Home AC/Furnace Filters.

Messages
6,228
Location
Texas Hill Country
So, my spec house in Texas has an undersized return air side. I need to use fiberglass type filters to keep the restriction low on the system. I have been buying the home depot or lowes blue fiberglass filters. Have not had good results with them, they never get dirty. And we have two cats, so it should pick up some hair and dust. Lowes stopped carrying my size, so I started trying several models from Amazon and Ebay. I could not find a filter that fit the housing properly, it is mounted upside down in a ceiling of my hallway. The AC/Furnace sits in the attic mounted horizontally. Anyways, I have found a disposable filter that works well. The brand is Glasfloss Industries. They just call it a disposable filter. http://www.glasfloss.com/disposable-panel-filters/ I have had very good results with this filter. Very little restriction on the system, which runs a lot in the Texas summer. Also improved airflow through the vents, which means that the house gets cooler faster. I can feel the difference of air blowing through the vents. Probably I get lower utility bills as compared to a panel type filter. Not confirmed though. I can confirm that my electric bill was 40 percent less than this time last year. Many other improvements were done such as new doors, solar screens, and caulking/painting the whole exterior of the house. Filter probably has very little to do with this. So, I purchase a case of these GlasFloss filters for about 30 bucks on Amazon. During the heat of the summer, I replace twice a month, during the rest of the year once a month. Every time I change the filter it is DIRTY. I clean the housing with a feather duster, and suck all the dust out, then replace the filter. I will continue to buy this brand of filters. I'm very disappointed in Lowes and Home Depot. They are moving to panel filters pretty much only, and a few fiberglass filters. Many older AC units were designed for fiberglass, and a restrictive panel element is choking them. I see people in the stores buying $15 each panel filters, it is just funny to me. If you want to clean the air in your house, buy a media cleaner, but your AC system is not cleaning the air in your home.
 
Messages
5,961
Location
DFW
Justin, I feel your pain. My house is a 1996 vintage tract house. My 4-ton system (1,800 sf house) had ONE return air register (20 x 20) with a 15" return air duct connected to it. The thing sounded like a vacuum cleaner whenever the system ran. Ultimately, I built a supply plenum for the unit, ran an additional 10" flex duct to the other side of the house, and installed a second filter grill. Made a massive difference in cool air balance, performance, and efficiency of the system (cycles on and off more often on the hottest days). I have noted that different brands of filters, though they claim the same dimensions, are not precise in their measurements. I installed self-adhesive door weatherstripping in the filter grill to hold the filters in place (mine are in the ceiling as well) and prevent infiltration of dust around the filter frame.
 
Messages
6,248
Location
Illinois
I use an electrostatic filter that has a open design. Been using it for over 30 years with no problems. Take it out once a year and clean it with soap and water.
 
Messages
5,961
Location
DFW
^Those older ones were very expensive when new, but quite effective. The way my unit hangs in the attic I have no space to add a filter cabinet - or, even a filter frame. So, I make do with two filter grills. Since the intake air flow was increased so much I am able to use the MERV 7 pleated filters. I leave the blower on continuously and it cuts down substantially on general dust in the house.
 
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