Where is My HVAC Filter?

Where is my HVAC air filter?

Where is my HVAC air filter?

Yay! You’re on the right track by wanting to change your air filter! This simple task is the first step to improving the air quality in your home and making your HVAC system run more efficiently. By working to keep your air filters clean, you can help reduce the amount of dust, pollen, and other particles that circulate through your home. Changing your HVAC filter can not only improve your indoor air quality, but it can also help reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system, leading to lower energy costs. But where is my HVAC filter located? So don’t hesitate – go find that air filter!

Finding Your HVAC Filter

The next step is finding the air filter. It may be difficult to locate on some HVAC systems, but you can find it in the return air duct. Or, in layman’s terms, that big metal grate on your wall, floor, ceiling, or utility closet door. Return air ducts can be just about anywhere. But usually, they are centrally located in the house.

Two-story houses may have one upstairs and another downstairs. In that case, they both need to be changed.

After Finding Your HVAC Filter

Once you’ve found the air filter, simply remove it and replace it with a new one. Depending on your filter type, you may need to do this every month or two. A general rule is to change your filter every 90 days, but I always tell people if the HVAC filter isn’t perfectly white, it’s time to change it. That’s the air you’re breathing! By taking this simple step, you can help improve the air quality in your home and extend the life of your HVAC system.

The return air duct or blower compartment in your HVAC system is responsible for circulating air throughout your home. Unlike the smaller vents around your home, the return air duct pulls in the air from your home and sends it to your HVAC unit to be heated or cooled.

Most Common Locations HVAC Filters

Dirty Air FilterDepending on the type of HVAC system, the filter’s location will vary. Here are some of the most common locations for HVAC air filters:

  • Horizontal units: These units are frequently located in attics, basements, or garages. The filter usually fits in a slot on the air return side of the unit.
  • Vertical units: These units are often located in utility closets or crawl spaces. The filter is typically located behind a grille on the bottom or front of the unit.
  • Furnaces: Most furnaces have a dedicated compartment for the air filter, which is usually located near the blower motor.
  • Mini-Splits: Some houses have an air conditioning head in each room. Some are wall-mounted, and some are ceiling-mounted. Check those individual units for the air filters.

So, good on you for wondering where your HVAC filter is! The location of air return ducts can be important when considering installing a new HVAC system. That’s why they tend to be located in a hallway near the thermostat.

The primary purpose of ductwork is to move air throughout the house. The air return duct is responsible for bringing stale air back to the furnace or air conditioner to be filtered and recirculated. To function properly, the air return duct must be large enough to allow sufficient airflow. It is also important that the duct be located in a central location so it can draw air from all parts of the house. Unfortunately, finding air return ducts can be a bit like a scavenger hunt. They are often hidden behind doors or in other hard-to-reach places. But it’s worth the effort to walk around your entire house, looking high and low. Be sure to check behind doors and other hidden places so you don’t miss one. With a little patience, you should be able to find all of your home’s air return ducts.

Trane CleanEffects™ is By Far the Best Air Cleaner for Your Home

Trane CleanEffects™ is By Far the Best Air

If you’re looking for an indoor air quality product that’s super effective, efficient, and quiet, look no further than Trane CleanEffects™.

What’s the best air cleaner for my home?

Trane CleanEffects™ is by far the best air filter for your home. It’s an ingenious product that’s effective, efficient to operate all with a non-existent noise level.

The best air cleaner for your home provides not only air filtration but kills off dust, particulates, allergens, smoke, and viruses that are small enough to get through standard 1-inch and even 4-inch media filters that come with your heating and cooling system.  These items that contaminate the inside of your home can really affect your comfort levels.  New homes have even more potential to create these nuisances because they are sealed up much more than drafty homes of the past.

