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How To Choose the Best Furnace Filter for Your HVAC System

by Barbara 4. November 2015 04:56

Question: How do I choose a furnace filter for my HVAC system?

Answer: Always check with your HVAC technician prior to replacing your furnace filter. He or she is knowledgable about the air duct capacity and motor capacity of your system. Another option is to match the furnace filter in your system with another that is the same MERV rating or  MPR (Microparticle Performance Rating)‎. Explain that the 1 inch filter has an internal frame, that no air can go around it. Similarly the 4 inch thick unit is made to fit a 4 or 5 inch filter slot.

The buyer of a furnace filter must assume responsibility for his or her choice of furnace filters. No on-line company nor box store knows the age, the air duct capacity, the motor capacity, etc. of your HVAC system. Only your HVAC technician is qualified to determine the density of a filter that will work in your furnace and cause no problems.

Safe Home internal frame filters have two layers of media. The white side must be inserted into the filter panel so that the air flow goes through that part first. With the internal metal frame, this filter fits very tightly into the opening. No air can go around it. Your HVAC technician needs to know that this is an internal frame filter with no air escaping around it.

The Safe Home Duo 4 filters are also made to fit very tightly in the filter holder. This unit is also marked so it must be installed so that the air flow goes through the filter in the correct direction. Again it is important that your HVAC technician be aware of this tight fit. These units replace 4 or 5 inch thick filters. Always insert so that airflow goes first through the white side.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

Disposable 4 Inch Furnace Filters MERV 8 with Carbon/Potassium Permanganate to Remove Odors, Dirt and Chemicals

by Barbara 21. January 2012 17:10

Question about the difference between a 4 inch Trion Air Bear Filter Pleated Furnace Filter and the Safe Home Duo Air Purify Furnace Filter 16x25x4 Inch.

Q; "How does the Safe Home Duo4 differ from the pleated 4 inch Trion Air Bear brand filter I currently use in my HVAC system? We are an allergic family but do not want the expensive, high maintenance HVAC systems with HEPA filters or electronic air cleaners. We were looking at the Envirosept Electronic Furnace Panel but those electronic furnace panels come only for one inch furnace slots. Thanks. Tim."

Answer:  Websites that sell the Trion Air Bear Filters note the high efficiency of filtration of the Trion Air Bear whole-house media air cleaners because of synthetic filter media and extended surface pleats that let the air pass straight through the pleats. The consensus is that using highly efficient air filters can increase HVAC equipment life (the motor, etc. remain cleaner) and save money.

Trio Air Bear and Safe Home Duo4 Filter Similarities:

  • Synthetic filter media
  • Extended surface pleats
  • Omni-directional air flow
  • MERV 7 to 8 rating: Note, using a high MERV rated filter on an older furnace with a smaller furnace motor is not advised. 
  • Fit tightly in filter slot: air must go through filter

Trion Air Bear and Safe Home Duo4 Filter Differences:

  • Air Bear has metal wires
  • Safe Home™ Duo4 has Formaldesorb™ impregnated into the media filter so odors, dust, pollen and chemicals are stay in the filter as air flows through it.

So why choose the Safe Home Duo4 Filter over the Trion Air Bear? The major reason is the Formaldesorb™ addition to the media material. Formaldesorb™ combines activated carbon and potassium permanganate. Chemicals like activated carbon and potassium permanganate make the filter media more efficient as they absorb smoke and chemicals as well as neutralize odors. So the air in your home or office is cleaner and smells fresher.  The only other air purifier units that use this combination are the Miracle Air PM-400 Commercial Grade Air Purifier. The MiracleAir HEPA Filtration System is portable and has an activated carbon pre-filter, 82 sq. feet of hospital grade HEPA plus a 15 pound carbon/potassium permanganate filter cartridge that has 12 lbs of activated carbon and 3 pounds of alumina potassium permanganate. So using the Safe Home™ Duo4 gives you a similar combination of carbon and potassium permanganate to reduces odors and volatile organic chemicals in a furnace filter.

