JP S
JP S
  • Hometalker
  • Marietta, GA
Asked on Feb 14, 2012

Filters for vents?

B. EnneFred MayersJP S
+13

Answered

I change my furnace filters every 3 mos,but still have lots of dust in my house.Are filters available for the vents in the house?
16 answers
  • You really should be changing those every month. A good routine is use the expensive filter for a month......if it's not too dirty after a month, remove and set aside. Then use the cheaper filters for next 2 months, changing monthly. If you haven't had it done, you may want to have a company come in and clean your ducts out. I did this on a home I own in Lilburn and it was AMAZING how much nasty stuff was trapped in the ducts. I've been using the regime on my houses for the past couple of years now and we don't have anymore dust issue.

  • If your changing your filter that often, its not the reason why you have dust in your home. Two things can be causing this. 1. Filter is located within room of home and there is leaks in the return air system bypassing the current filter you have. 2. Your home is leaking air. My guess its the latter. I would also guess your home is difficult to heat and that your spending way more then you should for heating and even cooling it. Does that sound right? Home air leakage is the biggest robber of heat energy but it also has other down sides. Not only does the house air leak out, it brings in outside, unfiltered, and polluted air in. The average home exchanges its air volume from 5 to 7 times per hour. Many even much more. For every air exchange the entire air supply within the home is bringing in, unconditioned air, dust and odors. Dust does not just happen to be generated by itself. Sure there are natural dust sources throughout the home, but these can be controlled easy by the filter system within the furnace and cooling system. Its when this system gets overloaded with a continued bombardment of outside air that contains much higher levels of dust and pollutants is when your home becomes dusty and the furnace is the first considered at fault. These air leaks come in various spots. Wall outlets, switch's leaky attics, leaky basements and or crawl spaces. Feel around your plumbing pipes where they come into the room under the sinks. Light a match and blow it out. Place the smoking match near the pipe where it enters into the wall. You will see the smoke blow into the room. Purchase a incense stick and use it to make smoke for you. On a slightly breezy day, use this incense stick carefully and put it in front of your outlets, near the baseboard molding close by the floor, Around the window moldings where they meet the wall. You will be amazed on how much air is being pulled into the room at these locations. And all that air contains the dust your furnace is trying to remove. My suggestion is before you try to install new filters, or put some sort of filter over the duct, which will not work anyway, look for a BPI home energy audit professional and ask them to perform a blower door evaluation for you and explain about your dust issues. You can find these fine folks at www.BPI.org If you follow this persons advice, you will not only have a lowered dust issue in the home, but your comfort level will go up while your energy costs will go down. So you win in three ways. Good luck.

  • JP S
    on Feb 14, 2012

    Thank you Andy,I will try that.Can I purchase an expensive filter at HD? I buy the 3 in a package ones there.When I change the filters ( I have 4 furnaces)I put duct tape around the covers so they don't get air in, or whatever that is supposed to do.

  • JP S
    on Feb 14, 2012

    Thank you WB. Yes my home is hard to heat and cool,and my energy bills are high.I had an energy audit from my electrical provider,but did not get useful info,I am going to do the smoke thing.Thanks also for the link,I found a company in my area. I will call them.

  • Sure can...they expensive filter runs about $10 to $12 if I remember correctly. I don't tape the covers at all. You've got a pretty big house. Sounds silly but make sure you install them with the arrow indicator going with the airflow. I'm sure you are....but you'd be amazed at how many times I go to someone's home or rental and find the filter installed backwards...or worse...never changed for years!

  • JP S
    on Feb 14, 2012

    Andy,I'm going to HD tomorrow for filters,and thanks for reminding me about the arrows,I have been known to install them backwards!

