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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

 

HEPA Filter Cartridge on Amaircare 3000 Portable Air Purifier-How Often to Change the Filter?

by Barbara 12. July 2010 13:48

Question about the Amaircare HEPA Filter Air Purifier Model 3000.

Q: "How often should I change the HEPA filter in my Amaircare 3000 portable air cleaner? I have cats and dogs and use it in my bedroom because my husband is allergic. Thanks." Susan

Answer: Usually the HEPA is changed every 2 to 3 years depending upon where the air purifier is used. What is as important is to wipe off the outside of the metal cabinet regularly and to change the pre-filters and inner filters regularly. Typically the outer filter is changed every 3 to 4 months and the inner filter every 6 months. The outer filter is made from foam and can be washed with detergent and water. The inner filter is made from a pure carbon blanket media that removes VOC's (volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, paint thinner, etc.) and is not washable.

Americair manufactures its own Amaircare® brand HEPA filters in Canada. Filament is bonded to air filter media for structural support and even pleat spacing. After pleating, filters are enclosed in protective screens and cast in food-grade plastisol at both ends for a 100% air seal. 100 square feet of HEPA filtration material captures the smallest particulates. Each Amaircare HEPA filter is then tested for 99.97% efficiency, with a laser particle counter.

The Amaircare 3000 HEPA filter is a 16 inch cartridge filter that also fits the Amaircare 3050 and and Amaircare 4000. (These units are no longer made.) The same intervals should be followed for the other Amaircare air purifiers which include the Amaircare 2500 and the Roomaid with the VOC canister filter or with the standard HEPA and pre- and post-filters. There are also VOC cartridge filters that can be added to all these air purifiers.

Important: Always replace a HEPA air filter if an air purifier is turned off for more than 3 to 5 days. HEPA is a medium in which bacteria, viruses, etc. can grow if moisture collects in the filter media. Constant air flow keeps the HEPA filter media dry and free of such contaminants. I confess that I take my canister vacuum cleaner into the bedroom, remove the outer filter, lay it on the floor and vacuum it off with the floor tool every few weeks. We have two Boston Terriers  and two cats so the dust raised is incredible. I wipe out the interior with a microfiber cloth.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara