Home AC filters

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Jun 12, 2007
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Just changed the AC filters in the house today. I use the 3M Filtrete 1700 series as I tend to have allergies and these are rated best. Only thing is that they are $20 each and I have to replace three: two 20x20x1 and one 16x16x1. 3M recommends changing these at three month intervals and the ones I changed today had four months of use on them and they were very dark brown and smelled. Glad to know that these filters are doing their job! Just wondering what others are using or any suggestions.
 
Joined
May 26, 2003
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Central Coast, Calif.
I use $4 pleated filters. 3M filters have been known to cause evaporator icing issues in some systems because they are more restrictive than industry stds from what I have read. If you really do need good filtration then you need an electrostatic filtering setup.
 

CharlieJ

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I have been using these for a few years and have not had any problems. They work for me. Although, I can tell a difference in air output now that they are changed. They were really clogged.
 

CharlieJ

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 Originally Posted By: tom slick
I use $4 pleated filters. 3M filters have been known to cause evaporator icing issues in some systems because they are more restrictive than industry stds from what I have read. If you really do need good filtration then you need an electrostatic filtering setup.
I did some searching about electrostatic filters and saw that they are washable and reusable. Is that what you were suggesting? Seems like a good idea.
 
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Sep 9, 2003
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Arizona
My system has a 5" thick media filter. I usually get about 10 months before the system indicates changing. I have heard of a lot of problems due to the 3M filters since they are very restrictive. Iced coils, burned out blower motors, and cracked heat exchangers.
 
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Jun 24, 2004
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St. Louis
I live in a household with two cats and someone with bad asthma. I have used Allergy Asthma Tech's filters for years. I get by with one every three months. But, at my parents house in the country I do vacuum them to extend the use. Here they are: http://www.allergyasthmatech.com/SP/AllerTech_Furnace_Air_Conditioner_Filters/68_347 According to the person who has serviced the A/C for 15 years "these are the best". However, they may not be the best in your situation. I know I dust a lot less when using them and breath easier.
 
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May 7, 2004
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Nokesville, VA
I've been buying MERV 11 filters on Ebay. They're about $60 shipped for a 12-pack. I have read that you do not want to use anything higher than a MERV 11 unless you are using thicker filters.
 
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Jun 6, 2004
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Georgia
[quote=tom slick]I use $4 pleated filters. 3M filters have been known to cause evaporator icing issues in some systems because they are more restrictive than industry stds from what I have read. Cost me about $300.00 to find out what Tom just told everyone for free. I just buy the cheap pleated filters and can them often.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
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minneapolis mn
chief you should be on my side of the fence, having to convince some one that 3m filters caused all of their problems and then convince them that they should pay me! I used to have lots of respect for 3M, they sure snowed customers and made furnace and a/c repair mans lives heck.
 

CharlieJ

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Wow. I did not realize that 3M filters were hated as much as FRAM oil filters here.
 
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Ks
 Originally Posted By: CharlieJ
Wow. I did not realize that 3M filters were hated as much as FRAM oil filters here.
Its pretty obvious when you look at a picture Can't you see the cardboard end caps?
 
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Apr 30, 2003
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Ontario, Canada
I have 1/3 of a 3M Ulltra filter in my car as a cabin air filter. It's way better to cut my own than to buy the nearly useless thing the dealer sells.
 
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Apr 22, 2007
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Houston, Tx, USA
I use the 3M 1700s and they work very well for me. I used to get congested and have a scratchy throat in the mornings, but since switching to these about a year ago, that hasn't happened. Also, noticibly less dust has accumulated inside my computer equipment. I use them for about 2 months instead of the full 3. They get pretty discolored over time. You'll be surprised to see what's floating around in your air. FWIW, my HVAC setup is only about 4 years old - while there is a bit more restriction with these filters I haven't had any trouble. It's also worth noting that the intake registers for the unit are oversize compared to the volume of air the unit mores. I expect my climate is not very different from yours; our humidity is always extremely high and so is the temperature, so A/C is run often, but I have never experienced icing. I wouldn't doubt it might happen with an older unit.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2008
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Dallas, TX
They guy that installed my brand new system last year told me to use the cheapest filter I can find that aren't the blue fiberglass type. Those don't filter worth anything. Just by looking at the 3M it seems like it would be very restrictive, which could cause all sorts of problems. I buy the cheapest white pleated filter I can find and change it once a month during peak A/C and heater seasons.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
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northern Alabama
 Originally Posted By: Brett Miller
My system has a 5" thick media filter. I usually get about 10 months before the system indicates changing. I have heard of a lot of problems due to the 3M filters since they are very restrictive. Iced coils, burned out blower motors, and cracked heat exchangers.
How does the system indicate changing - minihelic gauge? How does it crack heat exchangers?
 
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Sep 4, 2006
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MW
I think the system calculates the number of hours operated and when it exceeds a pre-programmed threshold, it advises to change the filter.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2006
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IL
A bit OT, but the filter on my cheap, builder's special Carrier furnace is locked in place by a single heavy gauge wire placed longitudinally over the center of the filter. When I used the 3M filters, I noticed that over time, the filters were buckling over the wire, enough for part of the flow to bypass. I need to figure a way to fab a frame to keep the wire and cardboad frames to stay rigid and direct the flow through the fileter media, not around it. Until I get that resolved, I'll keep using the $4 Arm and Hammer filters.
 
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