LESLIE: Mark in Texas finds The Money Pit on KFNC and you’ve got dust in the house. What kind of dust are you seeing?
MARK: Well, we’re getting dust coming in … I’m thinking it’s coming in from the AC.
LESLIE: Are you seeing it …?
MARK: (overlapping voices) Coming out through the air vents into the house.
LESLIE: Are you seeing it around the duct work itself or are you seeing it down on things below it?
MARK: Well, we’re seeing it on the duct work and we’re seeing it on the walls. And then, we’re also seeing it on top of like the entertainment center and on the tops of pictures. I mean it’s settling real high. So I didn’t know if I had like, you know, a leak in my … in my air ducts or if I needed to replace my air ducts. I’m not sure what the problem is.
TOM: What kind of filter do you have on the system now?
MARK: Well, I was using a 3M … one of the $15 air filters that you can buy, you know?
MARK: The pleated air filters.
MARK: And a buddy of mine was saying that if you use … if they’re too pleated, if they’re too much, then they make your AC run harder. I don’t know if there’s any truth to that.
TOM: No, I don’t think so. The …
LESLIE: And how often were you changing those filters?
MARK: I’m changing them about every 30 to 45 days.
TOM: Yeah. I think we’re going to make a much more efficient suggestion for you. Get rid of the small, pleated filters and put in a whole house air cleaner.
MARK: Okay. Okay.
LESLIE: Yeah. Because what they do is this whole house air cleaner will go into the duct work in the whole system. And then every bit of air that circulates through the house is going to go through this cleaning system. And that filter you’re only going to need to change once a year. And when you see how much dust and bacteria and pollen and dander that it collects, you’ll be amazed.
TOM: Yeah. Leslie and I were working with one of the Aprilaire whole house air cleaners. They were rated tops by Consumer Reports for the last three years. And we saw one of the filters after it had been in the unit for a year and it’s amazingly disgusting. So the filter itself is …
LESLIE: Impressively disgusting.
TOM: Yeah. (laughing) Impressively disgusting. It’s doing a good job. The filter itself, where when you take a small filter like what you had, these filters that are in the Aprilaire unit … actually, if you unfolded it, it would be 70 square feet.
TOM: So it’s a huge surface and the problem is that you’re not collecting enough dust with a small fiberglass filter.
TOM: So I think you’re better off spending some money and having a whole house air cleaner installed. It would probably cost you about, maybe, 750 to 850 to have one of those put in. I actually put one of these in my house and I’m really happy because we have allergy issues here and allergic reactions to different types of contaminants. And it really makes the house very, very clean.
I just think you’re not cleaning enough dust in the house and most people don’t, because they don’t … they use the small, thin filters. That’s what I call a pebble stop. You know …
TOM: … it stops the big rocks, but it doesn’t.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) But it’s not going to stop the particulates.
TOM: Right. It’s not going to stop … I mean, these whole house air cleaners can stop things that are virus size and particle size.
LESLIE: And Mark, the … an added benefit of all this is that if you put in one of these whole house air cleaners, you’ll be cleaning the air so much that by the time it recirculates back into the machinery, it will actually make things run more efficiently because those particles aren’t getting into the units themselves.
MARK: Is it something that’s going to be installed, like, within the return air vent? Or …?
TOM: Yeah, absolutely it would be. It’s return on … it’s installed on the return side …
TOM: … of the duct system. And it should be installed by your heating and cooling contractor. Okay?
MARK: Hey, great. Well, guys, I’m going to … I’m going to check into it. I appreciate it. I enjoy the show.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Mark. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.