Most buildings have opportunities for energy savings related to their HVAC system, regardless of size, age, or other factors. Even in brand-new buildings, there is typically something that can be optimized to produce energy savings.  

Two of the most common ways to save energy with air filters are:

  1. Protecting the coils for more efficient heat transfer—helping to keep the facility’s air clean and cool with the least amount of energy used
  2. Reducing overall air resistance to limit the amount of energy needed to power the fan and push air through the filter

Joe W. Fly Co. Austin Branch Manager Hunt Foster explains how air filters and HVAC fans affect energy use and costs.

Fan Efficiency: Constant Volume vs. Variable Frequency

Equipping your system with a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) fan is one way to take advantage of the opportunity for savings. Unlike Constant Volume (CV) fans, a VFD can adjust air flow based on the current needs of the building.

Transitioning from a CV fan to a VFD can be an expensive project, so this should not be considered unless reducing energy costs is an urgent business issue or the organization has significant capital that it is committed to investing in building improvements.

Fortunately, there are many other ways for a company to save on air filtration costs. For example, one of the largest potential areas for improved energy costs with Constant Volume fans is related to the efficiency of the compressor.  


Air filtration


Optimizing Your Air Filters to Protect Equipment

The compressor typically uses more than 50% of all the energy consumed by an HVAC unit, so this is a very important component to consider when attempting to reduce costs.  Keeping the coils clean by protecting them with a properly-fitting filter can help save a lot of energy—and money—over the long term.

Defining the ideal filter for a facility can be a complicated process. The nature of the building, the activities performed by occupants, and government or industry regulations are all important factors.

However, the potential savings associated with identifying and installing the optimal filter can be substantial. When Joe W. Fly Co. technicians inspect customers’ units, they often find opportunities to recommend new products or services that can help increase the system’s efficiency.

Learn more about ways to find savings in your HVAC system.



Indoor air quality (IAQ) is critical for organizations of all kinds. IAQ is a compliance issue in industries such as healthcare and manufacturing, but it is also important for the health and safety of people in all facilities.

The air filters in a building’s HVAC system are one of the most important factors affecting IAQ. These filters are commonly chosen based on their Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV). While this is a useful metric, it is important for building engineers and maintenance teams to understand what this value really means, and how other factors affect filtration efficiency and overall air quality.

The Basics: What Is MERV and Why Is it Important?

Joe W. Fly Co. CEO, Joe Fly Jr., explains how MERV actually works in practice—and how other factors affect indoor air quality.

MERV is a common system used to classify different filters according to their ability to remove particles from indoor air. A filter’s MERV is calculated using tests defined by ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 52.2—“Method of Testing General Ventilation Air-Cleaning Devices for Removal Efficiency by Particle Size.”.

The key word to understand in MERV is “Minimum”—the standard tells the user what the filter’s efficiency is at its worst. The previous standard measured average efficiency, which provided a much less specific rating of a filter’s performance.

MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. In most commercial buildings, you’ll find filters with a MERV rating around 8. In critical application—for example, a hospital’s surgery center or a semiconductor plant—you’ll find MERVs closer to 14 or 15.

How Does a Filter’s MERV Value Affect a Building’s Air Quality?

In theory, the higher the MERV, the cleaner the air—but in practice, there are many other factors that affect IAQ. Using a filter with higher MERV should help improve the air quality in a building—but only if all of the filters are properly installed and sealed so there is no unfiltered air getting through. Air bypass can significantly reduce the effectiveness of your HVAC filters.

Are Two Filters with the Same MERV Always Equal?

Filters can differ in cost and efficiency even if they have the same MERV. Filters can have different pressure drops—affecting energy use. Dust-holding capacity is another important factor, as it affects how often the filter needs to be replaced.

It’s also important to understand that MERV is a range, so two different filters rated MERV 8 aren’t necessarily 100% equal in terms of filtration efficiency. One filter might be at the lower end of the MERV 8 range, closer to MERV 7, while another filter might be at the higher end of the range, closer to MERV 9.

Is There a Better Way to Evaluate Filter Efficiency?

The best way to understand the MERV of a filter is to look at an independent ASHRAE 52.2 test. Examining the complete result of the ASHRAE 52.2 test provides a more accurate picture of how effective a particular filter is. An independent test can be supplied from any manufacturer.

What Happens if You Mix and Match Different MERV Filters?

Because air takes the path of least resistance, more air will be forced through the filter with the lower MERV—reducing air quality toward the level of the “weakest MERV in the chain.” Using filters that don’t fit together properly also reduces IAQ, because unfiltered air will flow through the gaps.

How Do Gaps Between Filters and Frames Affect IAQ?

Air Quality is severely impacted by gaps in a filter bank. Air always takes the path of least resistance, so unfiltered air will flow through any gaps between filters and/or holding frames. Although the individual filters might be MERV 14, if you tested the entire filter bank, it could be performing as low as a MERV 8 because of air bypass.

How Can You Identify Efficiency Issues in Your System?

Because so many different factors affect IAQ and filter performance, it helps to have your equipment examined by air filtration experts. Joe W. Fly Co. provides free on-site system survey and evaluation, and turn-key filter installation services for organizations across all market sectors in Texas and surrounding state.


Air filtration


In most businesses, little thought is dedicated to how HVAC filters are packaged, organized, and stored. However, air filters affect thousands of dollars in operating expenses for many facilities—especially in sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, education, and commercial offices.

Given the scope of the potential savings in labor, materials, and energy, every organization should consider optimizing their HVAC filters.

The Hidden Costs of Organizing and Storing HVAC Filters

Joe W. Fly Co. Dallas Branch Manager Will Denton explains how pre-sorted and labeled filters save time and money for facilities managers.

