Common Homeowner Questions About Air System Efficiency Monitors
How do I get automatic alerts?
Follow these three easy steps to enjoy convenient text and/or e-mail alerts to your Smartphone (Android or iOS) or desktop computer or tablet (Mac or PC) whenever your HVAC system’s filter needs servicing.
First, create an AirFilterSentry account at www.cleanalertwifi.com and add your monitor to the account. You will get a year of AirFilterSentry Plus Notification Service FREE. After the year is up, you have the option renew your Plus service for a small annual fee or to downgrade to Basic service and never be charged again.
Next, install the FILTERSCAN WiFi air filter monitor on your forced air heating and/or cooling system, link it wirelessly with your Internet router using the supplied instructions, and calibrate it. It will now start monitoring your system and storing its readings on our server. When it detects that the air filter is clogged it will alert you by phone and/or email. You will also be able to view and download reports that provide performance information such as the percentage of air filter life used, the monitor’s battery status, and the elapsed time since your last air filter replacement.
The AirFilterSentry Notification Service sounds complicated to set up and expensive; is it?
No. It is actually very simple to set up. Just follow the step by step instructions in the manual. The first year of AirFilterSentry Plus service is FREE. After the free trial year you can downgrade to free Basic service or renew Plus service for a minimal annual fee.
Can I use the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor without signing up for the AirFilterSentry Notification Service?
Yes. But without subscribing to the AirFilterSentry notification service, your monitor can only issue local alerts (audible alarm and flashing light), just like the FS-242. Without the AirFilterSentry, your monitor cannot send alerts to designated smartphones or desktop computers or tablets, nor can you view a real-time report to show the air filter’s remaining life. AirFilterSentry Basic service is completely free.
Suppose my home has multiple HVAC systems, each with their own FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor. Will the AirFilterSentry Notification Service allow me to view the status of each monitor using a single account?
Yes. You may register multiple monitors under a single account. Furthermore you can customize the alerts issued by each monitor so that you can distinguish them.
I have read that Internet-connected appliances can be hijacked by hackers and corrupted. Is that possible with the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor?
The short answer: No.
The long answer: The FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor only accepts commands in response to requests it makes to CleanAlert’s Cloud server. That server is protected by advanced firewalls and encryption. Furthermore, the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor has to identify itself with a unique serial number and matching MAC address in order for the server to accept information sent to it. Finally, the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor does not control any other systems in your home. A hacker could never gain access to them through the monitor.
How far can the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor be mounted from the wireless router?
The range of the WiFi signal is similar to the range of your wireless devices (laptop, smartphone, etc.). However, obstacles such as walls between the router and monitor could decrease the device’s effective range. We recommend that you test whether the FILTERSCAN monitor is within operable range of the router before you attach it to your heating or cooling system.
Can a FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor be connected to a WiFi Internet router or access point that does not have a WPS button?
Yes. The Installation Guide provides instructions for setting up your router so that the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor can connect to it without having to provide a password. You will need to have available the MAC address of the WiFi transmitter in each monitor you want to install. The MAC address can be found on the back of the monitor as well as the outside of the box the monitor came in.
What can I do if I need to install the monitor out of range of my wireless router?
Your router manufacturer probably sells “repeaters” or "extenders". These are small boxes that typically plug into an outlet and, essentially, become a new router antenna and extend the range of the router signal. By placing the repeater between the router and the FILTERSCAN, you may be able to bring the monitor within range of the router Wifi signal.
What is the difference between an “upstream” and a “downstream” installation?
The monitor is “upstream” if it is located before the air filter and fan blower.
Example of upstream installation
It is “downstream” if it is located between the air filter and the fan blower.
Example of downstream installation.
What does it mean to install the FILTERSCAN “differentially” across the air filter?
Such an installation requires the use of the optional Tubing Kit, which consists of a plastic tube and mounting hardware. One end of the tube is inserted over the sensor tube that protrudes from the front of the monitor. Two sets of holes are drilled in the air duct or air handler. One set is upstream of the air filter, and the other set is downstream of the air filter (see the previous questions). The monitor, along with the tubing kit, is installed over one of the sets of holes. The other end of the tubing is mounted over the other set of holes.
