Electronic air cleaner hasn't worked in 10 years

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Old 06-13-19, 02:39 PM
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Electronic air cleaner hasn't worked in 10 years

HVAC system installed in 1990 with gas furnace and Honeywell electronic air cleaner. The air cleaner hasn't worked in 10 years and I haven't washed the grids in that time either. System seems to work fine none the less. Should they be cleaned anyway?
 
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Old 06-13-19, 05:53 PM
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Pull the guts out and install a 4" pleated filter.
https://www.filtersusa.com/convert-e...t-media-filter
 
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Old 06-13-19, 06:03 PM
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OK thanks, that would work.
 
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Old 06-13-19, 06:50 PM
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System seems to work fine none the less.
You are lucky. Running a system without an air filter is a good way to have the A/C coil clog up with dust. It may work fine until one day it will no longer work. Definitely get a filter in there.
 
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Old 06-14-19, 04:55 AM
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It would be a good time to clean the coils since it has been run so long without a filter. You'll probably see an improvement in it's performance.
 
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Old 06-14-19, 05:34 AM
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Agreed, remove and slide in a 4in media filter
 
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Old 06-15-19, 08:22 AM
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You are lucky. Running a system without an air filter is a good way to have the A/C coil clog up with dust. It may work fine until one day it will no longer work. Definitely get a filter in there.

I am dealing with a similar issue right now, but in a rental. I am just guessing the Trion electronic air cleaner hasn't been working for 3 to 5 years. I can tell a noticeable difference in air flow at the vents and suspect the evap coil, which was new 6 years ago, is partially clogged. The coil isn't freezing yet, but I am surprised it isn't. I am just waiting on the power head to be repaired by the manufacturer to get the air cleaner working again and then onto replacing the 31 year old furnace and cleaning the evap coil. A good electronic air cleaner is priceless in my opinion, I love them, but will be getting an external filter rack installed too, just in case.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 08:47 AM
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A good electronic air cleaner is priceless in my opinion, I love them, but will be getting an external filter rack installed too, just in case.

Electronic air cleaners are very effective BUT they must be cleaned religiously......and by that I'm talking about once a month at a bare minimum based on season and run time.

I've had one for over twenty years. They are a constant maintenance item.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 10:08 AM
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The air cleaner hasn't worked in 10 years
System seems to work fine none the less.
I must be missing something, air cleaner hasn't worked in 10 years but seems to work fine none the less???
 
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Old 06-15-19, 05:27 PM
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Electronic air cleaners are very effective BUT they must be cleaned religiously......and by that I'm talking about once a month at a bare minimum based on season and run time.

I agree with the maintenance, it's vital. This house has been in my family for 94 years and I just couldn't part with it so I have been renting it. I spent a lot of time going through the cleaning process with the renter who is a machinist. I assumed he had the mechanical knowledge to understand how important simple things were such as re-installing the cells with the airflow arrows in the right direction, but perhaps I gave him too much credit. Once they moved out into a home they are buying I found the cells upside down and upon further investigation found the airflow sensor board was burnt. I also found a thick layer of dust everywhere so I suspect the evap coil must be close to being clogged.
 
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Old 06-15-19, 06:44 PM
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A system can appear to work fine but have a very dirty blower and evap coil - especially when its oversized for the cooling/heating load.

Electronic air cleaners are very poor dust filters even when working and properly maintained. The grounded collecting cells get a fine layer of dust on them shortly after cleaning, insulating them and most of the large particles go right through.

They can actually make a system get dirty faster than normal because the particles that don't stick to the plates stick to the next available grounded metal piece - the blower.

What EACs are great for is filtering out tiny particles. Need a MERV 6-7 pre-filter to get the bulk of the dust so the cells stay clean enough to be effective for a few weeks after cleaning - otherwise they're pretty much garbage.

From my limited experience (small sample size over the years - 3 or 4 units), the blower assembly stays cleanest when a pleated merv 6+ filter is used and the frame/rack is properly sealed to the furnace. The dirtiest blowers are found in furnaces with EACs.

Fiberglass 1" - somewhere in the middle of those extremes.
 
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