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    Air Purifier (6 Posts)

  • E51 E51 @ 9:04 PM
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    Air Purifier

    Hello,
    I have an old HVAC system with Lennox G23 series gas furnace and Lennox HS25 series A/C; the air cleaner attached to the system uses Space-Gard 2200.
    Unfortunately, the air purifier system does not help my wife's allergies and her coughing gets worse each year despite allergy shots and additional medication. She coughs very heavily several times during the day and night for several minutes.
    We have used in the last few years Sharper Image portable air purifiers which seemed to help initially but not anymore.
    Talking to Manager of the shop where I buy my filter, he recommended to install Aprilaire Model 5000 stating that it might help; to do that we need to move the  adjacent duct a few inches to right.
    In case I don't want to invest in 5000 model, I was told I could replace the current cassette with that of 2000 series but the performance would not improve much.
    Searching internet for alternative solutions, I saw several posts featuring the benefits of room-air purifiers with HEPA filters which interested me.
    Below are my questions if you could please provide your feedback:
    1. If you have experience with Aprilaire systems, do you recommend 4000 series or Model 5000 given the severe allergic situation my wife has? If I take this route are there any points that I should be careful about?
    2. Would you recommend to try the cassette/filter of Series 2000 before taking route 1?
    3. Instead of upgrading the current system, would it be more effective for my wife's allergies if I buy room-air purifiers with HEPA filters instead?
    4. Finally, if I prefer to go with room-air purifiers with HEPA filters, do you have any experience with Oransi v-hepa Air purifiers (Finn UV or Max)? There were very positive reviews in the internet.
    Many thanks in advance for your feedback and recommendations.
    Regards,
    E51
  • BillW BillW @ 9:34 PM
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    Allergy issues

    First of all, has a Doctor ever tested and found out what your wife is allergic to?  ONLY a medical professional can diagnose that.  Some common airborne allergens are plant pollen, pet dander, mold spores, dust mite debris and other pollutants like soot, ozone and  other chemicals.  A media filter is rated by the MERV number, the higher, the more particles it removes.  The highest filtration is achieved by a HEPA filter, which removes up to 99.5% of particles from the air passing thru it.  No particle filters have any effect on gases, odors and vapors, except for some that incorporate a chemical layer of activated charcoal, potassium permanganate and zeolite(CPZ) to remove organic compounds like solvent vapors. These are rare in residential use.
    I do not recommend or endorse any particular brand, and all the major players are equally effective.  The 1" throwaway filters really do not have any air quality effect, they just keep dust bunnies out of the system.  The better
    "home center" media filters and the professionally installed medias are roughly the same MERV ratings.  Electronic air cleaners are very effective at removing fine particles, and don't put a load on your fan as the media filters do as they pick up particles, but electronics may produce ozone, which is very irritating to allergy sufferers.
    Individual room "powered air purifiers" will remove particles from a single room.  However, the room must be closed off from the rest of the house.  The powered units need to run 24/7, and can be noisy.  The filters may be hard to find when you need to replace them.  Go to Consumer Reports web site to find their evaluations of these units.
    Finally, if your system is over 15 years old, it is costing you money every time it runs. Consider replacing it with a new higher efficiency unit.   Your AC coils may be dirty, and the condensate pan may not be draining properly, so have your service company check that.  Have them check your heat exchanger, too. A leak in that can kill you with carbon monoxide. Your duct work may be dirty as well, check for water leaks and possible mold.  I hope this is helpful.
  • E51 E51 @ 12:31 PM
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    air purifier

    Bill,
    Many thanks for your recommendations. Yes my wife is seeing a doctor for her allergies whom also administers the allergy shots.
    Probably the HVAC system is 12-13 years old; we've been here for the last 10 years. The previous owners have installed a combined unit, so if I replace the AC, I need to replace the furnace as well.
    I'll check with my service company for AC coils, condensate pan and heat exchanger.
    Best regards,
    E51
  • Spence Spence @ 10:36 PM
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    Air Purifier

    Don't spend any money on a product that someone "thinks" will help. Follow Bill's lead and find out what is causing the medical condition and work toward the elimination of the source. IAQ is a carefully planned process of filtration, purification, disinfection, and humidification. It hardly ever is just throwing an air cleaner on your system and hoping for the best. Additionally, if you don't consider the pressure drop created by the air cleaner and how it affects your blower and duct system, you're painting yourself into a horrible corner.
  • E51 E51 @ 12:35 PM
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    air purifier

    Spence,
    Many thanks for your comments. I did not understand your last sentence though.Could you please clarify?  I already have an air cleaner attached to my central HVAC.
    Many thanks,
    E51
  • Spence Spence @ 2:04 PM
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    Air Cleaner

    This is the issue that is largely ignored in our industry, for reasons I will never understand. I hope this clarifies that last sentence for you. Each and every component you connect to a furnace or air handler creates an air flow restriction. Ducts, fittings, registers, grilles, and accessories such as cooling coils, humidifiers, and your air cleaner or filter. This is fine, as long as you design for it. Think of it this way: if you have a 28' camper, you're not going to tow it with a Ford Ranger, so you wouldn't buy the Ranger after the camper unless you have a fascination for high blood pressure. If you add an air cleaner and the blower wasn't "prepared" for the added restriction, then something is going to suffer (that Ranger can't get the camper up the hill). This means poor heating and cooling performance, a high energy bill, and an air cleaner that doesn't do the job you expected. When you find out what is medically causing your SO's cough, contact me so we can revisit this. Also drop me a line if I didn't clarify the pressure drop issue enough to suit you.
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