Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
What Happened to < $1 Furnace Filters?
Old 10-16-2011, 02:20 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,933
What Happened to < $1 Furnace Filters?

I've been living on old inventory of these cheap disposable types purchased
years ago for much < $1.00 on sale. Saw a few for less than $1 at local hardware store but not in correct size. Checked HD and Lowes by phone and the cheapest is $4. Are these the same type and I'm just living in the past re: prices or is there something different about them. At the local store another customer mentioned that the more expensive ones make the furnace work harder because they actually filter.

Re: washable types? Worth the $. Easy to wash? How to clean....can you just spray them w/ hose or do you need to soak? How much?

Thanks for help.
__________________

__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-16-2011, 04:00 PM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,934
We can still get filters for less than $1 (in packs of 3 for less than $3) nearly anywhere. Maybe you have an unusual filter size.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,899
I used the 3M $10 ones for a number of years and found that they cut down on furniture dust significantly, so I'm assuming that they provided for better air quality. The $1 filters only get the big chunks and mostly protect the fan from debris.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 04:52 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
At the local store another customer mentioned that the more expensive ones make the furnace work harder because they actually filter.
There's some truth to that. The very cheapest filters (the fiberglass fiber ones that you can see through) usually meet the furnace manufacturer's warranty requirements and they don't resist flow very much. They also don't do a very good job of stopping dust, and won't filter out pollen, etc. And they are supposed to be changed very frequently (Monthly??)

What are you trying to accomplish? If you are happy with the cheapie fiberglass ones, check around for them (I think I saw them recently at Walmart) and continue to use them. If you want to try to cut down on your dusting, if you or someone in your house is bothered by allergies, then spring for the 3M Filtrete brand and try them for a few months, see if they make a difference (there's a lot of dispute as to their impact on the actual amount of allergens in the air--some folks believe the filters do catch them, but so much dander, pollen, etc gets stirred up when you walk around, sit on upholstered furniture, etc, that that the filters make no practical difference). It's only a few bucks to try 'em out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Re: washable types? Worth the $. Easy to wash? How to clean....can you just spray them w/ hose or do you need to soak? How much?
There are several kinds, but I think they all depend on electrostatic attraction to get the dust to stick. They work okay for particles that can be charged, but are less effective against ones that won't take a charge. All the ones I've tried wash out with a garden hose, though I'd occasionally soak 'em in the tub in soapy water to get them extra clean. I didn't think they did a great job.

When I installed the new furnace I put in a cabinet for the deep (4" thick) pleated "media" filters. I've been happy with this--it catches a lot of dust, I only need to change it once per year, and the cost isn't too crazy (about $25 on sale).
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
When I bought this house it came with the washable filter in the cold air return, just in front of the air handler. I had heard about the restrictions these filters cause and checked with the people that installed the system. They told me to stick with the cheap filters and change them every month. If the system isn't designed for the better filters, too much restriction is put on the air handler and you do yourself a dis-service. Not my opinion, theirs.
__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 06:59 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
Ronnieboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 646
I have noticed that my A/C will freeze up when even the $1 get dirty, due to low airflow. I would almost be afraid that the 3M are so tight that they might do that from day 1. Of course it's the end of A/C weather around here now....
__________________
I don't want to spend my entire life at work. I deserve more. - Want2retire aka W2R
Ronnieboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 07:15 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
John Galt III's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,285
Here in Pa., my cheap 16 x 20 fiberglass filters disappeared from stores about 2 years ago. Other sizes are there, in my brand, but not the 16 x 20. There is another brand of cheap fiberglass filter in the 16 x 20 size, but the cardboard backing is too flimsy, and it looks like it would leak around the edges. I did buy a 3 pack of the flimsy filters, just to try them out. Can't remember how much they cost. 3 for $4, I think. Haven't used any of them yet. Don't know about the washable ones. Good luck.
__________________
John Galt III is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 07:45 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
When I bought this house it came with the washable filter in the cold air return, just in front of the air handler. I had heard about the restrictions these filters cause and checked with the people that installed the system. They told me to stick with the cheap filters and change them every month. If the system isn't designed for the better filters, too much restriction is put on the air handler and you do yourself a dis-service. Not my opinion, theirs.
Thanks, all , for the inputs. Much appreciated. This was in the back of
mind. Not particularly trying to clean the air any better. Just trying to
use the old stuff if I could find it.....14 x 25 x 1" fiberglass. Don't know if that's an odd size . The furnace is certainly aged so perhaps it's like trying to buy film at Costco these days. Couldn't seem it find it online either at that price......cheapest I saw was $4. Thanks for the Walmart tip....I'll try asking there.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 09:52 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JPatrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,494
I still get the 95 centers at our local PX.
A tip to beef up the cheapies and give them more filtering power:

When I change filters, I spray the new one with "Endust Electronic Cleaning Spray." It coats the filter and seems to collect a lot more fine dust. You don't have to guess about it, as the spray visibly tightens up the mesh.
I did a 30 day test last heating season and found the treated filter was much dirtier than the standard one. I've had 2 heating pros endorse the idea for my heat pump.

