Trane CleanEffects Electronic Filter Review

by Don Munn

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Question:
Have you had any feedback on the Trane CleanEffects Electronic Air Filter? We need a whole new AC system and they are really pushing this filter.  At nearly $1000.00 I’m not so sure it’s needed.  Any thoughts or words from others?

What some quick research revealed

I am not familiar with these air cleaners so I did some quick research and found out that there have been some recalls on those units. I didn’t research the details of the recall.

From what I see they look like a combination of media air filter and electronic air cleaner. I have never been a fan of traditional electronic air cleaners because they allow larger dust particles to pass through the filter. I always recommend installing a pleated air filter as a pre-filter or post filter when using them. This may be their attempt to eliminate that flaw in the electronic air cleaner design.

They claim the filter is 99.98% effective. That’s better than a HEPA filter by .01%. If it is that efficient it may require constant maintenance to prevent it from having a negative impact on air flow. I also predict that the filter material will require replacement more often than a person would expect for a reusable air filter and that will probably not be cheap. I would recommend going with one of the more traditional filters.

If allergies are an issue for you I would recommend an efficient pleated air filter or a Hepa filter. For the cost of a CleanEffects you can easily replace a pleated filter 4 times per year for 15 years and that doesn’t factor in the cost of electricity to operate the CleanEffects or the cost of maintaining it for that time.

Best,

sig

P.S. The link below used to lead to a demo of how the CleanEffects air cleaner works, but they have removed it. Now the page has links to more information about the product. You can read more about the Trane Clean Effects on their site here.

Don Munn About Don Munn
Don has been working in the HVAC industry for more than 25 years and shares his experience and knowledge on this site. If you find the information presented here helpful please use the buttons below and share with your friends.



{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Corey

CleanEffects doesn’t need replacement filters, you clean the cells. Much easier than old Honeywell EAC

CleanEffects prefilter is as good or better for collecting large particles as any 1″ fiberglass or poly filter.

Yes it is better than HEPA. Tested and verified by Harvard School of Health

Yes static pressure is higher than 1″ fiberglass filter. But it is much better than any 3m type 1″ filter.

The recall was nothing. It involved downflow mount applications which were not the majority at all. It was a reliability issue not safety. Trane did a voluntary replacement of the cell on every unit installed and no cost to customer.

CleanEffects is a much different technology than standard EAC units.

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DonaldT

Thanks for the comments Corey. I was hoping somebody who has experience with these filters would provide some information about them.

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HitByATrane

I purchased a Trane CleanEffects system about 18 months ago. Don’t repeat my mistake.
1. Produces ozone in your home. EPA, OSHA say that ozone high enough to kill microbes is certainly harmful to people. Ozone at any level will react with VOC and create harmful substances that are in quantities high enough to injure humans. Check out EPA websites and references.
2. The prefilter will remove larger particles but is not better then any standard 3M type filter, probably worse.
3. The electrostatic filter is impossible to really clean once dirty and stained, contrary to owners guide.
4. The plastic honeycomb filter gets a little dirty very quickly and then stops removing dirt from the air resulting in much debris returning into my house.
5. The air flow seems to be reduced significantly when all sections of the filter system are in place.

Bottom line even when I clean this system often I have loads of dust in my house and in my duct work. The system was built to introduce ozone into the home even when there is considerable evidence that adding to ozone already present in the home has no positive health effect and is almost certainly increasing health risks for everyone in the home.

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Lisa

The Clean Effects filter is NOT designed to kill bacteria only collect it in the collector cell portion. Therefore the ozone does not need to be at a high level. The Trane Clean Effects Filter has one of the lowest ozone emissions on the market. The prefilter is not worse than a standard 1″ pleated but is about as efficient. Lastly, the Clean Effects collector cells may get discolored over time but the effectivenss of the cell is not diminshed. As long as the LED read indicator on the door of unit shows green, the flow rate through the system should be fine.

