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Old 03-15-20, 10:13 PM   #2
MN Renovator
Less usage=Cheaper bills
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This isn't even a factor. Why would you think that you have SARS-CoV-2019 in your home air filter? Perhaps if someone who you knew had it was in your house, sneezed directly in the air intake and that got lucky and make its way through the return vents all the way through air filter .... where it would likely either stop and protect you or it would pass through and be distributed. You mentioned bacteria, SARS-CoV-2019 is not bacteria, it is a virus. If there was really some kind of unwarranted concern over this specific virus in your air filter, which there shouldn't be, you could be put at ease if you put some isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle, soak the filter, and put it back in. The alcohol will dilute within the quantity of air in your home and you likely wouldn't smell it for long, but really this should be completely unnecessary.

With COVID-2019 concerns aside, a clogged filter isn't going to increase your energy usage because this isn't how HVAC blowers work. I've personally kept a basic 1" filter in my furnace from November through March, 4 months total through the highest furnace usage months. I waited until my furnace temp rise went up 5 degrees before swapping the filter and the energy usage of the furnace blower motor remained the same, 300 watts in both cases.

Fun fact: When you close the air supply to a blower, it actually uses less energy due to the reduced load and the blower wheel actually spins faster, but if you've got enough of a change in air flow to where you will see an energy change, your air flow will likely be beyond the point where you would likely trip a high limit switch in the furnace or freeze the evaporator coil if it's an air conditioning month and the cycles run long enough.
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