Frequently Asked Questions

Electro-Air Furnace-Mount and Five Seasons Portable Electronic Air Cleaners

Q

How often should I wash my filters? (furnace-mount and portable)

A

On average, collecting cells and prefilters should be washed every 3 months. Homes with tobacco smoke or heavy cooking activities should wash their filters once a month.

Q

How should I wash my filters? (furnace-mount and portable)

A

DAX Air Cleaner Detergent is recommended for washing the collecting cells and prefilters. Rinse filters with hot water from tap, spray completely with DAX Detergent, and let sit for 4-5 minutes. Rinse with hot water and watch the dirt go down the drain. Repeat process 2 more times. Water will be clear by end of third washing.

If trying to remove tobacco smoke particles or heavy cooking grease, fill laundry tub with cool water to cover the collecting cell(s), and add enough DAX to make a sudsy solution (approx. 1/3 cup). Let soak for 30 minutes, rinse well with hot water and let dry.

Q

Can I wash my collecting cells in the dishwasher? (furnace-mount and portable)

A

No. Do not wash collecting cells in the dishwasher. Collecting cells collect millions of airborne contaminants like dust, mites, bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi, pollen, pet dander, etc. You wouldn’t want to breathe these particles, much less eat them. These contaminants get transferred to the next set of clean dishes and also get caught along the seal gasket of the dishwasher.

Dishwasher detergents are corrosive to aluminum and steel. If collecting cells are continuously washed in the dishwasher, the ionizing wires will become brittle and break, and cell plates will get pitted and warped, which all means the life of the filters will be shortened and will need service repairs. Use DAX Detergent to clean filters and follow Maintenance Instructions in the Owner’s Manual.

Q

How often should I replace the Carbon Filters? (furnace-mount and portable)

A

Carbon Filters help remove odors and gases from the air. Do not wash them. They should be replaced every 3-6 months. Homes with tobacco smoke or heavy cooking odors should replace every 3 months.

Q

My air cleaner is not cleaning the dust? (furnace-mount)

A

The air cleaner is not a vacuum cleaner. It can only clean the air that is reaching it. Everyone’s home differs in pollution levels, and levels rise depending on the number of people living in the home, number of pets, carpeting, draperies, number of return air ducts, ductwork system layout, house floor plan design, and when the ducts were last cleaned. The more activity in the home, the more dirt. For the air cleaner to operate all the time, the furnace fan must be run continuous “Fan On”. If the “Auto” setting is chosen, then the air will only be cleaned about 1/3 of the day. Ducts should be cleaned if they were not done prior to air cleaner installation.

If the home does not have a multi-speed fan motor on the furnace, then the air may be passing through the air cleaner too fast. Ideally, the furnace fan should only be running on high speed when the heating or cooling kicks in. The air cleaner should run on low speed for the rest of the day. Call the installing contractor and get a “relay” installed.

Q

My furniture has a fine layer of white dust? (furnace-mount)

A

After installation of the air cleaner, white dust on tabletops and shelves may be noticed. Most large particles such as lint, are too heavy to remain airborne and settle quickly, never reaching the air cleaner. This white visible dust is “clean dust”. As the air cleaner is removing the dark/ staining particles from the air, the lint will also be cleaner. Lint dust is most noticeable on dark furnishings. To reduce lint dust, use continuous fan operation and keep return vents unrestricted to create efficient air flow. The air cleaner does NOT produce more lint or dust.

Q

My air cleaner is NOT making snapping sounds (arcing), and I’m not sure if it’s working? (furnace-mount and portable)

A

Electro-Air and Five Seasons brand air cleaners are known to be very quiet. Snapping means that the air cleaner is temporarily shorting out. It’s usually caused by water in the collecting cells, warped cell plates, broken ionizing wires, extremely dirty cells, and dirty ductwork, whereby big chunks of dirt are getting through the prefilters and going into the collecting cells.

Electro-Air/Five Seasons has the strongest collecting cell plates in the industry, as the aluminum plates are thicker gauge metal than what competitor products use. This all means less warping/bending of plates which causes snapping. Five Seasons also recommends the use of DAX Detergent for washing filters, instead of dishwasher use. This prevents the collecting cells from warping, or wires and insulators breaking, which all cause snapping sounds. As long as the ON/OFF power light is on and the Performance Indicator Light is on, while the furnace fan is running, then the air cleaner is working properly. It is normal to hear occasional snapping sounds.

