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Looking for advice on home air filters

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rich Gibson, May 31, 2007.

  1. I guess age is catching up with me. I've had an uncomfortable winter and spring this year. We did some home remodeling in February and I think the joint compound hung around for months. Now the pollen is wreaking havoc and I finally went to the doctor and two inhalers later I was gradually coping...till this moring that was. I was hacking and wheezing and puzzled why I felt so miserable. On the beltway was a flashing traffic sign:

    "Ozone warning-maximize commuting!"

    Oh great! Once the pollen disappears now I have ozone warnings to look forward to all summer followed by leaves this fall; this leaves me with breathable air from Nov to December! Sheesh, you can't win. :redface:

    I've bought that Ionic Breeze and it really isn't very effective. I use 1250 rated return filters in the home ventilation system. Admittedly this was tonight so I can't really say it's helping or not, but the 1000 rated ones don't seem very good...and they're not cheap! ($30 a month)

    Our contract heating and airconditioning service swears by a particular home system filter which does this and that...sub microscopic gobble-de-gook. After some engineering analysis I'm reluctant to spend $1400 on an experiment. The doors are opened and closed all day and like every house I'm certain ours is not airtight. Furthermore, when the house cools down the air conditioner (in other words the system electronic filter) stops running and is not filtering anything. If I choose to run the fan all night I'm burning a lot of elextricity to clean the bedroom air.

    This leaves me with some sort of Hepa room air filter which runs steadily all night. Does anyone have practical experience with these tiems? Is there some unbiased reviews of the better momdels you know of?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Spend some time searching on www.masterhandyman.com lots of good info there

    I installed an electronic air filter, that replaces a standard air filter, and do run the fan round the clock. Makes a big diff. The furnace I installed has a four speed fan, lowest speed runs non stop, one of the two middle speeds is heat, and the fastest, air.

    You don't want an air tight house, you actually want a pressurized house. Easiest way to do that is bring outside air into the cold air return. That eliminates uncontrolled air infiltration, and treats the outside air.
  3. Rich,

    These small Ionic Breeze units produce a certain amount of ozone if I am not mistaken.

    It looks like a Hepa room airfilter < when you don't run the A/C> is still the most practical solution. But from my days in NOVA [Clifton] , I remember that there were very few days without the A/C running from early May thru end of Oct. We had an electronic airfilter in the central A/C system.
  4. The older ones did, but the new ones have a catalytic device which converts the ozone to oxygen.

  5. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005

    3 thoughts:

    1-HEPA is the best filtration - and very expensive. I can't justify the $$.

    2-I bought 8 small Ionic breeze air filters last year. Now there is a lawsuit which Sharper Image settled, basically stating they do not perform as advertised. All of us owners will get a Sharper Image coupon for the settlement. Limit 1 per customer. I would LOVE to sell 1 or all 8 Ionic Breezes - VERY, VERY CHEAP!! They work, but I am tired of cleaning them. I am serious, CHEAP!!!!

    3-Here is a start: go to Lowe's Building Center and buy 3M's best electrostatic charged air filter and replace your furnace filter with this high tech model for about $15.00, and it is good for 90 days. Get the one designed to fight pollen. It works well for us but to work, obviously you must run your HVAC. No blower, no filtration.
  6. Been there on ion type units. Never could decide if they really do anything. Plenty of stuff on the net about them. Needless to say I do not use them anymore.

    The Austin Air Machines are well built and are true Hepa air filters.
  7. We once had a problem with roof rat (yep, yikes) dander that got into our forced air system. My eyes were irritated to blazes for weeks.

    I over-reacted and bought two of those big round Honeywell HEPA air filters. Meant to be used by people with asthma, etc. Somewhere around $300 each.

    I parked them in a room and let them run for a day. It smelled like a forest in there. Ended up running them in the house whenever we were gone or otherwise could tolerate the noise for a few months and finally got rid of the stuff in the air.

    We didn't even have to dust for a while. :biggrin:

    Yeah I suppose this doesn't help but that's my air filter story.

    Ozone wise, I doubt anyone makes something large enough to be effective. There is a very large amount of air in a house and houses are of course not air tight.
  8. Did they sand the drywall or wet sponge it?

    If it was sanded you may need to have your duct work cleaned.
    Joint compund dust may have accumulated in the duct and is constantly being stirred up.
  9. I went to a building seminar recently on this subject. In the near future this will be a federal requirement on all new construction including residential.
  10. On our radio stations out here, lots of the jockeys to commercials for Living Air Purifiers... and one of my Dad's friends bought one for his window tinting shop... they are supposed to be good for up to 3000 sq. ft. (one small unit) and also filterless. The guy I know said it works great... check them out: http://www.thelivingairpurifier.com/
  11. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer Guest

    I am using Flanders Filters in my unit...these are supposed to be really good...I have noticed less dust settling on our furniture since using them.
  12. GoGo


    Apr 20, 2006
    New York

    1/2 a lifetime spent with an asthma sufferer, Austin air cleaner is the only one we buy.

  13. Thanks all. I'm still in Chicago so I've been out of touch for a few days. I'll research all the suggestions.

    As an engineer I'm puzzled by the pressurized house theory. First of all I've never seen (not that it doesn't exist, mind you) a stepped speed blower in a home air conditioning system.

    Further if your air input is from the outside how does the system handle pet dander, dust mites, dust that enters through the door, dirt from shoes and clothes that are already in the house and have thus bypassed the fresh air input filtration?

    Thanks, Rich
  14. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Austin Air Jr. The ONLY one to get for single room filters.......none better. Nice and quiet. Fixed my daughters stuffiness and got her sleeping through the night the very first night.... The Cat sleeps in the room and it handles that just fine....we have it under the window and even with the window open slightly...no problem. I love this little thing.

    I bought mine here: http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/
  15. Heh Rich,

    If you need to come over earlier its cold wet and miserable right now.

    Air temp is about 10 deg and we have lovely grey/black sky at present.

    Perfect for todays Bank Holiday Monday.

    Big event on now in Dublin and its a washout.

    PS. I'll collect you in airport if leaving now......:biggrin:
  16. Cant argue with two solid recommentstions.

    Thanks, Rich
  17. Don't hold back, now...go on, tell us how it really is!

  18. Rich,

    I seem to remember a room filtration company based in chicago. They had an excellent product....I'll see if I can dig up their name.

    If your house is negative, and 99.9% houses are, air comes in uncontrolled and unfiltered. With positive pressurization, the air comes into the cold air return, where it next goes through the filter, and then through humidity and temperature treatment (hot or cold). In a hot humid environment, you can not run the fan 24x7 like I do, because it induces constant humidity increases. In the winter time, uncontrolled air infiltration is a big cause of being cold, with the thermostat showing a higher temperature. The stuff that comes in the door, gets sucked up through the normal circulation and stopped at the filter.

    One other thing to consider, is having the ducts cleaned. The industry is wrought with scam artists, so check references!

    My furnace fan has four speeds, and most newer systems have at least three. BUT, most vendors will hook up one speed only. I almost installed a variable speed motor with 2 stage heat, distributer talked me out of it, and I still regret that one.
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