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john jaeger

i keep hearing how my electronic air cleaner is NOT good for my kids because it releases ozone into the air. please let me know about this issue thank you John

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DonaldT

Hi John,
I often receive questions about ozone so I posted an article. It links to a report published by the US Environmental Protection Agency. You can read the details here. Electronic Air Cleaners and Ozone

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Carl

How much maintenance is required for a CleanEffects filter?
Is it possible to go 6 months between cleaning if there are no pets, no smoking, and no smog? I live on the beach and the air handler is in the attic, i.e., difficult to get to.

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DonaldT

Carl, You should always follow manufacturers recommendations, especially with an air cleaner of this type. I think you would have problems with this unit if you didn’t service it for six months. Not changing or cleaning any type air filter or air cleaner regularly decreases equipment operating efficiency and costs you more money.

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G. Ruskosky

I DO NOT recommend the use of the Trane Clean Effects filter. I had two of them installed when I replaced old heat pump compressors and air handlers. We noticed an acrid smell in the house after installation but the dealer said it would go away. The smell did not go away and we developed sore throats and a constant cough. After numerous Dr. visits we discovered the cause was the ozone produced by the Clean Effects. The dealer disconnected the Clean Effects and the acrid smell went away and we both feel much better.

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Ian

I have had mine in my home for a couple of years now. I live in Florida and get a lot of use out of my unit. I have had no problems that anyone above has mentioned. I clean the frst step filter every couple of months as the manual instructs and it works great. The only thing i dislike is that it is in my attic and it gets hot up there when the door over the filters doesn’t want to go back on easily.

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sean

I have had a Clean Effects installed in my home for two years and have to say it has made a huge impact on my wifes allergies! I noticed a comment from a previous post in regards to ozone? If you do some research all air cleaners will produce ozone with the correct amount of airflow across the filters. One of the biggest problems you will find in the hvac industry is not the equipment but poor installation and application of the products.

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DanJ

The EPA link posted in #6 above is talking about the small table top Ozone generators that companies sell as air cleaners and make dubious medical claims about. These units intentionally produce ozone. The Trane CleanEffects is not this type of device, it is a whole house air filter that incidentally produces a tiny amount of ozone, 0.3 parts per billion (or 0.0003 ppm) according to their website.
The problem experienced by G.Ruskosky in #7 above sounds like an error in the installation (perhaps the installer hooked up the wrong voltage?) or defective product.
I’m not in the business but am researching for replacing our old furnace & filter so it’s good to hear from people with actual experience.

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DonaldT

Thanks for pointing that out DanJ. My intention was only to provide information about ozone and its effects on people who are exposed to various concentrations, not to imply that electronic air cleaners generate that much of it. I’ll add a note to the article pointing that out.

Regarding the amount of ozone that the Trane CleanEffects units produce. I checked their site and the following is a quote from that site.

“Trane CleanEffects also generates a minimal amount of ozone, less than 5 PPB (parts per billion), well below the 10 PPB FDA voluntary emission limit for medical devices and significantly below some ionic-type room appliances that may reach hundreds of PPBs.”

Regarding the comment by G. Ruskosky, it certainly could have been a problem with the installation or defective equipment, but also consider that people have different tolerance levels when exposed to pollutants and irritants.

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richard & carole

Basic question to clear up some confusion…what are the pre-filters? are they the same as first-step filters? Are they in addition to the CleanEffects filter (which I understand can be cleaned with water)?

Thanks

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DonaldT

Basically they do the same thing. They both pre-filter the air before it gets to the second stage filter.

In my opinion the difference is this:

I consider the first filter in a system which uses two different types of filters to be a pre-filter. For example,in a commercial application using media pad filters and bag filters. I would call the media pad filters pre-filters because they remove larger particles of dust from the air before it gets to the more efficient bag filters.

Although the pre-filter in the Trane CleanEffects does the same thing, you could call it a first-step filter. The difference being that it is integrated into the design of the CleanEffects filter.