  • The energy evaluations that they do for free from the power companies etc are garbage. They do not do true BPI energy audits. They do a walk through pointing out things that can be improved upon that directly effects the utility that they represent. A true BPI home energy audit takes the whole house as a system approach and understands that doing one thing such as air sealing will effect something else such as increased CO levels in the home. As someone who does this type of work you would be amazed on just how unhealthy homes have become as a result of people doing things right but not understanding that they are in effect changing the way the rest of the house reacts to their improvements. I hear all the time about excessive moisture issues in attics, mold, dust, bugs, high energy costs and the list goes on. Yet by fixing any one of these issues without understanding what the result would be in the rest of the home once one of them was fixed can result in poor health conditions to occupants of home as well as the exact opposite desired result in saving money. The primary reason for arrows, which are quite often put in backwards is to prevent the filter from being pulled off of its paper or plastic frame. You will see on the face of he filter where the air enters nothing covering the filter, while the other side has a paper or metal grill of some sorts supporting the fibers from being sucked into the fan system. This really only becomes important if the filter is not replaced at least twice a year. Ideally the throw away types should be done every month.

  • JP S
    on Feb 14, 2012

    That is really good info! You are right about the power co audit.Thank you VERY much.

  • Speedheat Floor Heating
    on Feb 20, 2012

    Hi Jeanette, I had a problem with my previous home with my filters filling up entirely too quickly. First, we went and did purchase some vent filters, which did cut down on the efficiency of the system, but it was enlightening as to how much was being blown through our systems. They were fairly inexpensive from Home Depot, I believe. In addition, we used a dehumidifier and air purifier system, which helped somewhat. Ultimately, it turned out that we had a small leak by a dormer window that was very difficult to see... when we ended up looking into it, the interior of the walls were filled with toxic mold, and while we were unable to see it, it was circulating throughout the entire HVAC system. I would definitely make sure that you do not have a mold problem, as well! You can purchase inexpensive mold kits at your local hardware store to see if that may be a problem, as well. Best of luck!

  • JP S
    on Feb 20, 2012

    Thank you SFH. That is great info. I do have 2 dehumidifers and a air purifier ( just a portable one) in my full basement, which is totally underground and half is finished. I have to empty one of the dehumidfiers once a day because it is full, the other one drains out side.I'm thinking that is too much water.I'll do the mold ck and see if it checks positive . Who could I get to check it out?

  • Speedheat Floor Heating
    on Feb 20, 2012

    That's sounds just like ours. That's way too much! Do you have a hygrometer (humidity meter)? We ended up having to gut the whole house & move because ours was so bad & had been covered up so well for so long that it was making us very, very ill. There are some local companies that you could look into for help. Make sure they have a good reputation with the BBB and other review sites, though. There are a LOT of scams out there! This link should help get you started. http://atlanta.bbb.org/Find-Business-Reviews/matched/Mold+-and-+Mildew+InspectionRemovalRemediation/30006/ Best of luck!

  • JP S
    on Feb 20, 2012

    Thanks again! I have a thermostat that shows the levels of humidity-dry, humid. Is that a hygrometer? If not where would I purchase one?I know there a lot of scams and that scares me.

  • Speedheat Floor Heating
    on Feb 20, 2012

    I understand completely! Does it show you the percentage of humidity in the air? If not, the one I bought had a thermometer and humidity gauge that I picked up for I think $8.00 at Walmart. It was portable and could stand alone or stick to metal with a magnetic backing.

  • JP S
    on Feb 20, 2012

    Yes,it does show the percentage of humidity, I can keep it in the normal range with the dehumidifiers. I just checked your website!!!I think it is wonderful that heating pads for rugs etc are available!!!!I will be calling you soon,my dream has always been to have heated floors!!! I will also tell my daughter who lives in Woodstock.

  • Fred Mayers
    on Jul 1, 2015

    Get a meter from Amazon.com around 10 dollars. Use the cheap filters but has to be paper not fiberglass. Check your ducts for leaks if they look bad they are bad. They have a paint on sealer that goes over the aluminum tape. On the return make sure no leaks.

  • B. Enne
    on Jul 1, 2015

    Yes there are vent covers. We have used them in the past, since there is asthma and allergies in the family. You can even get them at $ stores. They do however affect air flow to a certain extent. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Web-Vent-Filters-6-Pack-WVENT6/100661331

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