Safe Home Duo4 Filter Specifications:

  • Thickness: 4 inches, also fits 5 inch filter slots
  • Captures up to 95% of common household allergens for allergy relief
  • Eliminates odors from pets, paint, cooking, and more
  • Uses high density carbon and advanced compounds plus synthetic filter media
  • Highly effective and affordable: Uses the same materials that protect critical environments in most hospitals
  • MERV 7 polyester white ASHRAE rated allergen filter plus an industrial chemical and odor filter,
  • Replacement intervals: every 3 to 6 months depending upon air quality of building.
  • Fits tightly in slot due to foam around entire outside of filter.
  • 300 grams per square foot of a 50/50 activated carbon and FormaldaSorb™ blend
  • Made in USA
  • Note: This furnace filter is not a control device for radon, carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.
  • Limited Warranty: Free of manufacturing and material defects . If product is found defective within 30 days of purchase, it will be replaced at no additional charge. 
  • Product is not packaged for sale outside of the United States

Many furnace filters remove dust and dirt, only one aspect of indoor air pollution. Levels of gases from cleaning products, formaldehyde out-gassing from laminated wood, VOC's i.e volatile organic compounds etc. are higher than in the past because of increased sealing and insulation of homes and businesses. For those with allergies and chronic medical problems, indoor air pollution is uncomfortable if not dangerous. The EPA ranks indoor air as often a greater risk than outdoor pollution and water contamination. Allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as long term health problems, are often caused or triggered by these common gases. In many areas, polluted indoor air is a greater health threat than outdoor air or contaminated water.

Thank you for your question. If your allergy symptoms require more, you may want to add a supplemental air purifier system. Consider the Airpura P600-W HEPA,VOC, UV HVAC Whole House Air Purifier which filters air even when the furnace blower is off. This unit pulls air from your return air ducts and passes it through HEPA filtration and a VOC filter while the UV light works to kill bacteria and viruses.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

All Furnace Air Goes Thru Safe Home Brand Disposable Furnace Filter With Self-Sealing Frame

by Barbara 14. December 2011 09:02

Question about why the Safe Home Duo 16 x 25 x 1 furnace filter is a better furnace filter than a washable metal one or a fiberglass disposable one.

Q: "Please explain why this furnace filter is superior to a washable metal furnace filter or a disposable fiberglass disposable furnace filter. Thanks. Sam

Answer: Differences are several:

  • All air must pass through the Safe Home Duo furnace filter because the frame is internal. The twin media covering the frame are self-sealing. To install, push the Safe Home filter into the one inch slot. The soft filter media seals against all 4 edges.
  • Each Safe Home Duo filter has two types of media: one layer is for dust, dirt and pollen; the second layer also contains an odor and formaldehyde absorbing layer.  Judged to be 95% effective at filtering out dust, dirt, allergens, etc.
  • Compare 95% effectiveness of the Duo with either an all metal filter or one made of fiberglass. Fiberglass tend to clog quickly with large dirt particles, restricting air flow while letting small particles go through. These smaller particles can include mold and bacteria. Fiberglass are often rated at 2% effective while non-electrostatic are rated at 4% effective or less.
  • Neither the metal washable filter nor the disposable fiberglass filter contains activated carbon and potassium permanganate, the filter media for odors and chemicals such as formaldehyde and paint fumes.
  • The Safe Home Duo is a MERV 8 rated filter made in the USA: inexpensive metal and fiberglass filters are often MERV 2 or 3.
  • No mess. No time spent washing filters. Just put the dirty Duo filter into the garbage and replace with a clean one every 3 to 4 months or more often if yours is an exceptionally dirty environment.

Installation Instructions: The white side of the filter should face incoming air. In most systems, the white side should face away from the air handler or furnace equipment. Air should enter the white side, which traps allergens, and exit through the dark side, which traps gases and odors.

Note: Check with your HVAC technician to verify that your system is able enough to handle the density of a MERV 8 filter before purchasing this or any other MERV 8 filter. Install this MERV 8 with Air Flow First Going through the White Media. Made in USA.

Thank you for your question. We sell the Safe Home Duo in many sizes. We also sell the Safe Home Duo Air Purify Furnace Filter 20x20x4 In. and other sizes in the 4 inch furnace filters. These thicker furnace filters also have self-sealing edges around a 4 inch furnace filter core to filter out allergens with the Formaldesorb carbon and potassium permanganate.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

Envirosept Furnace Panel Sizes Are Often Rounded Up to Next Whole Number

by Barbara 25. May 2011 10:38

Question about Envirosept Furnace Filter Panels and How to Choose the Correct Size.