Most people use the term pre-filter, but either one is correct.

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Dave

I am a Trane dealer and have installed 100’s of cleaneffects and have never had an issue with them.
They do not produce ozone and if they are the unit must have poor airflow or some other installation issue.
The light indicators on the door will tell you when to clean the pre filter and the collector cells. the charging cell should be cleaned once per year more if needed.
The newer models with 200 on or near the serial number can be washed with water but must be dry be for putting back into service.
I suggest you check out Tranes web site for more info

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DonaldT

Thanks for the tips Dave. Good info. I have to disagree about ozone though. According to the Trane website the CleanEffects does produce a “negligible amount of ozone – less than .3 ppb to the living space”. You have to click on “Trane CleanEffects specifics” below the main text on the page.

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B David

We’ve had our CleanEffects filter on our new Trane variable speed fan furnace for over two years and as an engineer and remodeler I wouldn’t recommend this to clients because of the high cost to my perceived benefit. We still get plenty of dust buildup around the house and after cleaning the unit again today, I feel the system will not have a long life, especially the charging pins which seem to get noticeably shorter and appear rusty. Also, based on observing the typical homeowner, they struggle to change out basic filters on a timely basis let alone one that has four components to remove and clean. Bottom line, I’m not sold on this system (yet).

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DonaldT

I agree with you B David, changing or maintaining furnace filters is a very important part of equipment maintenance but is often neglected. It’s unfortunate because dirty furnace filters reduce operating efficiency, increase operating costs and are a common reason for service calls.

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BenL

I echo B David’s comments. I just bought a pleated filter for my other unit as I can’t see benefit to the clean effects. Hard to clean, requires frequent maintenance of the prefilter and the status lights are just timers…they don’t measure anything but days since you reset. In my opinion, this was a waste of money.

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doug

I work on these all the time, there is an adjustment to lower the intensity on the door. I have one . I just put in at my lake house for the musty smell. I noticed my sinuses were bothering me this weekend. I need to try adjusting my own. The cells should be cleaned every 3 months from what I see on the job depending on dust in your area.

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me

I don’t post on forums much, but I must get the word out about Trane. I had a Trane CleanEffects installed a few months ago. The ozone level is not negligible to me. I end up with a sore throat at its highest setting but not as sore at a lower setting. (dry throat, not quite sore, at lower setting.) I am angry that I spent so much money on this because it led to other potential problems that I won’t bore you with.

I should note that i sense environmental toxins at levels most people can’t, so most people won’t be bothered by Trane’s ozone output. Also, I don’t know if ozone is the compound which bothers me, but the air feels like those old-school Ionic Breezes. So, I’m guessing ozone. Perhaps you may not perceive the change in air quality, but the Trane spews at least one irritant. Life is more inconvenient due to my sensitivities, but I’ve accepted my lot in life as sort of a canary in a mine and be more appreciative of my sensitivity issues that can warn others. You are at liberty to install it, but just because you don’t sense it doesn’t mean everything is okay. I would not recommend it to anyone because the hidden, imperceptible ones are sometimes the most dangerous.

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DonaldT

Thanks for your input me. Your symptoms are very similar to G. Ruskosky. It seams that there is potential for very negative reactions to these units for those who have a low tolerance to environmental pollutants.

Before giving up on the unit totally I would recommend having a technician who is experienced with these units look at it to make sure it has been installed correctly and set up properly. Its a small expense compared to just having the unit sit there not operating.

When contacting a contractor be very specific about the problem you are having and ask lots of questions. If they don’t seam knowledgeable about the unit just call a different contractor. You will most likely be able to tell in a 5 minute conversation if the guy knows what he’s talking about or not.

