The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: jeromedawg on August 28, 2019, 04:35:05 PM

Title: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: jeromedawg on August 28, 2019, 04:35:05 PM
For those of you who have central AC, what brand air filters do you use and where do you get them? Amazon? Nordic Pure? Also, what MERV/MPR/FPR do you typically go with? I've heard the higher the rating the more crap you filter out but the trade-off is that it's less efficient in terms of air-flow and puts more strain on the system.

I've historically bought them when they go on sale at HomeDepot via Slickdeals, etc. We're starting to run low though and I haven't seen any deals as of late.

Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: Loretta on August 28, 2019, 05:40:54 PM
Iím curious to know this too, thanks for asking.  My building changes out my unitís filters twice per year but I found out itís not the correct size, so like 2 inches at the top and another inch at the side are just out there hanging loose.  A fine black dust builds up around my hvac area so I know itís not terribly effective at filtering but my current, poorly fitting filters are free, or rather paid for by my HOA.
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: APowers on August 28, 2019, 05:44:49 PM
I don't have allergy issues to contend with, so I generally just buy the cheapest possible filters at Lowe's and change them every 4-6 months or so.
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: Sibley on August 29, 2019, 07:25:58 AM
I've been told by at least 3 furnace peoples NOT to get the HEPA/ultra filters/really fancy ones. They restrict airflow too much and can cause damage to the system.

Either get the cheap blue ones which basically don't do anything, or get the paper filter with the lower filtration levels. Properly fitting is a must of course.

I get these ones, sourced from where ever: https://www.amazon.com/Filtrete-Living-Filter-1-Inches-6-Pack/dp/B002CJN0H2/ref=pd_nav_hcs_rp_3/138-3375334-5428466?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B002CJN0H2&pd_rd_r=4d2d0256-c220-4e6d-9a5b-1e79f5c23540&pd_rd_w=x3TOk&pd_rd_wg=jJjBJ&pf_rd_p=7573558a-15e7-4ec0-b40c-153a05f99fb1&pf_rd_r=EVC68MXG3RAT9M86VK4N&psc=1&refRID=EVC68MXG3RAT9M86VK4N
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: DadJokes on August 29, 2019, 07:35:30 AM
I've been told by at least 3 furnace peoples NOT to get the HEPA/ultra filters/really fancy ones. They restrict airflow too much and can cause damage to the system.

Either get the cheap blue ones which basically don't do anything, or get the paper filter with the lower filtration levels. Properly fitting is a must of course.

I get these ones, sourced from where ever: https://www.amazon.com/Filtrete-Living-Filter-1-Inches-6-Pack/dp/B002CJN0H2/ref=pd_nav_hcs_rp_3/138-3375334-5428466?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B002CJN0H2&pd_rd_r=4d2d0256-c220-4e6d-9a5b-1e79f5c23540&pd_rd_w=x3TOk&pd_rd_wg=jJjBJ&pf_rd_p=7573558a-15e7-4ec0-b40c-153a05f99fb1&pf_rd_r=EVC68MXG3RAT9M86VK4N&psc=1&refRID=EVC68MXG3RAT9M86VK4N

We were told the same by our homebuilder.

We go with the cheapest pack Home Depot sells.
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: Saving in Austin on August 29, 2019, 09:42:02 AM
https://www.factorydirectfilters.com
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: jeromedawg on August 29, 2019, 11:00:00 AM
How about these?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/True-Blue-16-in-x-25-in-x-1-in-Fiberglass-FPR-1-Air-Filter-116251/100343984
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: techwiz on August 29, 2019, 11:27:59 AM
Central air needs airflow and if you place a restrictive filter you can get problems (icing up etc.)

In the summer I switch to cheap blue ones that Sibley same as the ones you posted.  In the winter I switch to good quality 3M filters that work really well at keeping the air quality in the house good. 
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: jeromedawg on August 29, 2019, 11:35:03 AM
Central air needs airflow and if you place a restrictive filter you can get problems (icing up etc.)

