Really Boring Stuff Only III: Resurrection

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Drunkpenguin

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
668 4
Am I a dolphin? lol. But yeah I love my ecobee. Like I said I never touch it any more. I have the away temp set and the home temp set. The motions know when I come and go and keep things where I want it. Turn it off when Im gone. The remote sensors know which rooms are being used so it bases the house temperature off the occupied rooms. If you have it set to 72 and everybody is in the dining room hangin out, it uses that sensor to keep that room at 72. If I do wanna change the temp I can do it with my voice. Whats not to love?

I really think every manufacturer should be making remotes like this. I think a 2 story house with 1 hvac would be a must.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
4,505 11 2
Am I a dolphin? lol. But yeah I love my ecobee. Like I said I never touch it any more. I have the away temp set and the home temp set. The motions know when I come and go and keep things where I want it. Turn it off when Im gone. The remote sensors know which rooms are being used so it bases the house temperature off the occupied rooms. If you have it set to 72 and everybody is in the dining room hangin out, it uses that sensor to keep that room at 72. If I do wanna change the temp I can do it with my voice. Whats not to love?

I really think every manufacturer should be making remotes like this. I think a 2 story house with 1 hvac would be a must.
to Add to dolphin's post, You're assuming that all rooms have doors open. Assume one of the rooms is sun facing, open blinds, and a closed door. I guarantee you, that room would be hotter. having a remote sensor in that room will make thermostat run the fan longer until it reaches nearly same temp in all rooms
Thanks for the brief explanations. I doubt if I'm interested in being an early adapter. As I said, I live in a 2 story house with 2 HVAC systems, one on the bedroom floor upstairs and the other on the ground floor. Both are forced air systems. I put in new programmable thermostats ($70 each) last year, replacing older programmable thermostats I installed in 1994 ($55 each at the time) soon after moving into the new house. Although the older thermostats worked well, I'm satisfied with the new ones. They have back-lit touch screens and are much easier to read. The new ones keep correct time; the older ones easily drifted off by 10-20 minutes. They also know when to switch to or from standard time to daylight savings. These are minor but appreciated improvements.

I'm not an HVAC guy, but I am familiar with what works and doesn't work in my present and previous houses. Most important is capacity of the furnace, AC, air handler, and ductwork. The heat capacity of the furnace and cooling capacity of the AC are usually decided by the HVAC guy based on a number of features, especially square footage. So those become fixed. So is the capacity of the air handler and duct system. It's not easy or cheap to change them. Second to those, an insulated and well ventilated attic, plus windows and doors that insulate and close tight are important. An attic can be better ventillated with an inexpensive attic fan, but the others are not cheap to replace.

Every HVAC guy I've ever known, always said it is essential to keep airflow as open as possible – keep all doors open, use cheap simple air filters (avoid the 'high efficiency' micro-particle filters),and change them monthly. In particular, they specifically advise against closing off a room or rooms to try to save operating costs.

Where to locate the thermostat(s) is an important matter. Usually they are centrally located, away from outer walls, windows or entry doorways, near the central return duct. Relocating a thermostat always was complicated by the need to wire the new location. It does seem nice that wireless remote sensors make that much easier.

Programmable thermostats have been around long enough to have provided ample evidence of how well they work. And that's my main point. They can affect small savings. 20% savings would be a lot. The problem is that many (most?) people don't bother programming them.

So, I don't see how better managing the thermostat controls alone can account for significant savings in heating or cooling. When I look at the price for an Ecobee plus 2 remote sensors, it's easy for me to decide they aren't worth their high cost.
 
