Now that you have read all about Musty Smelling Furnaces cooling human skin and spreading dander and pollen all over your home you need to know how to fix this problem.
We have a classroom at our main facility for training our service technicians. In this classroom we installed nearly every type of whole house air cleaner on the market. We have tested them all and we keep them in our classroom so that we can review the data from time to time.
Before I give you the results I want you to know that no matter how good your filter or air cleaner is, if your ducting isn’t really close to perfect, you are just spinning your wheel and wasting your money on getting cleaner air. The ducting must be near perfect for proper air cleaning.
Every brand and type of air filter we tested, electrostatic, 4” pleated, 6” pleated, hog hair reusable, throw away dime store were all garbage. They simply did not work very well at all and it didn’t matter if we paid $3 for the filter or $103 for the filter. All of these filters were brand new out of the box. We didn’t test them as they got dirty, at least not yet, but the results were so bad that we aren’t going to pick them anyhow.
The testing was using a freshly calibrated particle counter that counts particles of 3 microns and smaller. You cannot even see these particles until they build up, but your allergies know that they exist. Our classroom was the test stage. The doors were closed and an initial particle count was taken. It was about 1,100,000 million particles. Every one of the filters initially tested brought the particle count to between 900,000 and 950,000 in a single pass. That isn’t cleaning.
The first one we tested was 3M Filtrete 1” pleated filter. This one tested at about 400,000 particles through it on the first pass. This is very good for such an inexpensive filter, but still not clean. I am not going to recommend this filter for air conditioning systems as it severely restricts airflow and this can cause damage to your air conditioner, but for heat only systems and if your allergies are light, not severe, you might want give this filter a try.
The second one tested was an Electronic filter. These are not in favor anymore by very many heating and air conditioning technicians. As they get dirty they stop cleaning the air and these are prone to breakdowns and they make noise. I have never like them, but on first pass this filter brought the particle count down to 375,000 and after 20 minutes brought it down to 300,000. This filter works better on multiple passes as it creates a little bit of ozone and this makes smaller particles stick together so the filter can pick them up. We used 20 minutes because air cleaning furnaces equipped with variable speed blower motors are usually set to run 20 minutes continuously out of every hour of operation. We are now getting down to cleaner easier to breathe air, but I still wouldn’t recommend this type of filter.
The next test was an IQ-AIR Perfect 16. This is touted as the worlds as the world best air filter. On the first pass this brought the particle count to an amazing 90,000 count and in 20 minutes it brought the count to an extremely low count of 40,000 particles. That is very clean. I highly recommend this filter for allergy suffers.
The next test was on an American Standard AccuClean and Trane also provides this air cleaner under the name CleanEffects. It’s first pass brought the particle count to a very low 125,000 particles. Within 20 minutes the particle counter registered 0 and then hovered back and forth, as I called everyone into the classroom to witness this, between 0 and 1200 particles per cubic foot. I certainly recommend this for everyone that is not ozone sensitive.
The IQ-Air Perfect 16 air cleaner does not use ozone while the AccuClean does. Some people are hyper sensitive to ozone and that would mean that the IQ-Air Perfect 16 should be their air cleaner of choice.
I have the American Standard AccuClean air cleaning system in my home.