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me

DonaldT, Thank you for your reply. I did contact the installer who ordered a new power pack because the unit “flashed the warning lights” at the lowest setting. So I’m stuck at a medium, thus leaving me with a dry throat which is better than a sore throat. Maybe a new power pack will solve the problem, but honestly I’m not that hopeful…

The installer also cleaned the unit which wasn’t that dirty. But I was told that without the electrostatic attraction the air cleaner provides, much of the particles weren’t being captured, which means much of the collected dirt can spew throughout the ducts and enter my house again. I was stunned to learn this because most people wouldn’t even know if the air cleaner even works or not – I was lucky that the technician was observing the unit after cleaning it to notice failure.

There has to be a fail-safe mechanism so the air cleaner works at least like a regular filter. Although I feel confident about the knowledge my technician has, I sincerely hope that he’s wrong… If the unit fails, it should at least still function like a regular pleated HEPA-level air filter without an air scrubber. Otherwise, homeowners would have no clue if it’s working or not.

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DonaldT

Hopefully that will solve your problem.

One of my biggest complaints with any electronic air cleaner is that it is not always obvious when they stop working properly. Sometimes the first obvious sign of trouble is when the evaporator coil ices up because of poor air flow due to dirt build up on the surface of the coil.

Most electronic air cleaners have pre-filters but they are not very efficient and only stop the larger dust particles.

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Damon

I have had two CleanEffects units for 5 years now, and I can tell you that they do not function as advertised. I clean my pre-filter every month, the cells every 2-3 months, and the electronic filter every 6 months. I was initially told they would stop dust and help allergies, but I can assure you that they do neither. I have more dust now than I had with my old units.

I have had my 16 SEER units and CleanEffects filters repaired several times. I now have one that when it is cleaned and reset, the red light again begins flashing within a day or so. I called the installer and was told to clean everything again and reset the filter. I was also told that sometimes you have to reset them 2-3 times before the red light stops flashing, and that when the red light is flashing, the filter essentially shuts down, which negates the necessity for even having it.

Usually when the filter has problems, the heat pump itself is not far behind. Sometimes, I think it is an indicator of trouble to come. In my opinion, Trane CleanEffects units are a waste of money, and their heat pumps aren’t much better. I initially had Amana units in my house, and they operated flawlessly.

I wouldn’t recommend a Trane unit to anyone. I think that all their residential units are made in Mexico, and I believe their quality control has deteriorated significantly. When they tell you that “Nothing Stops A Trane”, they must be referring to one of those units that has never been started up. All I can say is that Goodman is made in the USA, and I just found out they bought Amana as well. My son will soon build a new home, and I am recommending that he avoid Trane like the plague. At the very least, I don’t plan to ever own another one.

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DonaldT

Sounds like your experience with Trane has not been positive. That’s unfortunate and I am sure frustrating for you. Heat pumps and electronic air cleaners don’t come cheap (financially speaking).

Unfortunately, they often do come cheap in other ways. There have been mixed reviews here about Trane Clean Effects units. As I mentioned above, I’m not a fan of electronic air cleaners for reasons mentioned elsewhere on this site.

I have to admit, your negative experience with Thane heap pumps surprises me, I would recommend a Trane heat pump to anyone. I don’t know what problems you had with yours so it’s difficult for me to comment on that.

I will say, one of the biggest problems with heat pumps and air conditioning systems is the quality of installation. A poorly installed system can cause many problems and unfortunately there are many installers who don’t know, or care, what they are doing.

Hopefully, your son will have better luck.

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AnnP

As a Trane Comfort Specialist we have installed many Trane Clean Effects, we have yet to have a customer complain regarding the effectiveness of the filtration or discomfort from the Ozone emitted.

Perhaps homeowners should seek reputable companies familiar with building science and the whole house envelope when evaluating Indoor Air quality issues within a structure. While some particles are captured in filtration, a lack of complete and adequate filtration is not always due to a failure of the type of filtration in use.

