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Central gas heat question-experts

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by tcr1146, Nov 18, 2011.

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  1. tcr1146

    tcr1146 Well-Known Member

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    I need help and or advice! How frequently should I be changing the filters in my natural gas furnace and of course my central air runs through this unit? I have too much dust in my house so any advice would be appreciated! Thanks, Tom Rhoads
     
  2. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Ours has a foam filtering element and I wash it out twice each year, at the beginning of each heating and cooling "season." But we now live in a two-bedroom condo with one walk-in door, one sliding glass door and just five windows, so we might not have as much debris entering our home to filter as we did in our former five-bedroom home with numerous doors and a slew of windows. There, we had hot water baseboard heat and central A/C. I cleaned the foam and replaced the paper elements in our central air system's air intake every spring, which is what the central air system installer recommended when the system was installed in 1974.

    Ed
     
  3. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    We change ours once a month. Our programmable thermostat has variable settings to remind us when the filters are due to be changed. Filters aren't that expensive and easy to change.

    One of my buddies installs and works on furnaces and he went to small town near us (12 miles) in near blizzard conditions at night to work on a furnace. When the home owner called the first thing he ask was the filter changed recently and the home owner said it was in good condition. When Tom got there the cause of the faulty furnace was a dirty air cleaner. The home owner paid dearly for that service call.
     
  4. birdogs

    birdogs TS Member

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    Change or clean frequently. One of the worst problems caused by not doing so is that dust and dirt will clog the AC coil, cutting its efficiency dramatically and eventually making itn inoperable.
     
  5. John Galt

    John Galt TS Member

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    Nobody could possibly answer that question without knowing what type of filter you are using but a good start would to simply look at the instructions which came with the filter. Some filters are disposable, some are permenent and only need to be cleaned. Some are 1" thick which need to be replaced more often than the 6" filters. Some are flat while others are wavy which provides more filter area.
     
  6. tcr1146

    tcr1146 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! John, the heating system is probably original from mid-70s and the filters are the flat 1" style. Tom Rhoads
     
  7. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    They are all different some people can get by for a year before they need to be changed, some people a month is not soon enough, just depends on the amount of activity in the house, and pets generally make it worse

    Now I'll probably stir up a hornet's nest, but don't buy the Filtreat or other super high efficiency filters, while they are good filters they weren't made to be used in 1 inch thicknesses, the static pressure loss across a clean Filtreat, is higher than the system is designed for, and they restrict way too much air, they are worse than a dirty filter, and have ruined more compressors than just about anything

    Just a normal pleated or fiber glass filter will work fine unless you have allergies, then you might want to step up to an electronic air cleaner of a media air cleaner (April Aire etc) with a MERV rating around 13 or higher
     
  8. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

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    Edit: Catpower beat me to the punch... 11:16 am

    tcr1146:

    How often to change is one question. What kind to use is an entirely different question.

    Since YOUR question is frequency of change, I'll stick with disposable/replacable filters.

    Furnace filters are a bigger deal than many people realize. The type you use and how well you maintain it/them accounts for something like 5 to 10% of your HVAC energy bill. Some sources think it may be as high as 15%. Keep in mind that the efficiency of all HVAC systems is based on an engineered amount of air flow.

    The least expensive disposable/replacable filters are simple 1" thick fiberglass. The cheapies run a buck or so each. They allow for maximum air flow thru your HVAC system summer or winter which is why HVAC guys usually recommend them. This type isn't designed to catch a lot of dust or allergens and they don't.

    If someone in your house has asthma or allergy issues, cheap fiberglass units aren't so good. Us lungers need something with a higher MERV rating. The higher the MERV rating, the more allergens and microparticles it will filter out. However, the high MERV filters have several downsides.

    For starters, they are substantially more expensive. Then there's an efficiency issue.

    High MERV air filters are inordinantly better at removing small particles. The problem is that they also restrict designed air flow. It makes your blower motor work harder. It also guarantees your system efficiency will be somewhat less than if you used the cheap fiberglass filters.

    If I could use the cheapies, I would. I use the higher MERV variety because the efficiency of my lungs is a higher priority than the efficiency my HVAC system.

    Whatever YOU use, follow the directions. Then check them once a month. Change them as soon as there's noticable dust or dirt.

    sissy
     
  9. Zoltan

    Zoltan Member

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    Tom, we had the same issue with regards to dust. I just had the duct work cleaned and it produced 3 full garbage bags full of dust/dirt and other odd suprises like tennis balls etc. Since then the house is cleaner. Our house was built in the 50s and did not have any of the duct work addressed since the initial build. You may want to lokk at this option also and get rid of the base layer of dust and dirt that is now present.

    Roger Edgington
     
  10. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this thread - I had forgotten to change my filters out this season. Good reminder
     
  11. Allen-MX8

    Allen-MX8 Member

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    I change the filter on my furnace every three months.

    Allen
     
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