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Air Filter Guage for HVAC? #5416800 04/29/20 07:56 PM
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MONKEYMAN Offline OP
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I have been using allergy filters in the home HVAC for years. Several household members and a cat are sensitive to air quality. Last year the filters I used were no longer available. I switched to a 3M Filtrete 2800 Ultrafine Filter. These are pricey. When I was at SAMs I purchased Filtrete Allergen 1200D which I used during the winter. Due to concerns of restriction if too dirty replaced every 2 months. Fast forward to today. In March a Air Scrubber was installed. The technician said run the blower motor 24 hours a day and that was what I have been doing. I thought I will just replace the filter after a month. I had a 2800 filter in a month and replaced it with 1200D. Next day cat was sneezing all day. I noticed a lot more allergies and had a hard time keeping them calmed down. This continued three days. Put old filter in and now cat is fine and I am fine. So I was told to only use the 2800 filters. Looks like current price is $30 each. Do not want to replace them too soon or too late putting stress on the HVAC system. Looking at this air filter gauge at Amazon, but has mixed reviews.

General Aire G99 Media Air Cleaner Filter Gauge

What do you think? Thanks in advance for your guidance!


Truth alone triumphs, not untruth.

2017 Elantra SE
Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5416826 04/29/20 08:19 PM
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TmanP Online Content
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Well, having more information shouldn't hurt!
As a reference point, we use 4" MERV 11 filters from Menards (they're about $25 or $30) for our Carrier gas furnace and A/C.
Since it was installed in 2009, we've run the three-stage fan on low continuously. It will speed up as needed when heating on higher stages or when cooling, but it is running 24/7 (this helps equilibrate temps).
I usually change them twice a year or so, and they still look pretty good (can still easily see light through them at that time).
Several folks are allergy sufferers, and we have a dog that sheds like crazy, but this works pretty well for us. Interior surfaces don't get dusty too quickly, either.
We don't have a restriction gauge, but I have never pulled out a filter that looked too plugged up.


2012 Toyota Camry 2.5 60,000 mi
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Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5416850 04/29/20 08:56 PM
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MONKEYMAN Offline OP
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TmanP, was thinking of all the discussions about a filter restriction gauge for cars or trucks and how filters are changed too soon. Was thinking must be some way to monitor the filters I use at the house. Amazon has more technical gauges, but seemed to be a little too technical for my level of understanding.


Truth alone triumphs, not untruth.

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Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5416876 04/29/20 09:34 PM
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I just got a flyer from my HVAC company promoting a special deal on an Air Scrubber Plus. I read what I could find on it and cannot really find any documented test results from an outside lab that say the Air Scrubber Plus does what they claim I emailed the company asking for independent test results and they have not responded.

At this point in time I am up in the air as to whether or not I think an Air Scrubber Plus is snake oil.


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Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5416886 04/29/20 09:57 PM
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What size filter does your furnace take, can you use one of those MERV16 Lennox Filters , they're like 4 or 5 inches thick, they're like $100 a piece but I figure they'd probably last a lot longer than those thin 3M ones

Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5416893 04/29/20 10:04 PM
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The manual for that gauge states to calibrate it, but doesn't give any instructions.

If I were doing this, I would investigate what are the actual restriction numbers you are to be concerned with.

I use Dwyer manometers to monitor my workplace greenhouses. They give actual numbers and are simple/accurate. Here is one article I found using them for furnaces (needs more research): https://spaco.org/HomeEnergy/ChangeFurnaceFilterOnTime.htm

With some digging, you can get one delivered for under $50. https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=manometer+for+furnace+filter

Maybe research digital manometers also: https://www.ebay.com/i/233569446711?chn=ps .....but, are they trust worthy?

Lots of YouTube videos to help you also. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Checking+HVAC+filter+pressure+drop

Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: Donald] #5416894 04/29/20 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Donald
I just got a flyer from my HVAC company promoting a special deal on an Air Scrubber Plus. I read what I could find on it and cannot really find any documented test results from an outside lab that say the Air Scrubber Plus does what they claim I emailed the company asking for independent test results and they have not responded.

At this point in time I am up in the air as to whether or not I think an Air Scrubber Plus is snake oil.


All I know is air quality is better since it was installed. The air smells cleaner or when you burn something in kitchen that smell dissipates sooner. It is doing something. Down side with air blowing 24 hours a day it can be cooler since you have air blowing on you all the time.


