Air Cleaning - Sure its allergy season, but there's more to it!

Monday, April 2, 2012 by Tom Ruse

Ok, the straight scoop. Whole-home high efficiency air cleaners - the kind installed in your heating and cooling system - have the ability to trap airborn allergens like no portable air purifier can. Its just a fact. A portable air purifier can only work in one room and only in a small area of that room!

Sure, if the allergens and other crap in your home are not airborne, the installed air cleaner can't trap it. You have to vacuum and dust.

But here's the key. The whole-home air cleaner only works when your HVAC system blower operates. When the blower operates it delivers conditioned air throughout your home and the air that's already there has to go somewhere. That's where your return air ducts come in. The old air,  and the crap in it, are returned to the HVAC system thru the return ducts and the air cleaner traps the crap before it goes thru the system again to be heated or cooled.

BUT, you can clean the air more often than when you are heating or cooling. Just run your blower fan more often (put it in the "on" position) and it'll recirculate that air even when you're not heating or cooling - so your CLEANING the air more often.

Installed, whole house air cleaners also help protect your expensive HVAC system and can reduce the amount of dusting and vaccuming you have to do. So, while some portables may take a few contaminants out of a small room, they don't do ANYTHING to protect you HVAC system. Nor will you see an appreciably difference in having to clean the place!

Aprilaire Model 5000 Electronic Air Cleaner

I just bought a model 600 Aprilaire humidifier and wanted to know which install is better. Putting the humidifier on the supply or return side and why??

Friday, November 25, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

I just bought a model 600 Aprilaire humidifier and wanted to know which install is better.
Putting the humidifier on the supply or return side and why??


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding the model 600 humidifier. A bypass humidifier gets its air movement through the Water Panel® by the differential pressure between the supply (hot air) plenum and the return (cold air) duct. The supply plenum is under positive pressure and the return duct is under negative pressure.

One of the advantages of a bypass humidifier is that it can be installed either on the supply plenum or on the return duct with equal effectiveness. No matter which duct the unit is mounted on, the airflow always goes from the supply to the return through the humidifier.

A bypass humidifier will also have no adverse effect on any component in the furnace, air cleaner or filter. Aprilaire® Humidifiers put “water vapor” into the air, not raw water. This is nature's way of getting relative humidity into the air.

If you have any further questions regarding this or any of our products, please feel free to contact our customer service department at your earliest convenience.

Kind regards,


Zach Handyside
Customer Service Specialist
Aprilaire - Division of Research Products Corporation
zdh@aprilaire.com
1-800-334-6011 ext 6180
Visit www.aprilaire.com
Call center hours are M-F 7am-5pm CST


>>> Paolo

Does my one touch control work?

Thursday, November 24, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

The control for the air cleaner is saying it is filtering even when it is disconnected from the unit and also when the unit is not actually filtering.

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us with regards to your model 5000 Electronic Air Cleaner. The air cleaner control works on a negative signal logic, meaning that when it sees no connection to the furnace or thermostat, it assumes the fan is running and the air cleaner is working. The control needs to be wired in properly in order to truly see when the fan is active or not. If it still shows Filtering when the control is connected, there may be a problem with the wiring. We would recommend that you contact your installer to troubleshoot the installation further.

We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance.

How often should I change my Aprilaire air cleaner filter?

Monday, November 7, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

I just upgraded to your 413 filter. Was using the 401. I changed my old 401 every 18 months. Wondering if that's still a good interval. Longer? Shorter? Check it at 1 year? The 401's were dirty, not filthy by any means, when I changed them. Our house is pretty tight. Thanks.


Aprilaires' response:

Typically we have found that when moving from the 401 to the 413 that consumers will need to change the 413 at about the same interval that the 401 was changed.

Seals for the model 2200 Space-Gard Air Cleaner, how do you clean them?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

We have the Aprilaire Space-Gard Air Cleaner Model 2200, using the Replacement Media #201, and we have the model which has an inner housing with the center aluminum brace down the middle.

The two end panels of the inner media housing are faced with a pink \"insulation-type\" material to seal the edges so the air flow can\'t go around the media. The outer (removable) panel also has the same pink material.

Over time this pink material has become very dusty and dirty (in the spaces where it lies between the folds of the media). I have turned each of them once, and now both sides are very dirty. I have tried vacuuming the surfaces, but the dirt is lodged so deeply that it will not come out. I want to have clean surfaces on these three panels.

1.) May I wash that pink "insulation" material?
2.) Are there other ways to clean those surfaces?
(like, what did the original engineers have in mind?)
3.) Are there replacement pink insulation pieces available?
Please advise.