Trane CleanEffects™ and MERV Ratings

You may have heard about MERV ratings on filters you’ve bought in the past.  MERV is defined as how many particles of varying sizes can get onto your filter before failing to meet minimum air filtration standards.  So, what MERV rating does Trane CleanEffects™ have?  MERV evaluates only one aspect of air cleaning.  Particle capture.  Trane takes it to the next level with an Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) certification.  CleanEffects™ air cleaners are also recognized by Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) as the benchmark for air purification in your home.  These standards measure air purification based on medical and scientific research in health issues and indoor air quality.

How Trane CleanEffects™ Works

How does Trane CleanEffects™ work?  As air from your house enters your furnace or air handler, it is shot through your duct system and into each room through your vents on the ceiling or floor.  But before that air is distributed, it passes through the CleanEffects™. 

First, a pre-filter captures large particles, keeping the electrostatic field charger and collection cells cleaner, longer.  After the pre-filter, the electrostatic field charger creates positive and negative charges.  These help the particles adhere to the collection cells of the final filter.  This process is patented and effectively removes 99.98% of particles from your home. The final phase of the indoor air cleaner is the reusable collection cells. The incoming particles from the field charger are captured by precisely engineered cells.  This last filter can be cleaned with your vacuum cleaner once or twice a year to make them like new.

Clean Air Delivery Rate

The AAFA recognizes clean air delivery rate (CDR) as an accurate representation of an air cleaner’s performance because it measures how well the air is cleaned for the end-user.

Clean air delivery rate, which is the filter’s efficiency multiplied by the airflow rate, is recognized by the Federal Trade Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency as a fair and objective way to measure different types of air cleaners purchased by homeowners.  The number tells us the cubic feet per minute of clean air delivered for a typical 1500 square foot home.

Have you seen those little single room air cleaner stands? They have a clean air delivery rate of 10. The standard 1-inch filter for your HVAC system is 12.  Room HEPA filters have a delivery rate of 150.  A 4- or 5-inch pleated media filter delivers at a rate of 240 cubic feet per minute (cfm).  And while other whole-house electronic air cleaners have a rating of 660, Trane CleanEffects™ delivers an outstanding 1200 cfm.

How Effective is Trane CleanEffects™?

Trane’s CleanEffects™ removes up to 99.98% of allergens from your home by trapping particles as small as .1 micron in size. That’s 100 times more effective than a standard 1-inch filter.  This means Trane CleanEffects™ can reduce how often you’ll need to dust your home in half.  And it’s all been proven by experts at the Harvard School of Public Health.

A human hair is roughly 50—70 microns wide.  Pollen and ragweed that cause allergies and breathing problems are around 17 to 50 microns.  Most viruses like COVID-19 and flu are commonly around .3 microns.  Trane CleanEffects™ captures particles as small as .1 micron and does it without restricting the air to your HVAC system.  This makes it extremely effective at removing spores, pollen, dander, skin flakes, smoke, dirt, dust, bacteria, mold, spores, and even viruses from your home.  It prevents them from entering your lungs and bloodstream through your nose, which makes it harder to breathe or cause you to get sick.

The ifD Corona Field

There’s also a powerful, patented ifD electrostatic corona field these particles enter after the pre-filter. It ruptures the fine layer of protein that encapsulates single-cell RNA and DNA, sterilizing them.  That electronic field causes particles to adhere to the CleanEffects™ air cleaner’s collection cells without clogging the filter.

Trane CleanEffects™ filters are 100% quiet too.  Many electronic air cleaners make an unpleasant buzzing noise, like a bug zapper.  Your new CleanEffect’s patented technology makes it as quiet as it is effective.

Does CleanEffects™ Emit Ozone?

Ozone is a naturally occurring element in our atmosphere.  When you’re just walking around town, background ozone levels are about two parts per million (PPM).  CleanEffects™, when operating at full capacity, was shown to add only three PPM to the air. The emission standards set by the FDA for all appliances is 50 PPM.  Trane’s output of ozone is way below the standard appliance, like toasters and space heaters.