Q

My air cleaner is making continuous snapping sounds (arcing) (furnace-mount and portable)

A

Snapping (arcing) is a result of one of the following:

A) Collecting cells were recently washed within the past week. For proper drying, it is essential that collecting cells are tilted on a 45º angle on their short side, with arrows pointing sideways. Drying may take up to 24 hours. If cells were dried inside the air cleaner with the furnace fan running, or if cells were not tilted against a wall for a 24-48 hour time period, then water can remain inside the cell tubes and insulators for as long as two weeks. Pull collecting cells out of air cleaner and tilt against wall, whether they look dry or not. Allow up to 48 hours of drying time. During warm weather season, let cells dry outside in direct sunlight, tipped against wall.

B) Large lint particle or hair lodged in collecting cell. Sometimes homes with pets such a dog, cat or bird, have fine hairs floating around which get through the ductwork and sometimes through the prefilter and collecting cell. The hair may cause the cell to short out, although it may be difficult to see. Wash collecting cells and prefilters separately, to prevent lint/hair transfer from the prefilters to the collecting cells. Remove any lint/hair which may be wrapped around the ionizing wires. Also, ducts should be cleaned prior to air cleaner installation or every 3-5 years.

C) Bent cell plate(s). If collecting cell(s) were dropped, repeatedly washed in dishwasher, or cleaned with utensils (i.e. brushes, rags, toothbrushes) between the cell plates, then cell plates may get bent/warped. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers and carefully straighten plates. If you are not able to fix the cell(s), call 1-800-267-8305.

D) Humidifier is leaking water into air cleaner. This can happen if the humidifier was installed on the return air duct instead of the supply air duct. Dry up water and have humidifier repaired.

Q

I think I smell ozone? (furnace-mount and portable)

A

There is ozone in the air at all times, as it is a form of oxygen and is nature’s own disinfectant. After an electrical storm, you can smell a freshness in the air which is ozone. Any household appliance with a fan and a motor, will produce trace amounts of ozone. The electronic air cleaner produces less than 0.005 parts per million (ppm) which is well below the safety levels set forth by the Food & Drug Administration in the USA. There is more ozone outside after a rainstorm, than is created by the air cleaner.

The odor of ozone will only be noticed in these extreme circumstances.

A) Home is extremely dry. Repair or install central humidifier.

B) Air cleaner is on (Power Switch Light and Performance Indicator Lights are both on), but the furnace fan is off. The electronic air switch may not be activated or the air cleaner is wired incorrectly. To correct this problem, call 1-800-267-8305.

C) Home is located next to a hydro tower field or home is located in a remote rural area, usually a farm house or mountain house. These homes will normally have higher incoming voltage into their homes - above 120 Volts. Voltage going into the air cleaner power line will be higher, so the voltage created in the collecting cells will be much higher than what is factory set. This can be adjusted downward by adjusting the potentiometer on the power board as per the owner’s manual. Call 1-800-267-8305 for assistance.

D) Air Cleaner is oversized for the home

E) Ionizing wires of collecting cells have silicon dioxide and must be wiped with a damp cloth.

Q

My collecting cells are not collecting enough dirt, although my air cleaner is running? (furnace-mount)

A

The air cleaner can only clean the air that is reaching it. Make sure the furnace fan is turned on continuous “Fan On”, as the “Auto” setting will only clean the air about 1/3 of the day. Make sure that all vents are unobstructed by carpeting or furniture.

Air may be passing through the air cleaner too fast, if the home does not have a multi-speed fan motor. Ideally, the furnace fan should only be running on high speed when the heating or cooling kicks in. The fan should run on low speed for the rest of the day. Call the installing contractor and get a “relay” installed.

Sometimes after an air cleaner installation, the installing contractor has forgotten to position the collecting cells in the direction of the air flow. Make sure that the arrow on each of the collecting cells is pointing toward the furnace. Twist and remove plastic handle on cell, and reposition it to the other side of cell.

Q

My air cleaner is causing AM radio interference? (furnace-mount and portable)

A

There is a 1 in 5000 chance that this can occur. The home is normally located in a rural area, and it will only affect AM radio. To correct this problem, call 1-800-267-8305.

WHOLE HOUSE TRUE HEPA AIR CLEANERS

Q

I only have so much money. What should I get first – a Media, Electronic or HEPA Air Cleaner?

