dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
8916
share rss forum feed


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Convert Trane Cleaneffects to media filter?

I'm sure some of you remember this, but about 5 years ago I had a Trane Cleaneffects air filter system and heat pump installed...

I've always complained that the Cleaneffects didn't work very well ... and the company that installed it went out of business. Trane themselves just ignore my calls and/or emails... I've had a few folks out to look at it and no one can tell me if it's working or not.

Well recently the air coming from the vents in the floor smells .. well dusty. I took the filter out and noticed that there is dust inside the furnace itself. (How does one clean out the dust inside the furnace?) So it appears my assumption that the cleaneffects isn't working could be spot on ... Before the cleaneffects was installed we had a 5" media filter. It seemed to work great.

I noticed online that you can convert a Trane "Perfectfit" air cleaner to a Cleaneffects system. Does anyone know if you can do the reverse? Take a cleaneffects and put in the 5" Perfect fit filter?

I was thinking about turning off the cleaneffects system and taking out the fiber glass filter and putting a media filter in it's place to see if that makes a difference.. any ideas? I'd just replace the entire cleaneffects cabinet, but I can't find a price for it...

I know, I ramble, sorry. I think that the original installer did something wrong during the install and that is why the cleaneffects isn't very effective. But I'm not an installer so I don't know.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??



Zorack

join:2001-12-14
Fayetteville, WV

1 recommendation

I know it might sound far fetched,but have you ever thought about having some other dealer reinstall the cleaneffects and then make sure it is running right???
--
Matt Barlow Rules! Bring him back to Iced Earth! \m/



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

1 recommendation

reply to clevere1

Looking at the product literature and specifications it appears to be a very good system. I've had Trane Electronic Air Filters and this Cleaneffects looks good to me.

Why not get a reputable Trane dealer to check out your unit and make recommendations?



clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

1 edit

said by Jack_in_VA:

Looking at the product literature and specifications it appears to be a very good system. I've had Trane Electronic Air Filters and this Cleaneffects looks good to me.

Why not get a reputable Trane dealer to check out your unit and make recommendations?

I've had a pretty good dealer/installer out and they said they couldn't see anything wrong (but all they did was look at the front cover) .... I'm not even sure how to find a "really" good dealer. The company I used is Area heating and Cooling (in the Portland Area). They seem pretty good and have decent ratings (they originally installed the furnace when the house was built)
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by clevere1:

said by Jack_in_VA:

Looking at the product literature and specifications it appears to be a very good system. I've had Trane Electronic Air Filters and this Cleaneffects looks good to me.

Why not get a reputable Trane dealer to check out your unit and make recommendations?

I've had a pretty good dealer/installer out and they said they couldn't see anything wrong (but all they did was look at the front cover) .... I'm not even sure how to find a "really" good dealer. The company I used is Area heating and Cooling (in the Portland Area). They seem pretty good and have decent ratings (they originally installed the furnace when the house was built)

If all they did "was look at the front cover" then they did not do anything. Given they installed it maybe they didn't want to find anything?

Find a Trane dealer in the yellow pages and get them to check it out.


Tranedan

@charter.com

I work for a Trane distributor in Wisc. I can tell you that looking at the front cover can tell them a few things about the Cleaneffects but if they didn't wash it or do more than look they didn't really do anything. You can look on Trane.com and find other dealers. You can also buy 4 inch media to fit in the boot fro a trane dealer. It won't fit perfect because there are a couple tabs that may get in the way of sliding it in.



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to clevere1

I agree with the others about getting more specifics before abandoning it. As far as I can tell, common problems with my old unit can be diagnosed with the naked eye and a multimeter, and fixed with readily available parts.

I have a 12-year-old F50F, and it has a very simple flow chart inside the front cover that I've used many times in troubleshooting.

The ionizer wires have started breaking over the past year so I'm now stocking replacements for those. I bought new prefilters last spring and added postfilters. I wash the cells in the dishwasher, usually monthly, so I've had periodic trouble with the collectors bending out of spec. Troubleshooting that can be very frustrating unless I bypass the safety on the front panel so I can see which fins are arcing. Then it's a quick fix.

I don't know what they've changed in newer models besides maybe lower ozone output, but there ain't a whole lot to go wrong with mine besides the power supply. Most units are controlled by a relay on the furnace board, so that's another thing, but it shouldn't be too hard to check.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
reply to clevere1

I've been happy with my Trane cleaneffects. I clean the thing every 4 to 6 weeks. I use my strong ELECTRIC leaf blower to blow the dust out of the honeycomb and back-blow the pre-filter. Twice a year I use warm water to spray out the honeycomb and then use the electric leaf blower to to blow it dry.
--
nohup rm -fr /&



clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to Tranedan

said by Tranedan :

I work for a Trane distributor in Wisc. I can tell you that looking at the front cover can tell them a few things about the Cleaneffects but if they didn't wash it or do more than look they didn't really do anything. You can look on Trane.com and find other dealers. You can also buy 4 inch media to fit in the boot fro a trane dealer. It won't fit perfect because there are a couple tabs that may get in the way of sliding it in.

