Customer Q & A
Q1: We currently use a Carrier electrostatic air cleaner. The two side-by-side collectors total 20"x25" by 5" thick. Would it be feasible just to replace the collectors with one 20'x25" Filtrete 1550 air filter, or do we need to replace the entire unit?
You could try the Filtrete filters, and they'll certainly do better than nothing. Though I'm not sure of the exact model you're describing, the Filtrete should work as a replacement. The part I'm unsure about is if your model sends a charge through the filters, and that raises two questions for me. I'm unsure if when used with their handy dandy electrocution technology, would they present any type of hazard? I would guess not but I do not know that for sure. Secondly, does that unit product any ozone or does Carrier publish that. I would assume it's below CARB standards, but again, I'm not sure. Long term, if you don't plan on continuing to purchase their filters, it might be easier for you to just remove the unit and install a housing that would fit a 4" filter, like the Filtrete. They allow adequate airflow, and like all Filtrete filters, they are electrostatic by nature, so with that slight charge, they do a good job of drawing particles in and holding them without any additional filtration features. Sorry for the delay and hope that helps!
Q2: My furnace can accomodate either a 4in. filter or a 1 in. Could I use two filters or would this harm the unit by overly restricting airflow? If I can't, which is better the 4in with a 1550 MPR or a 1 inch with a 1900? I noticed the 1inch only captured 93% while the 4inch said 97%. Being allergy free is more important than cost.
I'm not exactly sure since I don't know the specifics about your furnace airflow, how large is the unit, how many rooms in the home, how many floors, etc., but I would recommend going with the 4" filter. While doubling the 1" filter would improve filtration, you're still going to have more filter media with the 4" filter.
The 1" filters have much tighter pleats, and I think you are right to worry that doubling this may put too much strain on the blower.
Q3: How often do these filters have to be changed? If I use a media filter, does that eliminate the need for other thinner furnace filters?
Typically, the 4" media filters last you 1 year, so replace annually. This may vary a bit depending on the conditions in your home and where you live. Areas effected by high levels of seasonal pollen may decrease the filter life.
Generally, no, a 1" filter is not required. Most often large media filters like these are used in commercial settings where air is circulated through much larger spaces than the average home. So these thicker, larger, higher capacity filters are ideal in those situations. In commercial applications these filters are changed more frequently, but in a single dwelling, you should only need one filter per year to keep the air freer of dust, dirt, and other particles.
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