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BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,557 20 33
@Swerd. You're not wrong describing basic AC/Furnace cooling & hearting designs and basic optimizations (thou I disagree with you on filters, getting Nordic Air MERV 12 on Amazon is a no-brainer and keeping all doors open is not always an option)
What we discussing here is smart abilities of the thermostat to keep a bit lower or higher temps depending on a few aspects (see above). Everyone situation is different. If you have people 24/7 in your house or you really just want a single fixed temp, then maybe Ecobee is not for you. I wasn't trying to shill it to anyone. DrunkenDolphin (on purpose this time ;-) seems to appreciate its features as well as yours truly, but I could see your point.
P.s: I also own 2 stories home with 2 heating/cooling zones.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
4,505 11 2
@Swerd… I disagree with you on filters, getting Nordic Air MERV 12 on Amazon is a no-brainer
The filters claim the ability to remove up to 90% of particles 1 to 3 microns in diameter. While this may be true, it doesn't say how long they can go without clogging up. Continuous use of most filters like that will cause them to clog within a week. Unless you change them very often, they will impede air flow enough to bog down your air handler fan to the point of shortening the life of the fan motor. These fans are not nearly powerful enough to handle that level of filtration. HEPA air filtration units required for microchip manufacturing or pharmaceutical sterile atmospheres use seriously powerful fans.​
Along with the reduction of dust on surfaces, this MERV 12 anti-allergen pleated air filter is a high efficiency filter that will attract and capture the small, allergy-aggravating micro-particles that can cause your family discomfort. The Nordic Pure anti-allergen pleated air filter has a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value(MERV) of 12 which means that it will collect more than 90% of 3.0-10.0 microns of contaminants, and up to 90% of particles 1.0-3.0 microns.​
Read the customer reviews. Here's the first one:
Unfortunately, these filters restricted airflow. I read several articles on best air filters, most stated getting filters with high MERV ratings. I purchased these Nordic Pure filters with MERV 12 rating thinking these would be very beneficial. However, when I installed the filter in January, we noticed the house seemed colder and our furnace was going on and off continuously. Also when the furnace shut off, we would hear a loud bang like someone hit one of the vents, I called a local HVAC company to check out my furnace. After a thorough inspection, everything checked out fine. When I pulled the filter out and replaced it with a cheaper filter that the HVAC guy left me, within 30 minutes we could feel the house getting warmer and the furnace was not going on and off as often. After going through this experience, I realize we can't use the higher MERV rated filters because it restricts the airflow. HVAC system that used panel filters rated 6 through 9 MERV, putting in a MERV 11 or higher filter would restrict airflow (known as filter pressure drop). In turn, this would lengthen the system’s run-time, adding to your heating and cooling costs. Unfortunately I can't return them to Amazon.​

If you need to remove greater amounts of dust, allergans, animal dander, etc. because of allergies, you need a more elaborate filter than these. Talk to your HVAC guy about that. And specifically ask him what he thinks about those Nordic Air MERV 12 or similar filters.
… keeping all doors open is not always an option…
As long as you know the consequences of shutting doors, it's probably OK. It does alter the total air flow. The Ecobee tries to address that, but it can't really restore the total air flow.
 
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Alex2507

Alex2507

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
9,511 66 3
I wasn't trying to shill it to anyone.
It didn't sound like you were. You bought something you like. I'm always happy to note the stuff people on this forum say is worth while.

Swerd is right about the filters. I can't go full cheapo but I get the next price point up from the see-through, blue, cotton candy looking filters. It's just under $5 for a 14x20 filter. I use to spend close to $15. I don't care about the price. I'm interested in a more efficient a/c.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
4,505 11 2
It didn't sound like you were. You bought something you like. I'm always happy to note the stuff people on this forum say is worth while.

Swerd is right about the filters. I can't go full cheapo but I get the next price point up from the see-through, blue, cotton candy looking filters. It's just under $5 for a 14x20 filter. I use to spend close to $15. I don't care about the price. I'm interested in a more efficient a/c.
Where's Irv McCloud (?),the weight-lifting steroid-abusing HVAC guy when you need him?

I use cheap 20x20x1 filters I buy at Lowes or HD, and replace them monthly. I forget what they cost but they are the cheapest ones. I walk right by the much more expensive pleated microparticle filters.
 
D

Drunkpenguin

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
668 4
The expensive ones need to be changed way to often and if you neglect them you risk burning up the system. I also buy the cheap ones. I have 4 returns in the house tho and it takes a long time for them to get clogged.

