometimes putting burnt electrical smell into the air flow as an advance warning.

I do not know how restrictive the filter you are using now is.

Sometimes the consequences of a restrictive filter don't show up until perhaps halfway into the expected lifetime of the filter.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:58 AM   #9
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


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Problems with installing air filters that are more restrictive include:
1. Furnace now appears to be inadequate for the house.
2. The furnace fan fails due to overload, sometimes putting burnt electrical smell into the air flow as an advance warning.

I do not know how restrictive the filter you are using now is.

Sometimes the consequences of a restrictive filter don't show up until perhaps halfway into the expected lifetime of the filter.
These 3m filters say they can last for 3 months, if I change it after 1 month will I avoid restricting the air flow too much by changing it before its too dirty? (Really Im wondering if I should be taking it out right now???)

Also, it is negative 25 degrees outside right now (Edmonton Canada) and the furnace is not having trouble keeping the house warm; does this indicate the filter is ok for now as long as I change it before its too dirty?

After this 3m filter I think Ill go back to cheeper "Basic" less restrictive filters and just change them more often...

Do my thoughts above make sense, or should I remove this 3m filter right now?

Note: this is the largest cartidge filter I could find (25x20 inches), wouldnt this large surface area help not restrict air flow as much?

Last edited by mibson; 01-16-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:11 PM   #10
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Rigged my furnace for a different type of air filter, bad idea?


When new, that filter will allow enough air flow to move air, the same way as a dirty Honeywell filter will. Just that the Honeywell air filter will have more life span left in it. While your 3M could need changed every 2 months.
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