Pros and Cons of upgrading to MERV 13 Aprilaire filters

lynnalexandraOctober 7, 2008

I have a spacegard 2200 filter system on my HVAC system. It takes two Aprilaire 201 replacement filters (Merv 10). I was about to order replacements and see that I may have options to improve my filters. So I am wondering about a couple of other options.

One is to upgrade to the MERV 13 Aprilaire and Space-Gard Replacement 2200 Filter. From what I understand it will filter even more dust,allergens, particles, etc - which would be great. I can't find reviews on these, but I wonder if there's any downside to getting the MERV 13 filters. Will it slow down the air flow of the system, cause less efficient heating and air conditioning or cost more to run the system?

The other thing I wondered about was some of these filters that don't have to be pleated into existing comb systems (Which is messy and a pain). Anyone know if these pop-up systems are good?

My last question is if I should stick with Aprilaire brand? Is there anything else to consider when buying replacements?

Thank you.

Lynn.

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joe_1

I currently have the AprilAire 2400 (original style filter) on a 5-Ton A/C and I need to add another AprilAire in parallel as the opening is not enough. For a 5-Ton system, it requires 500 sq of opening.

I too am looking at the new MERV 13. Check your furnace size and if the extra restriction will restrict flow or not?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 7:50PM
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lynnalexandra

I am just a homeowner who knows NOTHING about HVAC, so I'm afraid I have no idea what tone system or furnace size. I even looked on the furnace - and looked through the manual and can't see the information. I will say that the manual seems to cover several models - I have no idea which mine is - and even if I did, I dont' see where it lists # tons of the system - and don't know how to determine if th extra restriction will restrict flow or not?

This is somewhat Greek to me but since I was online looking to order replacement filters (and my husband and i are highly allergic/sensitive to dust and allergens), I thought I'd consider this upgrade to MERV 13 - if it in fact would help air quality (not that I think our air qualtiy is bad - in fact I suspect we have a relativeliy low-dust house). I wouldn't have a clue how to determine if this extra filtraiton would restrict flow.

Unfortunately, I don't like our current HVAC people and haven't found their advice to be worth much (looking for someone new). The father and son company who installed the system 12 years ago went out of business and I can't find them- so I can't ask them.

Any ideas how I can get this information?

Thank you.
Lynn.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:47PM
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veesubotee

The new filter media has a somewhat higher pressure drop than the current 201 media. The difference in MERV rating is 2, but the price is quite high.

There is a thread on the HVAC-talk (residential) forum concerning this issue.

Here is a direct link: http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=183263

V

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 7:27PM
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veesubotee

The upgraded filter media is NOT directly replaceable. You need to install hardware (not difficult) inside your filter housing.In the link that I posted, there is a video which shows you what's involved.

The only way to know for certain whether or not the new media would cause any problem is for a professional (on the scene) to determine if your duct system is up to the task. In other words, if it is sized properly for your system.

If your Aprilaire is of recent vintage, there is a black panel on the door of the housing, which states the model number.

The furnace usually has a data plate with the information. It may be located on the outside, or inside the blower or burner compartment.

The data for the a/c unit is located on the outdoor unit. There is also an evaporator coil which may be in case mounted to the furnace (above or below). If it is in a case, there should be a tag. If it is inside the plenum (part which connects to the supply (outgoing) air duct.

As I am not a big allergy sufferer, I would not bother upgrading as the advantage (MERV 11 to MERV 13) is not that great, but the media costs quite a bit more.

V

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 5:38PM
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