One must evaluate where and why the structure is having a dust or contaminate issue. If I were to guess, I am sure you would find that these homeowners have not had a Blower Door Infiltrometer Test for duct leakage, nor identified possible unhealthy air leaks within the structure from the wall cavities, top plates, attic, garages, etc.

Suppy leaks within a system “suck”. Air conditioning is like a bank, money in = money out. Air in = air out. The system is designed to deliver for instance, 1200 Cfm for a 3ton system. It must be able to deliver and return 1200cfm. When delivery is impeded (due to leaks) or return is impeded, (improper size). The balance in air flow is incorrect.

The unit will continue to attempt to return 1200cfm of air. Now it has to pull it from wherever it can get it, thus the areas listed above. ALL unhealthy places are a cause for DUST. Let’s not forget one of the biggest offenders, recessed can lights!! Attic insulation in this instance makes a wonderful filter. EWWW. Did you know rat urine is a #1 contaminate and once dried, crystallizes and is spread through out the duct system.

I would suggest homeowners know the Indoor air quality and condition of their home and the entire a/c system including ductwork, before being so quick to blame failure on equipment. And proper duct sealing and envelope sealing, that too should be left with a properly trained contractor. Again, proper duct design when choosing equipment and filtration is integral in making sure static pressures are within tolerances for the system being installed.

In all things, knowledge, training and quality of service (installation) is everything when choosing a contractor.

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DonaldT

Very informative comment AnnP, you sound like a knowledgeable contractor who cares about your customers and the quality of your work.

While you are correct that many problems can be avoided by simply hiring a good contractor who is knowledgeable and cares about customers, it is easier said than done. The HVAC industry is like any other profession, the best are too busy, too expensive or too few and usually it comes down to cost.

I can guarantee that many contractors wouldn’t even know what a Blower Door Infiltrometer Test is and unfortunately, fewer would care. So, you can’t blame the customer for not knowing about the things you mention in your comment when even the contractors who they hire often don’t know or care.

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Chris

I am in the process of replacing my A/C and furnace and evaluating the Trane filter versus the Lennox filter (which you do have to change the MERV16 filter on and it is not inexpensive). Each of the contractors that quoted me said I could use either filter system on my intended install since they were not integrated into the furnace or anything along those lines. (In fact, my intended install is Lennox).

My biggest concerns are if either unit is anywhere nearly as effective at dust and allergen control as they claim. The consensus in this thread regarding the Trane offering is “not really” (assuming there are not a bunch of competitor installers posting – which is far more common than most people realize).

As an engineer I do have to state that in regards to Ozone I find parts of this thread almost comical. People are stating significant reactions to ozone levels that essentially mimic environment conditions in many parts of the country. The EPA’s AQI index breaks down different levels into color coded groupings (the Government loves colors…) Their AQI of 0-50 is “Good: No health effects expected” calculates out to 0-37.5PPB. The Trane unit produces “less than 5PPB” assuming proper install and functionality. In addition, INTENTIONAL ozone generators have been used for at least 20 years for odor control and other air purification, including in many public places. Wal-Mart and infomercials sell tons of them… Apray bottles of the stuff are found in many a dorm room to cover up “certain” odors. While I respect that people have different tolerance levels to different environment conditions, the idea that someone would have such an adverse reaction is extremely unlikely. I have no doubt that they are experiencing the problem, but it is highly unlikely that these trace amounts of ozone are the cause.

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SteveM

I recently purchased a Trane system with the clean effects air filtration. I wish I read this blog before I made that decision. Big problems with the smell due to ozone, sore throat and sinus problems. A lot of problems with installation, eg attic installation in the duct vents. I’ve had several service calls, the owners mention that it is common for new systems to require “tweaks” before it will operate effectively!

Where can I locate a qualified technician to inspect the system? I’m very disappointed with the company I used, even they were recommended on Angie’s List.

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DimaT

I had Trane CleanEffects whole-house air cleaner installed in my house in 2007 (model number TFD215ALAH000AA). I have extensive experience with this air cleaner, which I’d like to share with others.