If anybody has alergies or animals in the house I highly suggest getting robot vacuums like the roomba. They do a much better job at pulling dust off the floor and don't throw it into the air like regular vacuums. Ever since I started using them the air filters last even longer.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,557 20 33
The filters claim the ability to remove up to 90% of particles 1 to 3 microns in diameter. While this may be true, it doesn't say how long they can go without clogging up. Continuous use of most filters like that will cause them to clog within a week. Unless you change them very often, they will impede air flow enough to bog down your air handler fan to the point of shortening the life of the fan motor. These fans are not nearly powerful enough to handle that level of filtration. HEPA air filtration units required for microchip manufacturing or pharmaceutical sterile atmospheres use seriously powerful fans.​
Along with the reduction of dust on surfaces, this MERV 12 anti-allergen pleated air filter is a high efficiency filter that will attract and capture the small, allergy-aggravating micro-particles that can cause your family discomfort. The Nordic Pure anti-allergen pleated air filter has a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value(MERV) of 12 which means that it will collect more than 90% of 3.0-10.0 microns of contaminants, and up to 90% of particles 1.0-3.0 microns.​
Read the customer reviews. Here's the first one:
Unfortunately, these filters restricted airflow. I read several articles on best air filters, most stated getting filters with high MERV ratings. I purchased these Nordic Pure filters with MERV 12 rating thinking these would be very beneficial. However, when I installed the filter in January, we noticed the house seemed colder and our furnace was going on and off continuously. Also when the furnace shut off, we would hear a loud bang like someone hit one of the vents, I called a local HVAC company to check out my furnace. After a thorough inspection, everything checked out fine. When I pulled the filter out and replaced it with a cheaper filter that the HVAC guy left me, within 30 minutes we could feel the house getting warmer and the furnace was not going on and off as often. After going through this experience, I realize we can't use the higher MERV rated filters because it restricts the airflow. HVAC system that used panel filters rated 6 through 9 MERV, putting in a MERV 11 or higher filter would restrict airflow (known as filter pressure drop). In turn, this would lengthen the system’s run-time, adding to your heating and cooling costs. Unfortunately I can't return them to Amazon.​

If you need to remove greater amounts of dust, allergans, animal dander, etc. because of allergies, you need a more elaborate filter than these. Talk to your HVAC guy about that. And specifically ask him what he thinks about those Nordic Air MERV 12 or similar filters.
As long as you know the consequences of shutting doors, it's probably OK. It does alter the total air flow. The Ecobee tries to address that, but it can't really restore the total air flow.
66 people agreed with that review, but tons more are very happy with the product. It sounds to me that restricted airflow may reduce airflow a bit and as a result run system a bit longer (more power usage),but another side of the coin is I notice much less dust, less cooking smell and filters needs to be replaced every 3 months. So that counts for something. I guess I revaluate it once I go thru this last batch
 
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P

pewternhrata

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
173 2
The filters claim the ability to remove up to 90% of particles 1 to 3 microns in diameter. While this may be true, it doesn't say how long they can go without clogging up. Continuous use of most filters like that will cause them to clog within a week. Unless you change them very often, they will impede air flow enough to bog down your air handler fan to the point of shortening the life of the fan motor. These fans are not nearly powerful enough to handle that level of filtration. HEPA air filtration units required for microchip manufacturing or pharmaceutical sterile atmospheres use seriously powerful fans.​
Along with the reduction of dust on surfaces, this MERV 12 anti-allergen pleated air filter is a high efficiency filter that will attract and capture the small, allergy-aggravating micro-particles that can cause your family discomfort. The Nordic Pure anti-allergen pleated air filter has a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value(MERV) of 12 which means that it will collect more than 90% of 3.0-10.0 microns of contaminants, and up to 90% of particles 1.0-3.0 microns.​
Read the customer reviews. Here's the first one:
Unfortunately, these filters restricted airflow. I read several articles on best air filters, most stated getting filters with high MERV ratings. I purchased these Nordic Pure filters with MERV 12 rating thinking these would be very beneficial. However, when I installed the filter in January, we noticed the house seemed colder and our furnace was going on and off continuously. Also when the furnace shut off, we would hear a loud bang like someone hit one of the vents, I called a local HVAC company to check out my furnace. After a thorough inspection, everything checked out fine. When I pulled the filter out and replaced it with a cheaper filter that the HVAC guy left me, within 30 minutes we could feel the house getting warmer and the furnace was not going on and off as often. After going through this experience, I realize we can't use the higher MERV rated filters because it restricts the airflow. HVAC system that used panel filters rated 6 through 9 MERV, putting in a MERV 11 or higher filter would restrict airflow (known as filter pressure drop). In turn, this would lengthen the system’s run-time, adding to your heating and cooling costs. Unfortunately I can't return them to Amazon.​

If you need to remove greater amounts of dust, allergans, animal dander, etc. because of allergies, you need a more elaborate filter than these. Talk to your HVAC guy about that. And specifically ask him what he thinks about those Nordic Air MERV 12 or similar filters.
As long as you know the consequences of shutting doors, it's probably OK. It does alter the total air flow. The Ecobee tries to address that, but it can't really restore the total air flow.
Ive always been told to use a basic filter, it's just an added benefit to be able to lightly filter the air, also keeps ductwork from getting all caked up. I was told that your furnace/ac should not be the end all air filter in your house. If you need better filtration then get a stand alone unit for whatever room/s you need. I am curious if newer units are built differently these days to accommodate the better filters?