Some people are very sensitive to ozone.  Trane has designed their air cleaner to emit levels of ozone well below standards that are set even for medical devices.  The power level of Trane CleanEffects™ can also be adjusted to further decrease ozone levels if needed.

Conclusion

Trane CleanEffects™ is by far the best air filter for your home.  The best air cleaner for your home provides not only air filtration, but kills off dust, particulates, allergens, smoke, and viruses.  If you’re looking for an indoor air quality product that super effective, efficient, and quiet, look no further than Trane CleanEffects™.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and we’ll see you on the next blog topic.

Can a MERV 13 Air Filter Harm My HVAC System?

MERV 13 air filter

Filtration standards keep increasing as today’s building and energy codes update their requirements every three years.  The 2019 codes that went into effect on January 1st, 2020, mandate that new construction homes have HVAC systems that use MERV 13 air filters.  What is MERV?  Simply put, it’s the size of the pores in your air filters you change out every three months or so.  

To give you an example, when you go down the aisle where the filters are at the hardware store, you see a relatively wide selection of filters.  Some have a see-through green mesh, some have pleated white paper-like filters, and other premium filters incorporate elements like charcoal to absorb odors, etc.  Typically the more expensive these filters get, the higher the MERV rating because the ability to catch smaller particles increases with more restriction (smaller holes for the air to pass through).

MERV 13 Air Filters Side Effects

So, great, I’ve always wanted my indoor air quality to be better, so thankfully, the requirements for air filters have increased!  There will be fewer particles in the air for my family and me to breathe in.  Yes, you will have that, but what are the side effects that come along with increasing the restrictions through your air filters? 

First, you’re increasing resistance to the airflow to your system, which is trying to throw a certain amount of air to all of your rooms.  That doesn’t sound good. The system will try harder to throw that air into your duct system and on to your room.  That really affects the airflow in your duct system.  It also increases energy usage since the motor delivering the air has to ramp up even more to do its job. 

MERV 13 Air Filters Can Lead to Frozen Cold Coils

Another unintended effect of this lowered airflow is on the refrigeration side.  Your air conditioner has a hot coil outside, the condenser, and a cold coil at the air handler inside.  This cold coil has a specific preferred operating temperature.  That temperature is based on a certain amount of warm air flowing across that coil and the refrigerant running through the copper tubing of that coil.  With a higher MERV filter reducing the airflow through this crucial part of the air conditioning system, the cold coil can eventually freeze up into an ice ball, restricting airflow altogether.  Without elaborating, this causes more expensive problems at the outdoor condenser coil.

A Hot Heat Exchanger and Tubing

In the heating season, the firebox or heat exchanger can overheat so much that it cracks open.  The firebox is a hollow metal cabinet or set of tubes that keep the spent gasses from the flame inside of it.  The heat carried inside the tubes or cabinet stays inside too.  The blower sends air across the hot heat exchanger sending the warmed air into the ducts that lead to your rooms. 

Just like the cold air conditioner coil, the heating season firebox also operates at a set temperature.  If the air moving across it slows down, the cabinet or tubing will heat up too much.  After thousands of times across the lifespan of your system, this process can diminish its lifespan.  It can also increase the chances that occupants of the house are exposed to gasses that are intended to remain inside the hot tubing.  If the tubing has cracks in it, then exposure is likely. 

Check With Your HVAC Expert

The fix to all of this is to make sure you have enough return air to the system.  If we choke the air to the system, we can end up with all kinds of problems.  If you’re going to start using a higher MERV filter, check with your local HVAC company and let them evaluate whether you have enough surface area in your return grilles.  

Check The Boxes

Good luck with your decision to use higher MERV filters in the future.  They certainly aren’t a bad thing.  Reducing the number of dirty particles for the air in your home is a very common request.  It’s just important to make sure the rest of your system is set up to handle the increased restriction the filters create.

Thanks so much for watching and we’ll see you on the next blog post.

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