I don't suppose you have a part number do you?
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to clevere1

See, I'm not sure if it's my air cleaner itself or the installation that is causing the problem. All I know for sure if that there sure is more dust in the house then there used to be.

Speaking of which, does anyone know how to properly clean in inside of the furnace without mucking it up? I'd like to get the dust out of it.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


Automate

join:2001-06-26
Atlanta, GA
reply to clevere1

Do you have a pre-filter? How does it look?

If you are getting dust in the furnace most likely you have an air leak that is allowing air to get around the filter. Even if the electronic filter is not working, just a pre-filter should stop the larger dust that you can visibly see.



clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

said by Automate:

Do you have a pre-filter? How does it look?

If you are getting dust in the furnace most likely you have an air leak that is allowing air to get around the filter. Even if the electronic filter is not working, just a pre-filter should stop the larger dust that you can visibly see.

I'm not sure what a pre-filter is ...

Hmm ... I'll look into that.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
reply to clevere1

Hmm ... seems there might be an air leak around the cover ....
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??



clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
reply to clevere1

Ok, so I think I found a significant leak where the furnace is sucking in air around the air filter, but that side of the furnace is right up against a wall ... Hmm ...
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??



clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to clevere1

Click for full size
See the little tiny gap? Not even big enough for duct tape to fit.
Click for full size
The best ....
After some hunting, it appears that the cleaneffects is sucking air from the sides of the front panel. On the right side I can cover it with duct tape no problem, but on the right side the entire housing is so close to the drywall that I can't even slip tape between the front panel and the wall to seal the leak ...

Any ideas? I was thinking of foam or rubber weather stripping on the inside of the panel on the left side to seal the leak .... What do you guys think?
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable

said by clevere1:

Any ideas? I was thinking of foam or rubber weather stripping on the inside of the panel on the left side to seal the leak .... What do you guys think?

My cover has foam on the perimeter that seals tightly with a bottom pivot and top spring steel latch. I am wondering if something similar is missing on your cover, or why it's not sealing tightly. Maybe others are familiar with typical installations of this unit.

I had a similar air leak issue with mine that I found by listening for whistling, a few months after the installation was done. The dealer returned and caulked it. If you have any issues like that it may be possible to work from inside the blower box with the filters removed.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to clevere1

^^ Ditto

There should be a foam seal around that door to close off any potential leaks.



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
reply to ArgMeMatey

Click for full size
Seals on long sides
Click for full size
Sides in. Top lip over
I took these pics of mine this morning. Mine has rubber seals along the long dimensions that engage with the lips of the door left and right. The top and bottom edges do not have rubber seals as you can see in the first photo. When my door is clipped in place, the long edges engage (rest upon) those rubber seals. The top and bottom lips of the door go outside of the opening as illustrated in picture 2.

Without a doubt there is a small amount of air leakage in mine. But it is small compared to the huge amount of air flow from the ducts.
--
nohup rm -fr /&


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

1 edit

Hmm .. Mine also has the seals across long sides but not the short sides. But when mine closes, the short edges are outside of the box.

Mine's leaking good enough that I can see the dust trail (after looking REALLY hard) and it sucks in quite a bit of smoke. (when I use a candle and blow it out, the smoke sucks it right in). Mine also sits right tight against the dry wall (the edge I can't get any duct tape on) so I think that leak is sucking up a bunch of dust from the wall... I'll take some photos as soon as this coffee kicks in.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??



sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast

said by clevere1:

Hmm .. Mine also has the seals across the top and the bottom. But when mine closes, the short edges are outside of the box.

So yours has seals on all four segments of the rectangle? Mine sure doesn't.

Also, if it was not clear from my pics, mine is side-mounted to the furnace which sits on the floor. Bottom short-edge of my door is closest to the floor in my case. They can be oriented any way, but that will make "top" and "sides" different for us if yours is oriented such that the long edges are parallel to the floor.
--
nohup rm -fr /&


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable

said by sempergoofy:

said by clevere1:

Hmm .. Mine also has the seals across the top and the bottom. But when mine closes, the short edges are outside of the box.

So yours has seals on all four segments of the rectangle? Mine sure doesn't.

Also, if it was not clear from my pics, mine is side-mounted to the furnace which sits on the floor. Bottom short-edge of my door is closest to the floor in my case. They can be oriented any way, but that will make "top" and "sides" different for us if yours is oriented such that the long edges are parallel to the floor.


My cleaner is mounted a couple of inches above the floor. So when I pull off the front door, it may have to pivot a bit past that plane parallel to the bottom of the unit.

However in the OP's situation, it may be that because they mounted it so close to the wall, there was not enough room for the door to pivot fully into the locked position. So the installers may have bent or cut something to make it look OK. That's just a theory, of course.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to sempergoofy

said by sempergoofy:

said by clevere1:

Hmm .. Mine also has the seals across the top and the bottom. But when mine closes, the short edges are outside of the box.

So yours has seals on all four segments of the rectangle? Mine sure doesn't.

Also, if it was not clear from my pics, mine is side-mounted to the furnace which sits on the floor. Bottom short-edge of my door is closest to the floor in my case. They can be oriented any way, but that will make "top" and "sides" different for us if yours is oriented such that the long edges are parallel to the floor.

