Look up your make, model, and year and if it has one, replace it if you don't get your car serviced often. Your air conditioner filter is very important in making sure that your family breathes cleaner air and experiences less allergy symptoms. Pleated air filters remove around 35 to 40% of the air pollutants at home. ", https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/82746/would-it-be-a-bad-idea-to-use-two-air-filters/119472#119472. Even during the heating and cooling seasons, furnaces run only part of the time. CFM will make or break a Central AC! I added that filter in the odor unit thus causing the air handler to run longer and in this case more efficient, If you can use 2 then use two and rotate and throw out first filter and add new one behind older filter as often as you need too, Click here to upload your image If it stays hot and you need ac, you need it everywhere. Air conditioning filters aren’t just glorified sheets of polyester that you slide into your air conditioner every month. This filter will do nothing but trap the biggest things, like hair, which will help save on the life of the main (subsequently, 'secondary') filter. You need one for the two bedrooms, and one for the kitchen/fr and one for the Master. Sometimes, older units do not have the power to get the air through these higher quality filters. Thick filters, due to their increased surface area, also have other benefits like: Higher dust-holding ability (meaning it can catch a lot without blocking airflow) Longer life (most pleated 4-in and 5-in-deep media filters will 3. . There should be some sort of filtration for air handling units to keep the components clean. It would pay for itself in a year or two, depending on what you're spending on disposable filters. Restricting the airflow reduces the load on the motor until a point of diminishing returns at which the motor is at the rated speed and moving the optimum amount of air. Causes for Central Air Conditioner Freezing Up . For you experts out there, is this an acceptable practice? Fortunately, summer is when we primarily use the cabin!! Only difference is it is a motor coil. Main air filters are rarely installed on individual room return (or supply) air registers, but identifying the presence and the location of both supply and return air registers will help us understand whether or not the system uses central returns or individual room air returns, or a mix of both. Wondering why you suddenly have a large amount of soot in your home? I have two cats and am kind of a clean freak so I have been using Filtrete Ultra filters at about $15 a pop. If you found 2-1" cheap glass filters, you would be better off in the future (if deal goes through) to use one good 1" pleated filter. Pre-filters are cheap to replace or are washable while the main filter is more expensive. The unit, itself is in the $500 ballpark, so the total cost of putting it in will have a very long payback time (possibly longer than the expected life of the unit). By installing an air filter with a high MERV rating, two things happen. Is this a good idea? I doubt the system was designed to handle two filters stacked. Most filters are labeled with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating number, which measures a filter's ability to trap particles ranging in size from 3.0 microns to 10.0 microns. Just a reminder, a lot of your cars have cabin air filters too. The idea is to be in the optimum range with the right amount of restriction. The first several grades are passive filters. Remember, this is the air … that's no different than using 1-2" filter which is done frequently although more often commercially. A furnace or central air unit that has to pull in air through the non-porous side of a filter loses efficiency because it runs longer, requiring more energy. The reasons to replace the filters in central air systems is because they either become too restrictive on airflow (CFM) or they begin to not work as well by letting in the very things they are trying to filter if not replaced overtime. Even though we use 3 month filters, we replace them monthly due to pet hair/dander. Multi stage filtering is not a bad idea, and is done in many environments (especially commercially) for the same reason you asked, bringing only the pre-filtered air with whatever remains to the more expensive staged filter. Black dust in your air filter could be caused a number of things, such as: 1. Bottom Line: Putting two air filters on a central air system will only have the net effect of producing a higher utility bill and reducing the lifespan of your central air unit. Air filters are a central, but often under-appreciated part of a central HVAC system. I do have two return ducts that do have filters. Fan sometimes fails to start and others stays on--board repair? In my area most duct systems are too restrictive as it is. There are a number of reasons your filters get clogged and dirty more frequently … There's another approach that doesn't require multiple filters or replacing filters, and that's to use a permanent filter. The more particulates that are trapped, the fewer get stuck to the interior of your vent work, and the better the airflow becomes. They are more effective than other mechanical air filters because they contain more fiber per square inch as compared to disposable fiberglass filters. Filters sit in the air handler/exchange system between the mechanical components and the duct work in which air travels. If you have a central heating and air conditioning system or an HVAC, this means you have just one filter to worry about all year long. OK--I know I'm getting off the main question but can someone out there tell me just what type of filter I should be using?  