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding the seals for your model 2200 Space-Gard Air Cleaner. The seals will get dirty over time as they are designed to catch any particles which try to avoid the 201 filtering media. Once the seals catch the particles they are permanently trapped. Since you would like to replace them you may contact your installing contractor to obtain the seal kit, our part number 4725.

Do you have an Aprilaire Air Cleaner that can be used for a retrofit downflow furnace?

Monday, October 24, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

Do you have a model that can be used as a retrofit for a downflow furnace with a 20x25x1 filter?


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding our Aprilaire air cleaners. We have two models that will fit for 20 x 25. Our model 2210 and 4200. The 2210 is shipped with a MERV 10 filter but can be upgraded to the MERV 13. The 4200 ships with the MERV 13 filter and the electronic air cleaner control. Please view the attached literature for the air cleaner products.

You can contact an Aprilaire dealer regarding pricing and installation availability. To find a local dealer, enter your zip code in the dealer locator at www.Aprilaire.com. If you don't have an Aprilaire dealer in your area, feel free to contact any licenced HVAC company for pricing and installation.

If you have any further questions regarding this or any of our products, please feel free to contact our customer service department at your earliest convenience.

Taming Your Pet Allergies

Friday, October 7, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Taming Your Pet Allergies

Studies indicate that more than 70% of U.S. households currently own one or more domestic animals, with an estimated 10 million owners who are allergic to them.  About a third of the population that is allergic to cats, live with at least one cat in their home anyways.  Whether it’s a cat, dog, hamster or other household animal, simple steps can be taken to make your pet allergies more tolerable.

Don’t Blame the Fur

Allergic reactions are caused by exposure to proteins that are normally present in secretions from the glands in the skin as well as in the animal’s saliva or urine.  Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t matter whether your pet has short or long hair – it’s the pet’s dander (skin scales) that con cause some of the worst allergic reactions.  Although a pet’s fur doesn’t in itself cause allergic reactions – a pet’s hair is a good carrier of pet dander and saliva as well as dust, mold spores and other allergens.

Prevention is the Best Treatment

Allergists agree that the best treatment for pet allergies, as for all types of allergies, is avoidance of the things that cause allergic reactions.  But avoidance doesn’t necessarily mean living without pets, especially when a family member’s allergies are moderate in nature.

Dr. Robert A. Wood, Director of the Pediatric Allergy Clinic at Johns Hopkins, offers a simple avoidance strategy for those who have moderate animal allergies but don’t want to give up their pets including:

Avoiding Allergen Exposure – Reduce the overall allergen burden in your home by home by restricting your pet  no-carpeted areas.  Keeping pets out of the bedroom is a sensible strategy since you spend roughly 1/3 of your time there.  If possible, remove carpeting and upholstered furniture, once allergens get into them, they may remain there as long as 6 months.

Removing Allergens from the Air – Good ventilation and a high efficiency, whole-house air cleaner can help remove allergens already in the home.

Grooming Your Pet Regularly – You can help make your pets less of an allergy source by keeping them groomed and clean.  Dr. Llona Rodan, a veterinarian, cat owner and a mother of a child with allergies, recommends having non-allergic person comb the pet everyday either outside or away from the allergic person’s sleeping area.

Does the direction my Aprilaire air cleaner was installed matter?

Monday, August 29, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

I just noticed that the model 2400 Aprilaire air cleanerunit is installed backwards according to the air flow arrow on the filter frame. How will this affect the filter and the HVAC unit performance? Do I need to change it?

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us with regards to your model 2400 Air Cleaner. Our Aprilaire Media Air Cleaners are designed to fit with most heating/cooling equipment and duct work configurations. They attach to the outside of the heating/cooling equipment at the point where all of the air flow return ducts join together before the air passes into the heating/cooling equipment. This means that the air cleaner can be placed in an upright position, upside-down, on its side, or even standing straight up, as long as the air passes from the duct work through the air cleaner into the heating/cooling equipment. The outer housing door is universal and fits both ways.
In the past, our air cleaners had a rigid structure to the filter which required that the air flow pass in a certain direction through the cleaner. The cabinet had an arrow indicating the proper direction of the air flow through it so that its internal filter would be positioned correctly. These included our models 2200 and 2400.
Our current line of media air cleaners have a filter that can be reversed inside the cabinet. This means that the cabinet can be mounted in any direction and that the filter can be flipped around to match the direction of the air flow. This allows for a simpler installation and prevents the appearance that an air cleaner has been installed “upside-down.”
Air passing through the air cleaner in the wrong direction could lead to air leakage around the filter, increased air resistance, or filter collapse as the filter is structurally supported against air flow only in one direction. The efficiency of the Aprilaire air cleaner is not affected. If an older model air cleaner has been installed incorrectly, we recommend that either the original installer or another service contractor revisit the installation and reposition the cabinet so that the air flow passes through the air cleaner properly. Some sheet metal work may be required so that the return air duct can be attached to the flange on the inlet side of the outer housing when the air cleaner is turned in the proper direction. In addition, sheet metal work may also be required at the furnace so that the flat outlet side of the air cleaner can be attached to the furnace return air opening.
We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance.

