Honeywell F50A electrostatic air cleaner scorching at contact board

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Old 01-12-16, 04:51 PM
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Honeywell F50A electrostatic air cleaner scorching at contact board

I was cleaning the cells-there are 2 of them- and pre-filters from the Honeywell F50A electrostatic air filter on our mid-efficiency Carrier Weathermaker 8000 upflow gas furnace and was in the process of putting them back in place when I noticed scorch marks on both contact boards on the power supply (not on the cell contact boards). There are holes through the boards at the scorch marks. The cells are back in place, but I am operating the furnace with the air cleaner turned off.

My question has three parts: Can the furnace be operated safely simply by turning off the air cleaner? If so, can the pre-filters be used as the primary filters for the furnace, or should I install a filter in the space provided at the furnace end of the return ductwork? If a filter is used at the end of the return, should the pre-filters be removed or can both be used together?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 01-12-16, 04:57 PM
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You can certainly operate the furnace with the electrostatic turned off but that's the same as having no filter.

If you aren't going to fix or replace the cells..... pull them out and get a 4" air filter to fit in that area. You can use the Honeywell door.... just leave it turned off.

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Old 01-12-16, 05:42 PM
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Thanks Pete, it's a good option.
Much appreciated.
 
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Old 01-12-16, 11:09 PM
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A media filter for the size of the air cleaner cabinet on this furnace doesn't seem to be readily available (it's 20 X 20, but for this particular model not an easy fit), so I thought I would just install a regular filter at the return outlet, as there would have been if an EAC hadn't been installed.

If I go with this option, the EAC cells and pre-filters should be removed, correct?

If I did happen to find a filter to fit in the EAC cabinet, would there be an issue with static pressure drop or reduced airflow to the furnace?

Thanks
 
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Old 01-12-16, 11:46 PM
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A filter under MERV 8 should be ok.

You can leave the prefilter in and just use filter in place of the cells.
 
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Old 01-14-16, 11:38 PM
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A media filter for the size of the air cleaner cabinet on this furnace doesn't seem to be readily available (it's 20 X 20, but for this particular model not an easy fit), so I thought I would just install a regular filter at the return outlet, as there would have been if an EAC hadn't been installed.
It's a bad idea to do that because return air ducts are notoriously leaky.

Better to filter at the furnace.

20x20x4 or x5 you should be able to get, but not at a box store.

Nice thing about the 4"+ thick filters is they have very high surface area so you can get away with merv 8+ without reducing airflow much.
 
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Old 01-15-16, 12:32 AM
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Thanks for the input Muggle.

Just to clarify, when I wrote "at the return outlet", I meant at the furnace, but you make a good point.

It's interesting what you wrote about the large surface area of the 4-5" filters maintaining airflow at higher MERV values. Would that be due to the pleats in the big filters? I was assuming that because the thicker filters had more bulk to them, that the airflow would be significantly reduced, especially compared to the much less restricted electronic air cleaner cells, which is my concern.
 
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Old 03-01-16, 07:32 PM
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Probably too late to reply, but yes - far less airflow per square inch of filter material with the 4/5" filter.

With regular 1" filters using too good of a filter can reduce airflow to the point where the equipment gets damaged
 
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Old 03-04-16, 07:19 PM
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What PJ said about the 4 inch filters are the best option, the Honeywell filter casing will fit either a 16x20x4 or a 20x25x4 respective to the correct model perfectly. I've always found those electrostatic filters to be gimmicky and annoying. They really don't take any more junk out of the air than a pleated filter, either. Filters in your furnace are considered "equipment filters", because they're there to protect the equipment, not clean the air. If people have concerns about bad allergies I always recommend a true whole house HEPA filter if they're serious about it. I think it's kind of cruddy of the industry to prey on the general public, telling them a filter's going to protect them from pollen and dust, when most of it goes right past the filter anyway. Electrostatics are an easy upsell on an install though...easier to justify than 5 grand for a true, properly sized HEPA that most people may not actually need anyway.
 
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