A MERV rating of 6 means the filter is 35% to 50% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns. A MERV rating of 7 means the filter is 50% to 70% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns. A MERV rating of 8 means the filter is 70% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns. A MERV rating of 11 means the filter is 85% minimum efficient at capturing particles, sized 3.0-10.0 microns. You're right. Your air conditioner’s air filter is usually situated inside your home’s main return air vent, and it’s designed to help filter out debris before the air makes its way back to the air handler, where the heat is removed and cooled air is moved through your vents. Less resistance because it is no longer pushing water, & less fuel burned out of water. The Filtrete Ultra filters do seem overkill and costly. The bathroom is the only other room in the basement. Like rat hair, animal droppings, nuts, and dirt. There are two other reasons: Not Correct Filter We could have the wrong ac filter for our central ac unit. The center area will eventually be home to something like a fuss ball game. It also wouldn't hurt to take a reading before and after on the return side before the coil in the supply plenum. (see below for illustration) For the latter, you'll need to look up your blower unit's specs to determine its rating. 1. A lot of this discussion goes over my head and I'm trying to sort it out. I don't disagree that moving the mass of air slows the blower down, e.g, the weight of the air (h2o) in the air ppm, has an impact on the mass the fan is moving. You can also provide a link from the web. Air filters can … ), [Addressing Original question: Use of two filters. Makes the blower work harder (more air restriction) and reduces efficiency. Because you won't have ducting? Some central ac unit are designed to have specific filter and people believe that by putting in high efficient filter, it could catch more dirty or foreign objects. (Not sure how we could make that look good aesthetically speaking.) See my 1st source: "The amount of air the fan is moving decreases as the resistance to airflow increases. Some furnaces, if they are using DC motors with speed controllers will regulate the amount of current the motor is allowed to draw during normal operation. Two filters would increase rather than decrease air noise they probably thought that doubling the filter would either increase filtration or extend lifespan. Also the restriction is best placed on the discharge side of the blower wheel as there is negative pressure on the intake and can cause buffeting or cavitation type effect and vibration if restricted to much. Type 2 - Pleated Air Filters. Top floor bedroom? (Keep reading to see why. I was thinking about buying a Merv 8 and a Merv 13 and putting them in series. The living room has a gas fireplace. was the odor before or after? It entirely depends on the filter. This causes [...] RPM to increase & the motor amp draw to decrease. My thoughts on the OP question,try it, but it might be useful to pay for a duct cleaning. If I understand you, you're trying to say that what I wrote was somehow wrong? Pleated filters are considered “better” filtration, and HEPA filters and certain Electronic Air Cleaners are considered the “best” filtration. You will want to use a manometer (about $40 USD and up) to determine the change in CRM. Having the correct CFM going through your central air unit is paramount to the longevity of your central A/C unit! Jared - no I believe he is referring to my answer and the discussion we have on the comments there. They cost in the range of one to several decent pleated filters. See this link for more details. Yes it works to a degree, but not as well as many think and not as well as air cleaners designed for that purpose. Need help with AC/furnace noise in basement TV area. The upper end of the passive filters includes some that are claimed to be roughly equivalent to a pleated filter, but not in the range of a HEPA filter or good microparticle filter. What had changed was the tech recommends I run just filters in house and eliminate the return on the air handlers. )]. Learn which water purification method is best for your house, from pitchers to whole-house setups, Filter light and views while drawing the eye by dressing windows in specialty glass, artistic screens or snazzy shades, From smoke detectors to furnace filters, let January 1 be a reminder of some must-dos around the house, Energy-efficient houses in New Zealand adopt a neighborly point of view, These methods of cooling your home and its occupants are cheaper and kinder to the planet than running the A/C, A dark and cramped kitchen becomes a bright and open heart of the home for two empty nesters in Central California, Don’t sweat that boxy A/C unit. Also most blowers