Can the 1413 Upgrade kit be used for a 2400 if the 2400 is installed in the horizontal position versus the vertical position as shown in the upgrade video?

Monday, August 15, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

Can the 1413 Upgrade kit be used for a 2400 if the 2400 is installed in the horizontal position versus the vertical position as shown in the upgrade video?

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting Aprilaire.

Yes, the upgrade kit will work just fine if the air cleaner is in the horizontal position. The support pieces that hold the frame together completing the upgrade to hold the filter, will prevent the filter from 'sagging' down into the ductwork.

I have an Aprilaire air cleaner so is it necessary to have the regular one inch filters in place?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

Is it necessary to have the regular one inch filters in place? I have them and replace them monthly. These are the standard filters used when you don't have an Aprilaire filter.


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding your model 2200 Aprilaire air cleaner. Once the model 2200 was installed the 1" furnace filters should have been removed as there is no need for additional filters with the model 2200 installed. If they have not been removed, please do so. If not, the operation of your HVAC blower may be affected.

Outlet Mall Shopping

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 by Michael Hebert
 This weekend I was dragged along to an outlet mall. If my first statement wasn't a good enough clue, then I'll just come out and say it, I'm not the shopping type.

The shops lined a massive parking lot, and the whole mall was pretty busy. As we pulled in there was a funny smell in the air I recognized very well. 
I used to load that smell fifty pounds at a time into people's cars at my old job, it was asphalt sealant. The smell was fairly overpowering, the parking lot had clearly been redone the night before.

It was amazing what a relief it continuously felt to enter a store and get out of the parking lot just to get away from the smell. and what a headache it was to go back outside. We were more than aware that the bad smell was accompanied with bad chemicals. Despite my usual tendency to hang out outside, while people get their shopping done, I found myself accompanying them into the store.

It was clear which store's were running better air cleaners. Some stores still smelled of the parking lot, but others managed to smell fresh and clean despite only a door seperating its air from the parking lot's air. We forget about air quality so easily, but when it's staring us in the face we remember not to take it for granted. I'm fortunate to say I survived the shopping trip, and I survived the parking lot smells and chemicals, and have returned with another reminder of the importance of indoor air quality.


What are the wires on the inside of my Aprilaire model 5000 electroinc air cleaner?

Friday, July 15, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer Comments:

I changed the filter today and noticed that two of the fine wires running across the filter had corroded where the end hooks over the tension clip. So two are non functional (I cut them so they would not interfere with the others). Do I need to replace these and if I do what is the part number? Thanks.


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding the ionizer wires for your model 5000 air cleaner. These wires are important in creating the electrical field that charges the particles in your air before they are captured. Without all the ionizer wires in place, the 5000 will not be operating properly.

We have replacement wires available on our estore. Follow the link below to place an order for replacement wires:

http://estore.aprilaire.com/catalog/air-cleaners/model-5000-parts

There are two different parts for the ionizer wires based on which model 5000 you have. The model will be based on the door color and the color of the light on the door. This is also explained in the product description on the estore.

If you have any further questions regarding this or any of our products, please feel free to contact our customer service department at your earliest convenience.




How do I open my Aprilaire 2210 air cleaner to change the filter?

Thursday, July 14, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

How do I open my Aprilaire 2210 air cleaner to change the filter? I tugged on the handle, but it doesn't budge; I'm afraid if I pull harder, the handle will just pull off. Thanks!


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us about your air cleaner. The Air Cleaner door should pull straight out. There are four strong metal clips that hold this door in place and it could be stuck because these clips are stiff. If you give a little extra tug, you should see it pop free. If something does break, the door does obtain a 5-year warranty through your dealer.

Air Cleaner Control for my Aprilaire Model 5000 - Does the blue backlight always stay on? and what are the batteries for?

Monday, June 27, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

I just installed the Air Cleaner Control for my Aprilaire Model 5000 - Does the blue backlight always stay on? and what are the batteries for?