There is a caution on the can against using near heat and flame, so unless you are using a heat pump you may want to forget it. To be extra careful you could spray outside and dry it before bringing it in. Takes just seconds.
I've been doing this for 3 years, but as they say,YMMV..
__________________
JPatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 10:05 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPatrick View Post
When I change filters, I spray the new one with "Endust Electronic Cleaning Spray."
I couldn't find a product with this specific name. Is this it? Endust Cleaning spray
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 10:14 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JPatrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,494
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I couldn't find a product with this specific name. Is this it? Endust Cleaning spray
Bingo!!
__________________
JPatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 10:41 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,649
I had the washable ones for 18 years....and had a harder and harder time getting them clean even with a hose. Alcohol in a bathtub agitating the up and down was about the only way I could get them really clean. Based on recommendations the last several years, I finally went to the disposable Filtrete ones just this past month ( I think it is an every 3 month change). I don't hear the air resistance that I heard with the washable ones. Only problem is they did not have the size I needed for one of my returns so am still using the washable one in that.

Not sure if there is a difference in dust ...since we have 2 dogs and 1 cat. Also have been busy...but ....perhaps this winter will tell.
__________________
sheehs1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 10:56 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
Packman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 303
I believe there is some sort of conspiracy going on with furnace filters . Around here, Home Depot, Lowe's and Wal-Mart all ONLY carry the 3M Filtrete filters that cost anywhere from $8 to $20, depending on how much money you want to waste. I suspect the profit in these filters - for both 3M and for the retailer - is much higher than it could ever be with the old $1 filter, even selling 3 times as many. I am going to keep looking for the cheaper filters and buy 10 when I find them.
__________________
Retired on 5/31/2011 at 54
Packman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
Our HD and Lowe's carry some off brand 3M type filtrete filters. Usually about $7-8 for a 3 pack, but you can usually get 4 packs for the price of 3 with their "contractors pack" pricing. So 12 filters for $20-24, or about $2 each. These seem to catch a ton of dirt and dust. They suggest that the filters last "up to 90 days", but in my experience they will last longer than that during the spring and fall when we don't use the heat or a/c for a month or two (ie the filters aren't doing anything for a month or two). During peak heating or cooling seasons, 2 months is about the max since the air handler fan runs so much (hence catching a lot more dust).

Edit to add: here is the product I buy: Shop Energy Aire 3-Pack 20" x 25" x 1" Pleated Air Filters at Lowes.com

looks like $7.74 per 3 pack based on the Illinois store it defaulted to. Energy Aire brand. I'm sure it isn't as good as the Filtrete filters but probably way better than the $1 blue fiberglass ones since it does get out small particulate matter, pet dander, dust mite leavings, etc.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 11:49 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
powerplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,380
I recently decided it was time to wash my furnace filters which are a thin layer of foam sandwiched between rigid plastic grid frames. Well after 18 years the foam ripped out as I tried to clean them so I had to start the search for something new to do the job. It requires 2 filters 16"x18" which seem to be a difficult size to find. I found some on Lowe's website that I could order for $4.97 each and appear very cheaply made. It was going to be a week before they arrived and after a couple days it was cold enough that I wanted some heat NOW. Back to the web I went and looked through Home Depot's offerings and finally found a filter material that you cut to size and is carried at HD stores. Off to HD I went and picked up a package. It is a dark green color made of spun polyester and says it is washable for $7.97. I was able to cut 2 filters out of one package. The material is rigid enough to not need a frame and appears to be working. The Lowe's filters are now here and will sit and wait till needed. I may be able to use the cut to size one all winter with just some periodic cleanings.
__________________
powerplay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 12:17 PM   #16
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
I used the denser (3M Filtrate) material but was instructed by my HVAC maintenance crew to use the proper filter as designed for the unit. The one's I was using was "pushing" the variable speed fan to run at a higher rate than it needed to, contributing to noise and wear on the system.

In my case, it's a York HE Heat Pump that requires a filter that meets the MERV-8 rating.

Here's a reference:

MERV Ratings
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 06:03 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,933
OK.....ventured down the Walmart part of the maze. Went online and found some promising local leads only to find out the local store and the online info don't match, at least for the closest store. Then, from the Walmart brainstorm, got the idea that perhaps Target might have them. Again, like Walmart, the online site suggested some local stores but the most promising one didn't have them.....at least if you can believe the local dingbat who was trying to help me....14x25x1 fiberglass furnace filter......."we have these covers". no, furnace filters.........filters for what? furnaces.......what size.......didn't have much confidence.

....but hopefully this is the end game.....I'm donating my patented process to this site..........called a local furnace place to ask if they knew where. "we sell them" . how much "$5 each". I'm used to < a buck on sale. Must have hit his guilt complex as he confessed that wasn't their biz and they were just marking it up to make the trouble worthwhile for themselves. He then suggested a local biz that deals w/ them and the public $1.44 each. Hopefully that will be the end of this excitement.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 06:36 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
Packman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 303
I went to a new HD today and found a 3 pack of filters that were rated as MERV 8 for $7.74. That should last me another year.
__________________
Retired on 5/31/2011 at 54
Packman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 10:41 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 409
Had a new Furnace installed a couple of years ago.

Installer, recommended washable filter. I forget the exact cost. Guessing somewhere around $ 50-75.

Seems to be working fine. Plus new furnace are so much more efficient.

Also, I vacuum my washable filter first. (vacuum from the dirty side). Then according to directions, I run water through the filter. (opposite the dirty side).

I then, use my electric blower to blow the water out of the filter. Speeds up the drying time.

No problems so far. Furnace installer said this is the way to go. Filter is suppose to filter the air much better than throw away.

Also, when watching a PBS show. (either Hometime, This old house, or ask this old house), the plumbing person said, if you can see through the filter,
it's no good.

__________________

__________________
wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Talk about rocking the boat - what happened this morning? calmloki FIRE and Money 30 08-18-2011 08:38 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:27 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.