Why Can’t I Use 90 Day or 3M Type Filters?
I get this question it seems like every day. I mean, by just reading some of the claims on the packaging, I see what you mean.
“Less dust so less dusting, keep your furnace and Air Conditioning system cleaner” — and my favorite — “change your filters less often”.
These filters are like sticking an extremely dirty filter in to change 90 days later. Heating and Air Conditioners in Chicago really work hard, except for about 2-3 months.
There are a lot of factors that go into this and I will try to list the top three.
Old homes in Chicago were built years ago, we didn’t know about the importance of air flow and the relation to maximum performance and efficiency. My house was built in the late 30’s and I knew the original family who first bought the house (I bought from the son). His father went to Sears to buy their heating system and it was a Gravity One! No air movement system! So, with the knowledge of the time, needless to say, no one had AC yet and the Duct systems are WAY too small to handle the air movement systems that the new HVAC systems need to operate properly and get “close” to the actual efficiency’s they claim.
New construction homes. This one is easy especially if you have one, or someone you know has in the past. Most of the home builders (not all) want to put their money in granite counter tops, steam baths, beautiful cabinets, and nice plumbing fixtures. You see, HVAC equipment is out of sight and when you are looking to buy, you are walking through looking at all listed above, but don’t live in it yet to know it’s deficiencies. Then I get the call for air balancing as the new home owners are complaining the 2nd and 3rd floor is “too cold” or “too hot,” or the baby’s room is uncomfortable. Sadly, most of the fixes are hidden behind the already painted walls.
Lastly (and this might be the worst as they should know better), the “rehab special” contractor who got a foreclosure and seems to hire every handy man to size, design, and install the HVAC system. I can’t say enough to any new home buyer to get a qualified home inspector; they are not all the same. We work with an awesome one and he has saved many from making a bad decision on what is to many people their biggest investment of their life. (Let me know if you need Mike’s number he is “The speaker of the house”). I see systems way over-sized and duct systems that look like they went out of their way to do it wrong.
So in closing, the reason we say to use the cheap inexpensive air filters is because the HVAC is out of sight/out of mind, and you may forget and end up with a “no heat call” or a frozen heat absorption system and no AC. Furnaces are made to operate between a certain temperature rise and the goal is to be closer to that mid-range temperature. So, if the filter is dirty or too restrictive it will over heat and not deliver the rated efficiency and really put a beating on the ignition system and fail prematurely, and in the AC season will turn the heat absorption coil into a block of ice and melt all over your furnace as well.
Here at A Custom Heating and Air Conditioning we fix many of these issues. Uneven temperatures, allergy issues, and dust… Some are simple and some more complex, but we are always here to serve.
From the desk of Tom Hack. CHEERS!
Serving Chicago’s N.W. Side & with pride!
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