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us.  The batteries are for installations where the control is not receiving it's power from the thermostat or the HVAC equipment.  The blue light on the screen will stay on continuous if the control is powered continuously from the thermostat or the HVAC equipment.  If the unit is powered by batteries, then the blue back light will only stay lit after pushing a button on the control for 5-10 seconds.  If your control is receiving power from the thermostat or the HVAC equipment and has batteries, then the batteries are a back up power source in case of a power outage.
 
Thank you for this opportunity to be of assistance.
 

Merv Rating, please.

Monday, June 20, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

How can I find out the MERV rating of the Model 2410 and 4410 air cleaners?


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding the MERV rating of our Aprilaire air cleaners. The 2410 has a MERV 10 rating. We do not have a 4410. Perhaps you meant the 4400. The 4400 has a 13 MERV rating.

A (so far) useless app and an intriguing idea.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 by Michael Hebert
I'm a bit of a social media/tech nut. I love watching (and let's be honest being active in) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. change the world. And further, I love that my smart phone can track and post to it all now. My mother, in her infinite wisdom commented that the day would come people forget life without smart phones. I'm already there.

I stumbled on a crazy app today for Droid phones called "Allergy Tracker." I have spring time allergies that are really just starting to subside as summer rolls in, so I wouldn't really need the app right now, but since I'm still so close to that dreadful time of year, I was intrigued. Essentially the app creates a network of people who 'touch inform' the app about their allergy conditions. The app locates you every time you tap into it, and effectively tracks allergen levels by creating a real time allergy map from everyone's responses. Pretty sweet, but does it work?

By the looks of it the answer has to be - not really - bummer. With some horrible reviews, I won't be downloading the app, however it does bring up a good point - if you have allergies, your best weapon is information. While we're never going to be able to stop allergens from existing in general, there are things we can do to keep them from existing in our homes, but you've got to be informed. It's easy to see these small air purifiers and see a solution, but fixing a room isn't as good as fixing your home. There are better, holisitic solutions for your home. Central Air Filters, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers all have their place in fixing your indoor air quality problems.

Check out the informational link from eMedicine health and then some information from us at Aprilaire. After all, information is your best weapon.

eMedicine health
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/indoor_allergens/article_em.htm
Aprilaire
http://www.aprilaire.com/index.php?znfAction=IAQ&category=filtration


How many kilowatts does it take to run the Aprilaire Model 5000 Whole House Air Cleaner?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

How many kilowatts does it take to run the Aprilaire Model 5000 Whole House Air Cleaner? Thanks.


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding our model 5000 Aprilaire Whole House Air Cleaner. The model 5000 uses less than 50 watts. This would equal .05 kilowatts.

Does the blue light on my Aprilaire Model 5000 show the unit is working?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

I assume my aircleaner is working but the little blue light is not on. I will call my furnace man but wanted to email you as well.  Is it necessary that the blue light be on as an indication that the filter is working.  I had my ducts and vents cleaned friday, i believe the blue light was on when we finished but not sure now. please advise.
thank you


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding you model 5000 air cleaner.  When installed properly, the blue light on the model 5000 should be on whenever the HVAC fan is running.  The blue light indicates the electronic components of the 5000 are working properly.  If the blue light does not come on when the HVAC fan is running, we would recommend contacting your installing contractor to come to your home and service the unit.

How often should I change my Aprilaire Air Cleaner Filter?

Thursday, June 2, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer questions:

I got the upgrade kit for the 2200 model air cleaner to the 213 filter type.  How often should I change this filter.  I have found on the internet some say once a year, some say every 9 months, and I also have found every 6 months.  which one is it ?


Aprilaires' response:

We recommend on average to change the filter once a year for most of our customers. If you happen to run your furnace fan more frequently than with every heat and cool call from your furnace, then you might need to change the filter sooner. The other factors that may cause you to change the filter more frequent is if you happen to have construction done on your home or have a large number of pets in your home. Again on average we suggest that most customers change their filter once a year. If you have any other questions please contact us at 800-334-6011.

What is the difference in the 401 and 501 media filters and why cant you use the 401 in th model 5000?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

What is the difference in the 401 and 501 media filters and why cant you use the 401 in th
model 5000?


Aprilaires' response:

The 401 and 501 filters are the same size, but the 501 has mettalic stripping on each crease.  This stripping is necessary in with the electronic make up of the model 5000 air cleaner.  You could use the 401 filter in the model 5000 electronic air cleaner, but if you do, you will not be able to utilize the electronic capabilities of the unit.