1. The ozone hazard is blown out of proportion. The amount of ozone that Trane CleanEffects produces is negligible, i. e. it is many orders of magnitude lower than what is considered safe for humans. In fact, the ozone level in my house was lower than the detection threshold of the ozone meter.

2. Trane CleanEffects does a perfect air cleaning job during the first three months (when it is new). Then the performance deteriorates, and after about one year it does not clean air at all (whether it is turned on or off, you will notice no difference). Cleaning the pre-filter and the collection cells does not make it work any better, although I have always cleaned the pre-filter and the collection cells on schedule and very thoroughly.

3. The pre-filter needs to be cleaned every two months. It takes just five minutes and requires a good vacuum cleaner.

4. The two collection cells must be cleaned once in six months, and this is a major work that takes about three hours. Vacuum-cleaning the collection cells does not make them any cleaner. I first rinse the collection cells with warm water under the shower for about 10 minutes; water runs through the cells and comes out black in color. Then I shake each cell for 15 minutes to reduce the amount of water stuck inside the cell. Then I repetitively wipe both sides of each cell with paper towels. Then I set each collection cell in front of a cold air blower and dry it for at least one hour. When both cells are dry, they can go back into the system.

5. In the summertime water condenses on the evaporator coil of the indoor air handler unit and drips down on the Trane CleanEffects air cleaner, causing it to malfunction. For some reason this did not happen during the first summer after installation, but since then it broke down on average twice per summer. Finally in the summer of 2011, i.e., after four years of work, the unit completely burned out (self-destructed) beyond repair. I am now looking for replacement.

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DonaldT

Maintenance is a big problem when it comes to any HVAC equipment. Many people just don’t realize how important maintenance is to keeping equipment operating efficiently.

Seams like a lot of expense for something that only lasted 4 years.

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Great&PowerfulPiggins

Two years exactly since purchasing Trane XL20i and CleanEffects system. Everything worked great until one month ago. Front door on Cleaneffects was not put back on correctly (by the service tech) and the system stopped working. Since then, the techs have been out twice, with replacement parts from Trane, all of which have failed to get the system running again. At least I have a warranty, and will not incur any charges.

Side note, I clean the pre filter every month, and let me tell you it is a real b*&*% to get that door back on correctly. Poor design in my opinion. Not even the techs can do it easily. Can’t really say that I notice cleaning benefits either, as since my system has been down over a month (CleanEffects only, not heat pump) I have noticed zero change in the indoor air quality. Starting to doubt the effectiveness of the whole thing. 1200 bucks seems a bit much for this kind of experience

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mcdocs

Has anyone had any luck merely replacing the Trane filter parts (pre-filter, middle filter (the piece with the honeycome and pins) and collection cells) with a disposable, several inch thick pleated HEPA filter like that which is used in a Space Guard Air cleaner in the existing filter cabinet?

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KevinA

I have had the CleanEffects for many years and echo the comments from Great&PowerfulPiggins. The door to the air cleaner is a bear to put back on. The electronic portion of the filter gets stained after only a few months of use and can never be cleaned properly. The manual says not to use water on it but my dealer said to soak it and let it air dry. I have not tried that yet. Bottom line, don’t buy one. The best thing Trane could do is to offer a replacement for the electrostatic part that is a passive filter, cheap and disposable.

