HVAC and Ionizer advice needed

  
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EddieWalker

EddieWalker

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For a lot of animals in the house, I'd go with a MERV10 4" air cleaner, such as a Honeywell F100. A 20"x20" 4" MERV10 has more surface area than a 20"x20" 2 air filter. Thing is, you probably would need to do some duct modifications to install the cabinet (which holds th filter) in the duct.

For your current 2" MERV13 filter, my only concearn would be if you were using a 1" poly or fiberglass air filter in the past (say a MERV8 or MERV10 rating) and now going to a MERV 13, I'd just check the static pressure of your duct. MERV13 offers more resistance to airflow, and depending on what your static pressure was before going to the MERV13, you could possibly end up hurting your HVAC system over the long haul with a higher MERV rating (higher rate of blower motor burnout over time being the prime victim).

No idea on what a ionizer would do for dogs as I've never followed up with anyone where one was installed, but they do help immensely with other indoor air qality issues. I wouldn't waste my time with a stand alone unit for one room.

I will agree about the price your HVAC guy gave you on the surge protector, but if the sub $600 price was for an install on a iWaveR, REME HELO or Dust Free IAQ ionizer, that's a GREAT price. The reality is a decent duct ionizer costs at least 10 time more than a surge protector.

Thanks for this info. I went with MERV13 because of a chart that showed it catching more stuff then the lower numbers. I never thought about air flow. I'll try a MERV10 the next time I need filters, or do you think I should order then now?

I didn't understand if you think the ionizer works at reducing what is getting on my coils, or if the bigger filter will do the job instead? My thinking is to do a better job of cleaning the coil like you guys are suggesting, and seeing what the 2 inch filter does.
 
  
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EddieWalker

EddieWalker

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First, don't use a wire brush. They make brushes specifically for coils that won't damage them, like this:

TOUGH GUY Condenser Brush, Polyester, Brush Length '('In.')' 2 1'/'8 in, Handle Type Plastic, Handle Color White - 3HHE8'|'3HHE8 - Grainger

Second, have you tried using spray-on coil cleaner? They make several types. One requires rinsing. One is no-rinse. I use the no-rinse in my house. We have indoor cats, so lots of cat hair. It dissolves most dirt, dust and grease after you brush off the pet hair and vacuum it out.

It comes in aerosol cans, or, you can buy it on bulk gallons and mix it up in a pump sprayer.

We had an electrostatic air filter on our furnace (still do, but disconnected). It worked just O.K. It just had what looked like window screens in front of it to trap large particles like dust bunnies and pet fur. The device itself has wires and plates. Anything coming through it would get zapped and stick to the plates. Once a month you have to pull the two plates sections out and you can either rinse and brush them clean, or put them in the dishwasher.

The ZAPPING would get annoying, and would signal it was time to clean it. Kinda like having a bug zapper in your ducts.

Anyhow, if you haven't tried a brush, vacuum and coils spray first, I'd go that route.

You could also go with double filters. Put some lower-rated filters in front of your high-rated filters. The lowers will be sacrificial and the higher will last a very long time.

I have a nylon parts cleaner brush that I tried using at first, but it didn't accomplish anything. I went to the wire brush because that's what the HVAC guy suggested. I just dragged it along the direction of the fins and pulled out as much hair as it could, then cleaned it out and did it again. This took awhile, but I went from not being able to see through the fins, and then being able to see the coils clearly. They are dirty, and the fins are dirty, but air can flow through them now.

I tried a type of radiator cleaner stuff on my tractor that didn't seem to do anything, so I didn't try anything on my AC coils. Is there a brand that I should look for?
 

MossRoad

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I have a nylon parts cleaner brush that I tried using at first, but it didn't accomplish anything. I went to the wire brush because that's what the HVAC guy suggested. I just dragged it along the direction of the fins and pulled out as much hair as it could, then cleaned it out and did it again. This took awhile, but I went from not being able to see through the fins, and then being able to see the coils clearly. They are dirty, and the fins are dirty, but air can flow through them now.

I tried a type of radiator cleaner stuff on my tractor that didn't seem to do anything, so I didn't try anything on my AC coils. Is there a brand that I should look for?

I've just used the spray cans from Lowes, Menard's, etc... at home. It seems from year to year the brands change. I don't have a favorite.

At my job, we use some commercial grade stuff that we have to mix in pump sprayers.
I happen to be sitting next to some of it right now...