A

If funds are limited, start with the basics. The Media Retrofit Air Cleaner can be later upgraded to an Electronic Air Cleaner. The Electronic Air Cleaner has a higher purchase price, but larger cost savings over a 10 year period.

Q

Why would I buy a HEPA, if I have the Media or Electronic Air Cleaner?

A

One air cleaner won’t do it all. The HEPA Air Cleaner offers much finer filtration. Our homes are continuously infiltrated with pollutants from the number of people living in home, to the activity level, to location in city or rural area.

Q

How do I know what size HEPA to get?

A

See Section Whole House True Hepa Air Cleaner, under “Features Included”. Every home is different. For example, if consumer lives in 2300 ft² home and someone in home is severely ill, upgrade HEPA to larger size.

FSHEPA550-3: It may be noisier in a smaller house, but the noise shouldn’t matter if someone can’t breathe.

Q

If a Media Air Cleaner removes particles down to 0.3 micron and a HEPA removes particles 0.3 micron, why do I need a HEPA filter when they do the same thing?

A

A Media Air Cleaner will remove particles down to 0.3 micron and will become more efficient as the filter becomes dirtier and dirtier. A True HEPA Air Cleaner will remove 99.97% of particles 0.3 micron on the very first pass of air. As the HEPA filter becomes dirtier, the efficiency increases and is capable of removing particles down to 0.001 micron in size.

Q

How often do I need to replace the filters of the HEPA Air Cleaner?

A

The Carbon Prefilter and Carbon VOC After Filter must be changed a minimum of 2 times per year. More often if home is new, being renovated or has smokers, pets, heavy cooking or hobby activities. HEPA filter replacement varies from 2-5 years, depending on the model.

Q

Can I vacuum my filters instead of replacing them?

A

If you do not have a central vacuum system, never vacuum the filters. The fine particles that you have collected from the air will be redistributed into the air from the canister or upright vacuum. Carbon filters will no longer be effective for odors if they are being vacuumed and used past their product life. HEPA filters can be easily damaged from a vacuum brush, which decreases efficiency of the filter.

Q

Can I run the HEPA by itself without running the system fan?

A

No. The system fan must run 24/7 for the HEPA to work properly. The HEPA is not powerful enough to draw dirty air in through the duct work and clean it. It needs the power of the system fan; otherwise air is just being recycled within the ductwork.

Q

Why would I install the FSHEPA350 or FSHEPA450, when the FSHEPADM400 has 320 CFM and costs less?

A

The FSHEPADM400 is for the mass market. For example: It’s a great option for a builder to offer in new housing projects. It’s also great when there are tight space conditions in the HVAC room and no other air cleaner or HEPA will fit. The filters of the FSHEPADM400 do not have the cleaning capacity of the other models.

Q

How much energy will the HEPA Air Cleaner cost me? (based on $0.04 – 0.08 per kilowatt hour).

A

FSHEPADM400: based on 125 watts max: $43.50 – 87.50 / year

FSHEPA350: based on 70 watts max: $24.50 – 49.00 / year

FSHEPA450: based on 125 watts max: $43.50 – 87.50 / year

FSHEPA550-3: based on 215 watts max: $75.50 – 150.50 / year

FSHEPA650: based on 215 watts max: $75.50 – 150.50 / year

Note: This is max. watts used by motor when filters are very dirty. The less load put on the motor, the less energy used.

Q

Competitive HEPA products state that their HEPA uses less energy because they contain a General Electric ECM Motor. How does your motor compare?

A

All of our HEPA models contain higher quality European motor and blower combinations. They are referred to as a Backward Curved AC motorized impeller. The motors are a PSC type with an external rotor. For example, the motor used in the FSHEPA550-3 is a 1/3 HP motor. When compared to a standard 1/3 HP AC motor, the traditional motor will draw approx. 6.4 amps, while the motor we use draws approx. 2 amps.

READ THE INSTALLATION, OPERATION AND SERVICE INSTRUCTIONS.

ELECTRO-AIR CANADA / FIVE SEASONS COMFORT MUST BE CONTACTED BEFORE DOING ANY WARRANTY REPAIRS.

99% OF ALL AIR CLEANER QUESTIONS / PROBLEMS CAN BE ANSWERED OVER THE PHONE.