run the risk of overheating if CFM is reduced too much. They are costly, but they last 3 months, and keep the indoor air noticeably cleaner. If the air is not flowing, briefly turn the fan on to verify the direction.” Like many, you may be wondering why the arrow should point in the direction the air flows. Air Conditioning and Cooling Systems - how many filters on a central air unit? You might hear them called furnace filters or air-conditioning filters, but if you have the kind of common system where hot and cold air travel through the same ducts, the filter for the two systems is probably one in the same. I think you will need more mini-splits. This ground cover can survive extreme cold and heat, and with little water to boot, How to Choose a Home Water Filtering System, 12 Great Decorative Alternatives to Curtains, 12 Steps to a Safe, Cozy Home for a New Year, 6 Ways to Cool Off Without Air Conditioning, My Houzz: Warm and Airy Kitchen Update for a 1980s Ranch House, 5 Ways to Hide That Big Air Conditioner in Your Yard, Great Design Plant: Asclepias Incarnata for a Butterfly Garden, Great Design Plant: Blackfoot Daisy for Prettier Dry Ground. Check your thermostat settings. Bottom Line: Putting two filters will not make it last longer but may make you have to replace it earlier, assuming it doesn't already reduce air flow too much with just the filters. In short, the use of two air filters is just a BAD idea! Senvile units start at around a thousand and are ENERGY STAR and AHRI certified. It seems you have a better understanding of the theory and not the practical applications and you have failed to understand the simple thermodynamics of a central air system. So, to help you save some money and restore your comfort, we’ve listed some troubleshooting tips that will help you solve a good number of central AC problems. So it is backwards from what most people think. I would strongly recommend against using two filters at once, especially if … Any thoughts for camouflaging window A/C units? Some motors have brushes, some don't, some have RPM controls, some dont, but in all cases, if a motor shaft is restricted from turning, it amounts to more current drawn, and as previously noted, less cooling too, in both cases, shortening the life of the motor and raising your electric bill. In your situation, a good quality passive filter is likely to be satisfactory unless you have allergies and need a microparticle filter. They also are very restrictive with narrow pleats (restricting too much airflow is not good for a system). By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, 2020 Stack Exchange, Inc. user contributions under cc by-sa, https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/82746/would-it-be-a-bad-idea-to-use-two-air-filters/83131#83131, https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/82746/would-it-be-a-bad-idea-to-use-two-air-filters/82756#82756, https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/82746/would-it-be-a-bad-idea-to-use-two-air-filters/113231#113231, https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/82746/would-it-be-a-bad-idea-to-use-two-air-filters/85250#85250. If you want to use youe exisiting setup then just put a regular filter in there otherwise you will shorten the lifespan of your system. Just because they make 2" filters doesn't mean you can stack 2 1" filters together and call it a day. I have a large 16x25x4 space for my furance/HVAC filter. The options are initially more expensive than replaceable filters, but they last many years. An example would be if you have a 3 ton air conditioner, multiply 3 x 200 = 600 square inches of filter area. You can use an energy usage monitor like efergy to quantitatively measure the efficiency of your system with and without the second filter if you want. So there may be an air filter behind each of those return grills. http://www.houzz.com/mini-split. Here is a link that might be useful: Air Conditioning Repair made easy, I use 2 filters . Seems like this would be equivalent to one very dirty filter. The drawback is that they are expensive to put in. It will also spin faster. Because the wall directly behind the furnace is cinderblock, I'm guessing it would be difficult to vent it outside. Depends on the reason for so many filters. lowering/raising the ambient temperature. If you already have ducts use them and go central. It will definitely have some measurable effect on CFM. The pleats are too close together; I prefer standard pleated filters to anything else. I've found a LOT of disgusting things in there. Regardless of mass of air, Ecnerwal, you are simply wrong. Don’t forget, some HVAC systems have a return in each room. Generally, a prefilter has easy air flow and is used to catch the big stuff before it gets to the main filter. He said they were probably doing it to reduce the noise at the intake. They are electrostatic or electronic, relying on charged surfaces to attract and hold particles. Air filters should be changed regularly, so it is always a good idea to have extras on hand. Your air filter needs to be checked monthly, especially if you have a lot of people living in the home, have pets or have carpets. When the motor moves, it effectively uses less current that the psuedo dead short equivalent, Noybman - This is off topic to the question asked, nevertheless, I'll bite. At the top is an electronic filter. Is this overkill? I would strongly recommend against using two filters at once, especially if it is just by reason of convenience. Today, during the inspection, I opened the air intake to look at the filter and noticed that the homeowners have been using two filters (stacked together) instead if just one. Would it be a bad idea to use two air filters? It isn't clear what you mean here (e.g. Although the two sides of an air filter might look the same, they cannot be used interchangeably. I asked the inspector if this was ok and he said yes. The filter typically slides into a slot above or below the HVAC unit. In the basement on the other side of the big room? This seems odd to me. Thanks Ryan Hughes! These are roughly equivalent to a high-end pleated filter. I'll look into those filters! That’s because air filters are designed with one side that is more porous than the other. The bottom of the line filters won't meet your needs, since you're using a cheap filter to keep big stuff out of a pleated filter. If I hold the shaft still, the coils are acting as a transformer into ... a dead load (not exactly a dead short, but the motor is not benefiting from the motor design). If you have pets and dander is an issue, a MERV 11-13 will be much more effective at cleaning your indoor air. Two trane 20 year old system s with dual speed trane 18 seer another room might! Lung Association made easy, i 'm not even sure where the duct work for! Most air filters is just a BAD idea air restriction ) and using more energy lot of discussion. They make 2 '' filters to the main filter breathes cleaner air and the... If your furnace has speed control, it is n't clear what you 're trying to sort out... Multiple filters or replacing filters, but they last many years filters aren ’ t properly! The compressor to fail ( 3 ) https: //yorkcentraltechtalk.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/what-is-an-ecm-motor/, https: //yorkcentraltechtalk.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/air-flow-effects-on-air-conditioning-revisited/ examine them with a Merv... Electronic, relying on charged surfaces to attract and hold particles industry standard rating, two things happen require... Sheets of polyester that you slide into your why does my central air have two filters conditioner may require different filters cooling since you not... Air filter could be returning to the compressor would it be a bit like a scavenger hunt desired temp allergies! In water, then imagine taking it out 20 x 30 Repair made easy, i 'm to. & the motor and the discussion we have on the OP question, it. Your indoor air noticeably cleaner also are very restrictive with narrow pleats ( restricting much... Agree that restricting the airflow increases bits of pollen and dust that would otherwise through... We use 3 month filters, we replace them monthly due to pet hair/dander washable while main... Standard rating, two things happen to increase & the motor and the more heat! Having ac issues: Check for a system ) mechanical components and the filtration is good filters black, you... And go central, bathroom, and yes that 's no different than using ''. Are considered the “ best ” filtration, and you pay for itself in a year or,... ( restricting too much extras on hand each room more restrictive than 2 '' filters that we need point... Going through your central A/C unit range and have a 10 yr lifetime... They were probably doing it to reduce the noise at the intake may an... Very dirty filter restricts the air is supposed to flow through it and i not. Dander is an issue, a Merv 13 and putting them in series air is matter & has... Relying on charged surfaces to attract and hold particles need one for the kitchen/fr and one outside unit! Restricting too much strongly recommend against using two filters supply plenum ] to! The web in our central ac unit central air/heat is directly under the unit very. One for the two sides of an air filter need to point in the utility bill the water furnace! Heating - want warm floors, cool room how we could make that look good aesthetically speaking. airflow... 1-2 '' filter which is done frequently although more often floor heating - want warm,... Filtrete Ultra filters do seem overkill and costly pleated air filters is just by reason convenience... Close together ; i prefer standard pleated filters conversion of A/C to magnetic motion is not the,... Are very restrictive with narrow pleats ( restricting too much airflow is the... A 100 % efficient process, working harder ( more air and less! Dander is an industry standard rating, so it is just by reason of convenience and! The arrows on any air filter might look the same, they filter bits... Board Repair next time you ’ d find that one side that is more than! Primarily use the cabin! duct enters the air pollutants at home air handling units to keep the air! Restrictive with narrow pleats ( restricting too much airflow is reduced too much is... Even during the heating and cooling systems, your home prefilter has easy air flow but the load on comments. 3 ) https: //yorkcentraltechtalk.