Q: "I have bad allergies. I have a 5 ton Carrier HVAC system. I am currently using the disposable paper filters with the cardboard surrround. When I push the filter into the 1 inch furnace slot, the spring at the back causes the filter to buckle. My furnace slot is 21.5 x 23.25. Do you have an Envirosept to fit this size opening? Is this more effective than a paper filter? How does it work? Thanks. Bill"

Answer: In the furnace industry, furnace filter sizes are actually rounded up to the next whole number. (Thank you for your question because this was not a fact that was active in my mind!) I phoned the manufacturer and learned this and also that a 2 x 4 is actually 1.75 inches by 3.5 inches! Actually, in the first paragraph of every Envirosept Furnace Panel, Safe Home does give this information!

To determine the actual size of what you need, imagine a picture frame. You would measure that edge to edge across the top and the same up the side. That is how you measure a furnace filter. Then you pick the next larger furnace filter or furnace panel. Or you can remove the disposable furnace filter and measure it the same way.

In your situation, you would need the EnviroSept 22x23 Furnace Filter Panel,14 Filter Pads. This panel actually measures 21.5 inches by 23.25 inches, the measurements you gave me on the phone. This Envirosept includes 14 filter pads, two of which are in the furnace filter panel when it is delivered. So this filter size is rounded up if it is .5 inches for the 22 part and rounded down for the 23 part since your filter is 23.25 inches.

To get the most from your Envirosept, you need to run the fan continuously and change the filter pads regularly. This can mean every 3 to 4 weeks or even longer. We recommend that you check the panel after the first two weeks. Your choice then is to take the dirty primary filter and throw it out and use the secondary filter in the primary or first slot or replace both filter pads. Remember you do need an electrical outlet for this unit.

Thanks for your questions.

Sincerely, Barbara

What Makes an EnviroSept Furnace Air Filter Panel Better than a Washable One?

by Barbara 25. November 2009 10:07

Question about the Envirosept Electronic Furnace Filter Model 1625.

Q: "Currently I am using disposable furnace filters. I am considering the Envirosept but wonder if this performs any beter than the washable furnace filters. We do have allergies to dust. Thanks." Frank

Answer:  I have two answers, one based upon personal experience here at our Safe Home Products' office and one based upon information from the manufacturer.

At our offices, we have numerous printers plus the dust and dirt that drifts in from the frequent comings and goings into our large warehouse. We tried a fiberglass filter initially and then replaced it with a 1625 Envirosept furnace panel. The amount of dust that collects on desks, monitors, etc. decreased significantly with the Envirosept. We do have to change the filters about every three weeks.  I, too, am allergic to dust plus pollen and more. The EnviroSept keeps the air clean so I'm not sneezing!

Second, the manufacturer, Aqua Air Technologies shares that there is no way to compare the EnviroSept to either the frictional electrostatic filters or the standard fiberglass ones that you throw away. Mike explains that the Envirosept is up to a thousand times more effective under normal operating conditions.  "In theory, the plastic/glass strands are supposed to develop a static electric charge as the air passes through the filter, much like when you comb your hair. However, you need very low humidity to create any type of low level static charge. This charge is quickly lost as soon as the filter collects any dust, which insulates the plastic/glass strands and prevents the generation of any static charge. It would appear that the only benefit these filters offer is that they are permanent. Further, you do have the dirty task of washing these filters every two-three months. In addition, these filters have been known to cause major air restriction problems after several years that may damage your heating/cooling system."

Our unit is 5 years old and we've experienced no problems. The Envirosept units come in many sizes. All the units we sell come with 14 filter pads, enough for most people for at least 1 year.  The power used is minimal and the cost cannot be beat! Changing the filters is easy. Just unplug the panel. Slip it out. Open the clips. Remove the dirty filters, replace into the one inch slot after fastening the clips and plug in. Wipe off the grids with a damp microfiber cloth if necessary and let dry before refilling and replacing.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Whole House Envirosept Furnace Panel Questions

by Barbara 11. August 2000 14:13

Q: "Before I buy an EnviroSept furnace filter panel, I need some questions answered.

  1. Can this unit be used in a heat pump forced air unit?
  2. With a gas pack unit?
  3. Is there a reduction of air flow through the filter? How much?"

Answer: The answers to questions 1 and 2 is "yes." The answer to question 3: yes the air flow is reduced somewhat. A clean fiberglass filter has an airflow reduction of .05 and this restriction with the Envirosept panel is .20.

Please let us know the size of your current fiberglass filter so we can help you choose the correct unit. Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

Comments: The Envirosept comes in sizes to fit all HVAC units. Maintenance is minimal: polywool filters need changed every month for most homes. Once a year or so, the panel needs wiped off with a microfiber or lint-free cloth.