No, typo, sorry.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to clevere1

It appears that the unit has a pressure drop switch of some sort to turn the electrostatic field on and off along with the air-handler fan. I'm wondering if your air-handler is creating enough suction to turn the thing on. Does the first LED in the cleaning indicator bar-graph blink green while the air-handler is running?

Or perhaps it's supposed to be connected to the thermostat to know when the fan is on, and the installers didn't hook that up.

If the first LED in the cleaning indicator bar-graph doesn't blink green, the collector cells aren't being charged, and won't do diddly squat.

I'm surprised the pre-filter cleaning indicator LED isn't lit, since you weren't sure what a pre-filter was.... All the filters in there should be cleaned several times a year.



clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

said by Raphion:

It appears that the unit has a pressure drop switch of some sort to turn the electrostatic field on and off along with the air-handler fan. I'm wondering if your air-handler is creating enough suction to turn the thing on. Does the first LED in the cleaning indicator bar-graph blink green while the air-handler is running?

Or perhaps it's supposed to be connected to the thermostat to know when the fan is on, and the installers didn't hook that up.

If the first LED in the cleaning indicator bar-graph doesn't blink green, the collector cells aren't being charged, and won't do diddly squat.

I'm surprised the pre-filter cleaning indicator LED isn't lit, since you weren't sure what a pre-filter was.... All the filters in there should be cleaned several times a year.

The first LED of the bar is flashing after 10 minutes ... so it's trying to work. The pre-filter must be the first filter in the chain.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to clevere1

Click for full size
Right side of unit. It's closed and as you can see the lip sticks outside of the air cleaner box.
Click for full size
The Seal that runs along the
Click for full size
Closer view of the right side of the unit ..
Click for full size
Here's the left side that is all the way against the wall. Don't let the tape fool you, it's all bunched up, and doesn't seal
Here are some more photos to help clear some things up. Sorry about the blurry ones, different camera.

Mine is mounted horizontally. On the left side the cover is all the way against the wall. In the photo it looks like there is some duct tape covering up the gap. The tape is doing nothing, it bunches up and doesn't create a seal.

I have the black rubber seal on the "long" sides of my unit as others have shown.

On the right side of the unit you can see that the cover sticks outside of the housing and doesn't go in as shown by sempergoofy See Profile.

Front the first day this was installed the dealer (who is no longer in business 6 months after it was installed) had put the duct tape around the edges. I didn't think it was a big deal.... but the house has always been more "dusty" since the install.

My thought is that maybe they installed an older unit, but I'm not sure. I was also thinking that maybe I should get some rubber weather stripping on the inside of the door on the short sides to create a seal... since moving the whole enclosure would be a pain in the ass (unless that is my only choice).
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
reply to sempergoofy

Sorry, no. Mine only has seals where yours does.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??



Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to clevere1

Yes, the pre-filter is the first one, it's a course conventional filter to catch the "big" stuff, leaving only the finer particles for the electrostatic section.

Does the amount of dirt that washes out of the filter seem reasonable? If there's not a lot of dirt in it after a month or so runtime, I'd still be wondering if it's actually charging.

Then again, the last electrostatic filter thing I had (a single room model) didn't really seem to do much. The collector plates would get a thin layer of dust on them right away, then basically nothing else would collect on them till washing it again. Then one day, the thing managed to arc across the plastic parts of the collector cell, filling the room with smoke pretty spectacularly, and that concluded my experience with electrostatic filters... lol



clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

It seems ... somewhat dirty (the filter with the honey cones on it) when washed .. the pre-filter is working (everything gets cleaned once every 20 days). The problem is that I can see that dust is by-passing the filter ... it was said previous in this thread that maybe there was an air leak that was allowing dust to get past the filter ... and it seems there is. I spent the better part of last night trying to clean as much dust as I could from inside the furnace ... fun times.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??



dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to clevere1

A bit OT, but is there a significant difference in using an electrostatic filter vs a pleated filter?

I've been using Filtrete's 'Elite Allergen 2200' filter with my furnace, and it seems to do a great job. I have a 16x25x1 opening in the plenum attached to the furnace and it just sits in there. Not a very tight fit, so after reading this thread, I think I'm going to attach two overlapping rubber strips to help seal around the filter edge.

I'm quite impressed at the lack of dust in the house to be honest. Just wondering how much better things would be with an electrostatic filter, if at all?



Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

If you want to upgrade from the Filtrete, I would go with a thick media filter personally (like a 5 inch). Electrostatics seem too hit or miss, too expensive, too much to go wrong with them. Media is just tiny holes that admit air, not dirt, simple, nearly foolproof.

Filtretes are often frowned on by professionals btw, because they are high resistance, reducing the system's airflow rate, thereby reducing efficiency. A thick media filter has much more surface area, thus presenting lower resistance.

The filter slot in an airhandler was never designed to hold a filter that really cleans the air, it's sized only for a filter that catches lint, hair, and other large things that would otherwise get stuck in the evaporator coil or heat exchanger.