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Janice Guidry

I just read ALL of the threads on this forum while continuously sneezing, blowing my nose, and coughing. We had 2 new Trane 15seer units and 2 Clean Effects installed last spring. Since then we have experienced horrific ‘smells’ from each unit. One unit produced smells all summer until it turned cold. The other unit now produces pungent smells during winter months. It is so bad now, I have to wear a respirator mask while in my home. My HVAC contractor keeps pointing blame on my fireplace ( we never use after having it serviced 3 years ago) or too much rain or his newest idea is the ducts need cleaning. Yesterday, I called a duct cleaning company my HVAC guy recommended and the owner of the duct cleaning company told me he had the same exact problem with his Trane Clean Effect units and told me to turn the unit off to see if we still smell the pungent odor ( like a dirty locker room or vacuum cleaner blowing into the room ). I am waiting for my husband to get up and go under house to turn it off. In meantime, I googled Trane Clean Effects Reviews and am now reading about all the problems others have, some mentioning the smells and the health concerns. BTW, I keep our home spotless since I do suffer from allergies. I have noticed just as much dirt, hair, dust so I don’t feel confident the Clean Effects is effective. And of course, I stay sick in my home constantly. I did ask my HVAC contractor to get in touch with Trane and perhaps I will make some calls myself to get the Mfg Rep out to my home to check the installation and determine if any of the components are defective. We have a 30 year old rancher home and the old original HVAC system never produced sickening smells. Another point I will make is my husband has hard time removing/replacing the door on one of the units. That unit was an add-on to our new Trane Unit which our contractor told us made it difficult to install the Clean Effect unit. This makes it very difficult to access the unit for cleaning. The first time my husband pulled the filters out , they looked very clean so our contractor told us we could probably just clean them both every 6 mos. after reading all the comments on this forum, I am concerned about that advice. I will monitor this forum and post updates as we get resolution (hopefully).

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Bruce Ross

We had a complete system installed including a CleanEffects air cleaner two years ago. At first I noticed a hint of ozone and the unit seemed to work OK, but recently wer have noticed more dust on table tops than usual. I clean the prefilters monthly, collection cells and charging cell as required. I have noticed larger particles on the plastic and the plastic being dirty. If the dirt is getting that far, then I wonder how the A-coil will look after a while. Personally, if Trane would offer a replacement HEPA filter or the best grade pleated filter to replace the ‘guts’ of the CleanEffects unit I would take them up on it. They should have used a better prefilter, more like the best pleated filters to capture all of the dirt and dust that gets by. But I guess they (TRANE) are insuring future service calls for their distributers,to clean dirty A-Coils. Stick with the best brand pleated filters!

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Sandra D.

We live in Phoenix and wondering if anybody in this area would recommend this filter. It is now April 2012 and wondering if Trane has made any improvements to the design and performance of this CleanEffects product. I was ready to add it on to the new purchase of the new Trane system but now I am really doubting the additional cost of $900. Any feedback?

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Bob L.

I am amazed at some of the complaints I have read on this site. I purchased my system which consists of the pump and electric air handler in 2007. I also had the clean effects filter system installed. Since the installation, we noticed an immediate improvement in the indoor quality. The air is much cleaner and seems fresher. We used to have to dust at least twice a week. Now we dust every two weeks. The thing that we found was to get the system to work as designed, you have to make sure that you keep all of the windows, patio doors and entrance door closed. If you don’t all of the pollen and dust from outside will contaminate the indoor air very rapidly. The second thing that you must is to make sure that the fan is on at all times. This keeps the air and dust particles from settling. This keeps the air particles moving continually through the filters. When the air handler is run continuously , it only draws a few watts of power. I also religiously clean my filters every 3 to 4 weeks. Doing it this often keeps everything clean and only takes about ten minutes with a shop vac. Make sure that you do this outdoors though or you will be defeating the purpose. Another thing that I did was to purchase a second pre-filter so I could always have a clean on on hand. I don’t like to have that filter get too full. I vacuum the one I take out and then run i through the rinse cycle on the dishwasher. Good as new!
I am about to replace the collection cells as they are starting to turn dark after 5 years. I will probably replace the field charger soon as well. I understand that the charger will start to loose some of it’s efficiency.
I read where some were having problems with foul odors. I have noticed this same thing in homes with too strong of an air conditioner. Some people feel that if a 3 ton conditioner is good, then a 5 ton conditioner is even better. Sometimes too much is worse than too little.
All I can tell you is that now that all of the pollen floating around outside, we can’t wait to get back into the clean air in the house!
My question to some of those with some of these problems is: was the system fully balanced by the contractor after installation?