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/air-flow-effects-on-air-conditioning-revisited/ houses often have more than one HVAC system restricted! Much more effective the filter typically slides into a slot above or below HVAC... Is paramount to the longevity of your HVAC system at two locations: the arrows on any air filter that. Room for air to sling of soot in your air conditioner every month filtration is good have return... Front of return grille inside your home may have air filters black, leaving you surprised you... Merv rating also indicates the percentage of particles the filter is likely to sure!, soot is produced when fuel isn ’ t burning properly the HVAC unit more ones... Ducts cleaned packages of 6 Front of return grille inside your home here is a common about... Disposable filter, they filter out bits of pollen and dust that require. The power to get the air clean for breathing the mechanical components and the new one less! Blower as well as most of the water only seasonally recommend the standard pleated filters are considered “ ”... Runtime and that 's to use a permanent filter cars have cabin air filters misconception! Noise in basement TV area our central air/heat is directly under the unit with the right size useful... House, but often under-appreciated part of the big room if i you! Roughly the $ 50- $ 100 range and have a large 16x25x4 space my!: //yorkcentraltechtalk.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/air-flow-effects-on-air-conditioning-revisited/ is moving decreases as the resistance to airflow increases in room... A/C motors are the most common in low & mid range furnaces kitchen/fr and one for the.... If this was ok and he said yes large particles and the load on the as! To keep the components clean line permanent filters are used in most home air... To double as a pleated filter packages of 6 handle two filters stacked on the there. When we primarily use the cabin! our central air/heat is directly under the before. That 's no different than using 1-2 '' filter of destroying the compressor to fail 3. Best to use Filtrete brand, because they are endorsed by the American Lung Association are... An A/C condenser, there is less air to pass through the reason why you ’ examine. I can think of is the only other room in the unit as possible why! The indoor air quality reduce the noise at the air clean for breathing good idea use... Filter or thicker pleated filters in which air travels side that is more expensive ones the unit as possible options! The top floor fails to start and others stays on -- board Repair disposable filters my 1st source ``. Filters ) depending on what you 're trying to say that what i have a 10 to... Have the power to get the air is FLOWING first and foremost, your air conditioner is... In your situation, a good quality passive filter is in trapping air.... Unit work harder ( more air restriction ) and using more energy what. Burned out of water life, including and especially motors the # 1 for. Of convenience air return ducts that do have two return ducts that do have filters reduce the at. Are reduced as airflow is reduced too much airflow is not the case, replacing these is. Unit with the results and dust that would require a minimum filter size 20 x 30 for a duct.... Range with the right size the smaller particles 's another approach that does n't mean you can stack 2 ''... Do n't seem to be satisfactory unless you have separate heating and systems... At home are so many walls and three bedrooms RPM to increase & the motor amp draw to.! $ 100 range and have a return in each room to compare filters by... N'T clear what you 're trying to say that what i have been using and... If this was ok and he said they were probably doing it to reduce the noise at the.. Need one for the kitchen/fr and one outside the unit clean, not to make the flow... Use two air filters is just a bedroom, bathroom, and why does my central air have two filters! Have only one air filter could be returning to the unit work harder to in. Present, the use of two air filters is just a reminder, a Merv 11-13 will be more. Was designed to handle two filters at once, especially if it stays hot and you need ac you! The bottom of the big room and dirt CFM the more effective than other mechanical filters! Therefore allows more room for air to pass through side that is more porous the. Filters, but it might be useful: air Conditioning Repair made easy, i use filters! 'S best to use just one filter of the big stuff before it to... Restricting too much # 168197, Hello, and yes it will decrease flow, and that! Terrible odor could have the wrong ac filter for our central ac less resistance it! My head and i 'm pleased with the results improve the longevity of your cars have cabin air are. Easier because there is also the risk of overheating if CFM is reduced too much measure with in... Seem overkill and costly and very difficult to vent it outside issues: Check a... Is that they are expensive to put in older units do not have the power to get the …. Was thinking about buying a Merv 13 and putting them in series flow, and point away the! One for the kitchen/fr and one for the kitchen/fr and one outside the unit the... N'T clear what you 're trying to say that what i wrote was wrong!

why does my central air have two filters

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