With the doors open vs closed, if I remember correctly...a properly installed unit should be able to run within a certain tolerance, I think it allows all vents to be 'closed' up to 20% assuming the air returns are unobstructed. One of the worst things to do is close a door to a room and also close the vent, the pressure pulling in the air return gets all skewed and can cause all sorts of problems. If a door is closed, the vent should be fully opened.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,136 6
FWIW I have an ecobee 4 upstairs and another down. My kids rooms always get too hot/cold depending on the season. Ecobee remote sensors totally solved that for me. I have it ignore the main thermostat sensor and only pay attention to the kids rooms at night. Problem solved.

Same thing with the master bedroom and my office. My office has my PC, work laptop in the main room and a server rack in the closet. Room can get toasty with the huge window as well. Ecobee fixed that for me. Energy bill seems to have gone down a bit. I haven't touched either thermostat in months.

I do like that my house has a "balanced" system that doesn't just force air into every room, but there is also an air intake in each room with it's own filter. Having 8 filter sucks though...those things get expensive.

What I'd LOVE to have is one of the remote vent systems that auto close vents that aren't being used. Very cool, but it seems that DIY isn't an option yet.
 
P

pewternhrata

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
173 2
FWIW I have an ecobee 4 upstairs and another down. My kids rooms always get too hot/cold depending on the season. Ecobee remote sensors totally solved that for me. I have it ignore the main thermostat sensor and only pay attention to the kids rooms at night. Problem solved.

Same thing with the master bedroom and my office. My office has my PC, work laptop in the main room and a server rack in the closet. Room can get toasty with the huge window as well. Ecobee fixed that for me. Energy bill seems to have gone down a bit. I haven't touched either thermostat in months.

I do like that my house has a "balanced" system that doesn't just force air into every room, but there is also an air intake in each room with it's own filter. Having 8 filter sucks though...those things get expensive.

What I'd LOVE to have is one of the remote vent systems that auto close vents that aren't being used. Very cool, but it seems that DIY isn't an option yet.
The vent system would be awesome, could probably get each room equal temp real easily. The sensors helped me out big time, well worth it. before the ecobee I was an easy 10 degree difference from downstairs vs up. I still have some days like that but they are rare. The only thing that is a setback, with multiple sensors being utilized at the same time, it takes the average temp, that's where I think the vent system would come in real handy, automatically adjust vents to get each room at the same temperature. I will manually adjust the vents and can get close, but any big swing in weather (temperature or cloudy vs sunny) I have to readjust the vents. First world problems lol
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,198 8
The filters claim the ability to remove up to 90% of particles 1 to 3 microns in diameter. While this may be true, it doesn't say how long they can go without clogging up. Continuous use of most filters like that will cause them to clog within a week. Unless you change them very often, they will impede air flow enough to bog down your air handler fan to the point of shortening the life of the fan motor. These fans are not nearly powerful enough to handle that level of filtration. HEPA air filtration units required for microchip manufacturing or pharmaceutical sterile atmospheres use seriously powerful fans.​
Along with the reduction of dust on surfaces, this MERV 12 anti-allergen pleated air filter is a high efficiency filter that will attract and capture the small, allergy-aggravating micro-particles that can cause your family discomfort. The Nordic Pure anti-allergen pleated air filter has a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value(MERV) of 12 which means that it will collect more than 90% of 3.0-10.0 microns of contaminants, and up to 90% of particles 1.0-3.0 microns.​
Read the customer reviews. Here's the first one:
Unfortunately, these filters restricted airflow. I read several articles on best air filters, most stated getting filters with high MERV ratings. I purchased these Nordic Pure filters with MERV 12 rating thinking these would be very beneficial. However, when I installed the filter in January, we noticed the house seemed colder and our furnace was going on and off continuously. Also when the furnace shut off, we would hear a loud bang like someone hit one of the vents, I called a local HVAC company to check out my furnace. After a thorough inspection, everything checked out fine. When I pulled the filter out and replaced it with a cheaper filter that the HVAC guy left me, within 30 minutes we could feel the house getting warmer and the furnace was not going on and off as often. After going through this experience, I realize we can't use the higher MERV rated filters because it restricts the airflow. HVAC system that used panel filters rated 6 through 9 MERV, putting in a MERV 11 or higher filter would restrict airflow (known as filter pressure drop). In turn, this would lengthen the system’s run-time, adding to your heating and cooling costs. Unfortunately I can't return them to Amazon.​