Truth alone triumphs, not untruth.

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Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5416901 04/29/20 10:15 PM
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doitmyself, thanks! That was the one that was intimidating. I understand it better after checking out that first link.


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Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: blufeb95] #5416907 04/29/20 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by blufeb95
What size filter does your furnace take, can you use one of those MERV16 Lennox Filters , they're like 4 or 5 inches thick, they're like $100 a piece but I figure they'd probably last a lot longer than those thin 3M ones

20x25x1. The problem is 3 cats. Two are long hair which shed a lot of hair. We have 3 large litter boxes that tend to generate dust.


Truth alone triumphs, not untruth.

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Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5416910 04/29/20 10:24 PM
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You would be shocked how simple they are. A column of liquid and two vinyl air tubes - one to normal atmosphere and one in the furnace plenum. The pressure differential causes the fluid to move up/down.

You might be able to make one, but I am not positive it will work for the filter monitoring. This video shows the principle they work on:

Last edited by doitmyself; 04/29/20 10:30 PM.
Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5416927 04/29/20 10:54 PM
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doitmyself, it reminds me of my childhood. We had a Coke bottle upside down in a container of water. Right before a storm the change in pressure would cause that water to rise. That was the best time to go fishing in the pond 100 yards away.

So change in pressure, fluid moves. Got it. I think long term the one you linked to would be better. It has better reviews.


Truth alone triumphs, not untruth.

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Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: doitmyself] #5416968 04/30/20 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by doitmyself
The manual for that gauge states to calibrate it, but doesn't give any instructions.


The instructions are right on the label of the unit. You calibrate it when a new filter is installed, and turn that screw on the unit to put the indicator needle in the baseline "Filter is Clean" zone.

[Linked Image from images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com]

Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5417033 04/30/20 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MONKEYMAN
Originally Posted by blufeb95
What size filter does your furnace take, can you use one of those MERV16 Lennox Filters , they're like 4 or 5 inches thick, they're like $100 a piece but I figure they'd probably last a lot longer than those thin 3M ones

20x25x1. The problem is 3 cats. Two are long hair which shed a lot of hair. We have 3 large litter boxes that tend to generate dust.



Ultimately if you want to use better filtration you need to have a larger filter so there's less pressure drop which means a larger return. Running the blower motor all day is just silly and expensive.

From my own experience of living in a multi-cat (Main Coons) household for almost 20 years most types of dust from a litter box is just too heavy to get picked up by a return in the ceiling. If the littler box dust is the problem then try something like Dr. Elsey's Respiratory Relief in either clay or crystal. Find a spot outside where you can pour this litter into the box from 2-3 feet off the ground. This will allow some of the finer particles/dust to blow away rather than land in the litter box.

Last edited by BMWTurboDzl; 04/30/20 06:59 AM.

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Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5417045 04/30/20 07:31 AM
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I also did not want to change my Filters to soon and waste money.
I installed this Differential Pressure Gage to monitor filter restriction (only one gage is needed, second is just to confirm).
OP needs to find the MAXIMUM Differential Pressure for 'his' Furnace (should be on label inside furnace)
Not going over the max pressure will be easier on motor.
My Furnace is a maximum of .50 inch of water column.
I now go one year per filter with the gage reading about .40" at that time.

But I also came to the conclusion I need to vacuum/dust the house more often.
Less dust/dirt in house means less dirt on Furnace Filter.

[Linked Image]

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Re: Air Filter Guage for HVAC? [Re: MONKEYMAN] #5417086 04/30/20 08:34 AM
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Donald Offline
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Originally Posted by MONKEYMAN
Originally Posted by Donald
I just got a flyer from my HVAC company promoting a special deal on an Air Scrubber Plus. I read what I could find on it and cannot really find any documented test results from an outside lab that say the Air Scrubber Plus does what they claim I emailed the company asking for independent test results and they have not responded.

At this point in time I am up in the air as to whether or not I think an Air Scrubber Plus is snake oil.


All I know is air quality is better since it was installed. The air smells cleaner or when you burn something in kitchen that smell dissipates sooner. It is doing something. Down side with air blowing 24 hours a day it can be cooler since you have air blowing on you all the time.


What was the cost for the Air Scrubber Plus, around $1000?


2015 Ford F-250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
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