Example of installation differentially across the air filter.
What is the difference between the “return side” and “supply side” air ducts?
The “return side” consists of the air ducts that bring in air from the home to the heating or cooling system in order to be heated or cooled. The “supply side” consists of the ducts that deliver air to the home after it has been heated or cooled in order to keep the temperature in the home comfortable.
Can the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor be mounted on the supply side of the blower?
No. In order for the FILTERSCAN Air Filter Monitor to work properly, the unit should only be installed on a return side air duct, either upstream or downstream of the air filter or differentially across the air duct.
Can I install a FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor on a Variable Air Volume (VAV) heating or cooling system?
The FILTERSCAN Air Filter Monitor will operate with most residential VAV systems in production.
NOTE: the monitor must be mounted downstream of the air filter if the VAV system is set to operate in constant torque mode.
Can I mount the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor on the outside of my home?
No. The FILTERSCAN Air Filter Monitor should not be directly exposed to the weather.
What effect, if any, does opening or closing air vent registers have on the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor performance after it has been calibrated to a new air filter?
Any significant changes in system pressure caused by register changes or other factors will change the point at which the clog alert will occur. The greater the number of system registers, the less effect on the system’s pressure when one or two registers are changed and therefore the less effect on when the clog alert will occur. Regular changes to system registers could make the performance unpredictable.
What is the difference between the B and the C models of the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor?
The FS-245-B is battery operated. Four AA batteries are provided with your monitor. This model can also be powered from a wall outlet by using an optional (Model CA-360) 6VDC wall adaptor.
The FS-245-C is powered by a 15-24V AC/DC power source, usually from the heating or cooling system’s auxiliary power. This model should only be installed by a licensed electrician or HVAC contractor using electrical conduit.
Do I have to install batteries if I power the monitor from the optional 6VDC wall adapter?
I am considering the FS 245B battery-powered unit. How often will I need to change the batteries?
A good rule of thumb for battery life expectancy is six months, up to one year. The good news is that with your subscription to the AirFilterSenty Notification System, the FILTERSCAN unit will alert you by text or e-mail when its batteries should be replaced.
Can I utilize both the 6VDC wall Adapter and batteries for backup?
Yes, you can install batteries even though you also have an AC adapter installed. Such “backup” is unnecessary, however, because the FILTERSCAN stores all operating parameters in the event of a power failure. When power is restored, the monitor continues operation where automatically.
How does the conduit version of the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor mechanically connect to the HVAC auxiliary power supply?
There is a conduit connector knock-out located on the lower side of the monitor housing. The power cable is inserted through this hole and attached to terminal screws on the inside.
What voltage is acceptable to power the FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor via the conduit?
Typically 24V AC/DC, although an input voltage as low as 15V DC is acceptable.
Why should I buy a FILTERSCAN?
FILTERSCAN eliminates the guesswork as to when to change your air filter. You cannot readily tell when an air filter is clogged just by looking at it since it may contain surface dirt but still have a lot of life left in it. More importantly, an air filter does its work unseen and “out of sight is out of mind.”
The majority of homeowners forget to change their air filter when it becomes clogged. As a result, a clogged air filter is the primary reason for HVAC equipment failure in homes.
Can a clogged filter increase my utility bills?
Yes. A clogged filter makes the heating and cooling system run much longer to move the same volume of air. As a result, energy consumption can increase by as much as 15% a year if the heating and cooling system is operated at the point considered clogged, much more if operated beyond that point. Since the average home in the U.S. spends over $1,200 a year for heating and cooling, this translates to almost $200 a year in unnecessary energy expenses.
Can a FILTERSCAN WiFi Air Filter Monitor help me maintain good indoor air quality?
Yes. A clogged air filter will result in a slower flow of air throughout your heating or cooling system. That slower flow allows dust and mold to accumulate inside the air ducts and on the system’s heating or cooling coils.