In the summer I switch to cheap blue ones that Sibley same as the ones you posted.  In the winter I switch to good quality 3M filters that work really well at keeping the air quality in the house good.

Good to know! I just placed an order for 6 of the blue ones. Will keep in mind the note about the 3M - what FPR/MERV/MPR ratings do you go with on the 3M/better quality filters? Only concern with the cheap blue ones is that they don't filter pollen. My wife and I both have allergies to contend with, but we do have some air cleaners running in the house, so maybe that will help mitigate issues. I think the pollen can be bad around here in the summer. Anyway, I figure it's not a huge loss paying a buck a filter just to have them as backups in the worst case scenario.

BTW: what do you guys think of these reusable/washable air filters - https://www.lowes.com/pd/WEB-Furnace-AC-Filter-Common-25-in-x-16-in-x-1-in-Actual-24-625-in-x-15-625-in-x-0-875-in-Washable-Electrostatic-Air-Filter/3131311 - worth it?
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: bacchi on August 29, 2019, 11:46:23 AM
Wouldn't an AC built for the HEPA box filters be suited to use them?
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: jeromedawg on August 29, 2019, 12:13:12 PM
Wouldn't an AC built for the HEPA box filters be suited to use them?

I'm not sure what you're referring to...? Our furnace accepts 16x25x1 sized filters. I guess there might be some HEPA filters that can slide into that slot, but in most cases it seems the 'standard' MERV/FPR/MPR rated filters are what we'd be considering here.
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: techwiz on August 29, 2019, 01:39:20 PM
Central air needs airflow and if you place a restrictive filter you can get problems (icing up etc.)

In the summer I switch to cheap blue ones that Sibley same as the ones you posted.  In the winter I switch to good quality 3M filters that work really well at keeping the air quality in the house good.

Good to know! I just placed an order for 6 of the blue ones. Will keep in mind the note about the 3M - what FPR/MERV/MPR ratings do you go with on the 3M/better quality filters? Only concern with the cheap blue ones is that they don't filter pollen. My wife and I both have allergies to contend with, but we do have some air cleaners running in the house, so maybe that will help mitigate issues. I think the pollen can be bad around here in the summer. Anyway, I figure it's not a huge loss paying a buck a filter just to have them as backups in the worst case scenario.

BTW: what do you guys think of these reusable/washable air filters - https://www.lowes.com/pd/WEB-Furnace-AC-Filter-Common-25-in-x-16-in-x-1-in-Actual-24-625-in-x-15-625-in-x-0-875-in-Washable-Electrostatic-Air-Filter/3131311 - worth it?

https://www.filtrete.ca/3M/en_CA/filtrete-ca/products/
I use the red 3M Filtrete ones rated 1000 in the spring, fall and winter and only use the cheap blue ones during the heat of the summer when I need the A/C.    You make a good point about the summer with the pollen, it's the trade off the cheap blue filters will not help filter the air but the A/C works better with more airflow. Hopefully your other air cleaners, can do the job. 

I personally don't like the washable/reusable or electric filters some of them might be good and worthwhile, but my experience has been negative.



Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: ctuser1 on August 29, 2019, 01:57:05 PM
Whoa!! These filters seem to have shot up in price in the last 2 years!!

I bought some 36 pack 1" fiberglass filters (most probably off Amazon, don't remember 100%) 2 years ago, and paid somewhere close to a $1 each.

Nothing below $3 now!!!
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: jeromedawg on August 29, 2019, 03:09:59 PM
Whoa!! These filters seem to have shot up in price in the last 2 years!!

I bought some 36 pack 1" fiberglass filters (most probably off Amazon, don't remember 100%) 2 years ago, and paid somewhere close to a $1 each.

Nothing below $3 now!!!

They're just under a buck at Home Depot for me.
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: norajean on August 29, 2019, 06:56:26 PM
Genuine Lennox. They only cost a little more than the Chinese knock-offs.
Title: Re: What kind of air filters do you use (central AC)
Post by: jeromedawg on August 30, 2019, 12:33:27 PM
Genuine Lennox. They only cost a little more than the Chinese knock-offs.

Which ones, specifically? Link?