If you need to remove greater amounts of dust, allergans, animal dander, etc. because of allergies, you need a more elaborate filter than these. Talk to your HVAC guy about that. And specifically ask him what he thinks about those Nordic Air MERV 12 or similar filters.
As long as you know the consequences of shutting doors, it's probably OK. It does alter the total air flow. The Ecobee tries to address that, but it can't really restore the total air flow.
I've wondered what I could do to improve furnace air filtration in my house, without inducing excessive pressure drop across the filter. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think that an increase in MERV value would require an increase in filter surface area to compensate, meaning a thicker filter (deeper pleats). Of course, that would require - if possible - modifying the filter housing to accept a thicker filter.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
4,505 11 2
I've wondered what I could do to improve furnace air filtration in my house, without inducing excessive pressure drop across the filter. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think that an increase in MERV value would require an increase in filter surface area to compensate, meaning a thicker filter (deeper pleats). Of course, that would require - if possible - modifying the filter housing to accept a thicker filter.
My heat uses natural gas as fuel and is a forced air system. AC is added onto that system. This is typical in Maryland.

About 2 years ago I replaced my 22-year-old HVAC system. The AC compressor had failed and they made me a good offer for a new heat/AC system. My old system had an active electrostatic air cleaner that worked well for years but eventually failed. My HVAC guy said they don't install them anymore. With the new furnace/air handler (a Bryant Preferred Series 1-stage furnace 313ABV036070),I had them also install an Aprilaire Model 2210 Air Cleaner. It cost an additional $290. It was installed in the main return duct just upstream of the furnace/air handler, so return air is filtered before entering it.

It uses a filter that is replaced once yearly. Aprilaire claims it "provides more than 10 times the filtering media used in standard 1" depth furnace filters". Aprilaire sells a variety of other air cleaners that are meant to fit many different furnace makes and models. There are probably other makers of products like those, but I don't know about them. My HVAC dealer sells only Aprilaire.

Amazon also sells them, a model 2210 goes for $135 US, but you must get it installed which requires some sheet metal/duct work. Aprilaire recommends professional installation.

All this is for my 1st floor system. Beacuse of it's built-in filter, I do not add any additional filter. In my 2nd floor system, where the furnace/air handler is in the attic, I use one of those inexpensive 20×20×1" filters that I replace monthly.

That's all I know on the subject.
 
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GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,198 8
My heat uses natural gas as fuel and is a forced air system. AC is added onto that system. This is typical in Maryland.

About 2 years ago I replaced my 22-year-old HVAC system. The AC compressor had failed and they made me a good offer for a new heat/AC system. My old system had an active electrostatic air cleaner that worked well for years but eventually failed. My HVAC guy said they don't install them anymore. With the new furnace/air handler (a Bryant Preferred Series 1-stage furnace 313ABV036070),I had them also install an Aprilaire Model 2210 Air Cleaner. It cost an additional $290. It was installed in the main return duct just upstream of the furnace/air handler, so return air is filtered before entering it.

It uses a filter that is replaced once yearly. Aprilaire claims it "provides more than 10 times the filtering media used in standard 1" depth furnace filters". Aprilaire sells a variety of other air cleaners that are meant to fit many different furnace makes and models. There are probably other makers of products like those, but I don't know about them. My HVAC dealer sells only Aprilaire.

Amazon also sells them, a model 2210 goes for $135 US, but you must get it installed which requires some sheet metal/duct work. Aprilaire recommends professional installation.

All this is for my 1st floor system. Beacuse of it's built-in filter, I do not add any additional filter. In my 2nd floor system, where the furnace/air handler is in the attic, I use one of those inexpensive 20×20×1" filters that I replace monthly.

That's all I know on the subject.
Sounds like you know quite a bit...;)
 
fuzz092888

fuzz092888

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
4,925 42 1
Welp, I'm sick. Children strike again and I'm not so slowly declining into certain death. In other news my GF's sister has a new beau. I guess I have to meet him this weekend and make nice. a little FB snooping has me skeptical we'll be best buddies, but who knows. :rolleyes:
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,198 8
Welp, I'm sick. Children strike again and I'm not so slowly declining into certain death. In other news my GF's sister has a new beau. I guess I have to meet him this weekend and make nice. a little FB snooping has me skeptical we'll be best buddies, but who knows. :rolleyes:
Hey, why don't you make the best of it and sneeze on his food when he's not looking. ;)
 

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