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DonaldT

Great comments Bob

You make some great points in your comment.

Manitenance is very important with equipment like this and often it is neglected. I think most of the time people aren’t told how important maintenance is. Contractors should really educate home owners about there options and then they are able to make informed buying decisions. The sale is often the ultimmate goal and it shouldn’t be. Contractors get greater value in the end by serving the customer not selling to them.

A properly sized system is the most important part of any installation. There are so many problems created by contractors who are not qualified or don’t care. It’s sad to say but true.

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al

I have a vari speed trane furnce xv80 mid efficiency and it sucks. I solved my dust/ allergy problems by by getting a 4 inch wide ribbed filter from home depot. Then I cut 30 1 inch wide holes in it to lower air resistince. And I use it for a pre filter. It lasts five months. Then I buy a merv 11 pleated or ribbed filter and install it as my final filter. And ”wow” It works like a charm. Tremendous dust and odor reduction .. Toronto canada ps dont tell Trane I told you my secret… ps I had my vari speed fan set to run at 400 cfm constantly

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DonaldT

I think I get what you are describing but a picture is worth a thousand words. If you could send me one I’ll include it in your comment for other readers to see. I assume the 4″ filter is a carbon filter?
You really do have to be careful when doing things like that because you can negatively impact equipment performance and not even realize it until problems arise.

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Jeff W

I’ve had my Trane CleanEffects unit for nearly five years, and have never been convinced it does any good. I clean the pre-filter and the collection cells regularly (every 30 and 60 days, respectively), but our house still has lots of dust. A few years ago, I noticed there was a slot for a regular furnace filter in my Trane indoor unit above the CleanEffects module. I put a regular furnace filter in it, and it gets loaded with dust every two months. So, if the CleanEffects unit is so great, why do I still get dust on this “post Clean Effects” furnace filter? The answer: the CleanEffects unit must not do much filtering. I’ve discussed this with the company that installed the unit. They can’t explain it, and all they say is, “Well, all the lights on the front panel indicate it is working…” Frankly, I think the CleanEffects unit is another smoke and mirror game foisted on consumers because it is untestable. They make claims for the CleanEffects system that no average homeowner can prove. I’d love to replace my collection cells with a 3″ thick media filter, but haven’t been able to find one that will fit in the slot where the collection cells reside.

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Don Munn

Hi Jeff,

I agree that your Trane CleanEffects unit isn’t doing much of a job. Are you having trouble finding media filters of the right thickness or length and width. Finding the correct thickness may be more difficult than length and width but you may be able to modify the unit to hold a thinner filter.

You can get custom sized filters here. I’m not sure you’ll find what you are looking for there but it may be worth taking a look.

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Brenda

I replaced my AC/heat pump five days ago and had a CleanEffects installed with the new system. I have asthma and believed it would help. Boy was I wrong! The day after the Clean Effects was installed I began coughing and it has worsened each day. My lungs feel like they are on fire and I can’t stop coughing. My asthma has been very well-controlled for 5 years and I am now really struggling so I took to the Internet. My suspicion that the Clean Effects triggered my abrupt and severe relapse seems possible now that I’ve read posts here. The air in my house has a weird smell (slightly metallic) and the air literally feels different in my lungs. I am shocked and really disappointed. I’m calling my AC folks tomorrow to have the Clean Effects removed, even if it means a hefty bill. If you have sensitive lungs thing twice before buying this product!

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Don Munn

Very sorry to hear you are having trouble Brenda. Based on the comments here I think some people may be very sensitive to ozone. It’s also possible that yours is defective or not installed correctly. I’ve seen new equipment not work properly from the factory so don’t rule that out. The company that installed it should check it for you at no cost. I hope you get it sorted out.

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