43F9B002-565A-4010-BBBB-607BA191BB98.jpeg

The pink one we only use on outdoor condensers and it has to get rinsed off. The green one is self-rinsing and is safe for meat and poultry plants, so we're told to use that one on the indoor units.
 

MossRoad

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Nothing seems to work good on the pet hair better than brushing it off the coils. Preventing it from getting there in the first place seems like the best alternative, although sometimes, that's pretty hard. We've always had cats, so we've always dealt with cat hair. When we had a dog, he didn't shed much, so it was still blamed on the cat! :laughing:
 

MossRoad

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I think the last one's I got from Lowe's or Home Depot was in a green and yellow can. It worked really well on the greasy dust.
 

Sigarms

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Thanks for this info. I went with MERV13 because of a chart that showed it catching more stuff then the lower numbers. I never thought about air flow. I'll try a MERV10 the next time I need filters, or do you think I should order then now?

I didn't understand if you think the ionizer works at reducing what is getting on my coils, or if the bigger filter will do the job instead? My thinking is to do a better job of cleaning the coil like you guys are suggesting, and seeing what the 2 inch filter does.

Honestly IMO, your HVAC guy should of done a static pressure check to begin with and let you know where you're at (this IMO should of been done when they changed the system out).

The reality is on the HVAC side, things are cheaper labor wise on retrofit and new install than adding a IAQ (AKA IAQ) or anything else onto your HVAC system. Not certain how long you had the dogs, but during changeout to the Amana system, IAQ should of been addressed with you on "future possibilities" on what can happen with your home and what you're looking at doing (generally the conversation can go nowhere on IAQ, and people want the least expensive option, but every once in a while, pets, allergies and other things do come up in the conversation where your HVAC guy can offer you options since he's already replacing the system).

The truth is, without knowing the actual static pressure with the old 1" (who knows what MERV rating) and going with the 2" MERV13 filter, no clue if you should try MERV10 or stick with the higher rated MERV13. Your ductwork may be able to handle the increase MERV rating or it may be too small. The only way is running a static pressure test (running piton tubes in the ductwork, a pretty good short video I found).


When it comes to IAQ, honestly, for a dummy like me, it gets confusing as far as what works and what doesn't (statistics from every manufacturer can vary, and the one thing I learned about stats is it all depends on your angle and what you're selling on how you use those stats). I know a lot of people who swear by ionizer air cleaners (Dust Free, REME HALO and iWaveR) which I could recommend and feel are the better brands out there because people who have those units installed have never complained and seem happy with how those units affected their home (without some kind of actual, testing it could just be a placebo effect, but as long as the buyer is happy, who cares?).

I do some selling from time to time, and when I do, I try to treat each homeonwer as if they were my own parents, and my parents were tight with their money! The reality is though I've never tried a IAQ ionizer one in my own home and did research on it and could speak from personal experience. What I do know is the IAQ market is sky high right now with the COVD19, and I had to wait 3 months for a whole home HEPA MERV16 whole home air filtration system that the homeowner wanted.

What I do know is no one I know of complained about spending money on a IAQ "ionizer".
 

Sigarms

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I've just used the spray cans from Lowes, Menard's, etc... at home. It seems from year to year the brands change. I don't have a favorite.

At my job, we use some commercial grade stuff that we have to mix in pump sprayers.
I happen to be sitting next to some of it right now...

View attachment 676761

The pink one we only use on outdoor condensers and it has to get rinsed off. The green one is self-rinsing and is safe for meat and poultry plants, so we're told to use that one on the indoor units.

Triple D is what you seek young Padawan:D

Condenser coils made of copper oxidizes over time, discoloring the copper tubes. People take the "off color" of the copper (after the copper oxidizes) as being dirty. The problem with acidic type coil cleaners (notice your pink coil cleaner states "corrosive"?) is that the chemicals can "eat" at the copper, thus cleaning it to the end users eyes, because it can take the discolorization of the oxidide copper off. The issue is if you keep cleaning the coil annually with corrosive coil cleaner, you can cause your copper coil more harm than good.
 

Snobdds

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I put air filters in my return air ducts to catch stuff before returning to the furnace to become positively charged again, basically it helps with static electricity generated by the friction of air movement in the ducts. Cheap and really works great.
 

MossRoad

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I put air filters in my return air ducts to catch stuff before returning to the furnace to become positively charged again, basically it helps with static electricity generated by the friction of air movement in the ducts. Cheap and really works great.

Aren't most air filters in the return air duct just before the fan?
 
 
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