Companies typically have to buy filters in case quantities. If you need different sizes or efficiencies, it’s often necessary to buy entire cases of each type and have all of them shipped at once. Cases of filters are bulky, hard to store and carry—and they’re organized and labeled in whatever way is most convenient for the manufacturer or distributor, rather than according to the needs of the end user. Most filter manufacturers will not break case quantities or customize packaging or labels.

The way filters are packaged has a considerable impact on the amount of time and labor required for sorting and installation. It takes time to dig through pallets and cases of filters, figure out where things go, and organize leftover products for storage. All of the time and space dedicated to cases of filters adds cost.

The Benefits of Conveniently Packaged and Labeled Filters

When filters are packaged economically, workers can carry and replace more filters in a single trip—resulting in less time spent installing filters and lower labor costs. Also, less warehouse space needs to be used to store filters. A simple change in the way air filters are packaged prior to delivery can save time and money—making more resources available for your core business activities that generate revenue.

Just-in-time filter delivery adds additional value by eliminating on-site storage requirements and long lead times for orders.

How Joe W. Fly Reduces Your Costs With Just-in-Time Delivery of Pre-Sorted Filters

Joe W. Fly Co. optimizes filter deliveries based on what works best for you—we’ll custom package your order by delivering the exact quantity of filters needed, pre-sorted by size and labelled by air handler, mechanical room, or location in the facility.  This saves time for your in-house maintenance crew because they can just pick up the filters and go install them. There’s no need to pull out spec sheets or consult old handwritten notes to figure out where to install filters.

We also provide scheduled just-in-time delivery services to completely eliminate the need for on-site filter storage. Joe W. Fly Co handles all of the required organizational tasks at our facility and then delivers the pre-sorted and labeled filters to you exactly when you need them.

Our experienced technicians can even inspect your HVAC system and recommend different products that can deliver additional savings on filter materials and energy costs. For example, we can measure the filter track and provide a custom-fit filter that will help prevent air bypass—protecting your equipment and potentially avoiding costly maintenance needs.

Joe W. Fly Co. brings three key values to every job:

  1. Air Filtration Expertise
  2. Best Products & Largest Inventory in Texas
  3. Commitment to Optimizing Your System’s Performance

Contact Joe W. Fly Co. to learn more about how we can help maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system—and manage all of the associated costs.



Installing permanent metal filters frames in your HVAC system results in cost savings across all key operational areas associated with filters, including:

  • Filter purchases
  • Storage and packaging
  • Energy efficiency
  • Labor for filter change-outs
  • Maintenance and repairs

Joe W. Fly Co. San Antonio Branch Manager Will Fawcett explains the benefits of installing permanent metal filter frames.

What Is a Permanent Metal Filter Framing System?

Many companies use disposable filters year after year simply because that is what was in their unit when they occupied the building, and they are used to buying a readily available commodity-type product. While continuing to use cheap disposable filters may seem like the most cost-effective option in the short term, there are significant costs associated with storing and handling bulky disposable filters.

You can mitigate these costs by installing a permanent metal frame in your HVAC unit. Metal frames can be used to hold replaceable filter media that is much more efficient than traditional disposable filters—especially with custom frames manufactured by Joe W. Fly Co.

How Custom Metal Frames Reduce Lifecycle Costs for HVAC Filters

A custom-designed metal frame system will typically have lower total costs compared to using disposable filters of comparable efficiency. First of all, you can save on filter purchases with lower-cost filter media. You can also reduce a variety of operating expenses related to your HVAC system.

Labor and storage costs can be substantially lower because media filters are lighter, more compact, and much easier to transport and store. A single worker might easily be able to transport five times as many filters compared to carrying bulky disposables. Engineers also save time because there is no need to use tape or spacers to fill in gaps between filters. And compact media filters take up less room than manufactured disposable filters, persevering valuable storage space in your facility.  

Custom metal frames with media filters also increase energy efficiency and improve indoor air quality by eliminating air bypass in your HVAC unit. This also helps evaporator coils stay clean—reducing maintenance and repair costs over the long term. Companies using permanent metal filter frames can go as long as 10 years without needing to clean their coils.

Metal filter frames become even more cost-effective when paired with a turnkey delivery and installation service that makes new filters available just in time so you receive them exactly when you are ready to change them.  This solution completely eliminates storage and labor issues, while guaranteeing air filters are available when needed and installed correctly in your system.

Why You Should Trust the Filtration Experts at Joe W. Fly Co.

Joe W. Fly Co. has been manufacturing custom metal filter frames since 1995, and we’d love an opportunity to show you how we can make your HVAC system more efficient.

Our experienced account managers and service technicians meet every new challenge with industry-leading skills, knowledge, and commitment to customer service.  Rather than just quote you a price for a product, people will hands-on approach to optimizing your system.  This includes everything from product recommendations to feedback regarding equipment that is not running at optimal performance.

In addition to our filtration expertise, Joe W. Fly Co. has the largest inventory of filters in Texas and surrounding states. Our clients enjoy access to the best products from some of the top filtration companies in the world. Rather than rely on one supplier, we provide the top-performing products in each category—enabling us to provide custom product mixes and routines for each of our customers based on their unique environment.

Contact Joe W. Fly Co. today to learn more about installing custom metal filter frames in your facility.



It’s very common for commercial buildings to have filters of the wrong size installed in their HVAC systems. When Joe W. Fly Co. technicians perform inspections, we see filters that do not fit properly on nearly 100% of our surveys. It is common to see these things on all types of buildings in all industries. And many times, the owner or maintenance manager is not aware there is anything wrong.

Joe W. Fly Co. President Trey Fly explains why building owners and maintenance managers are often unaware of problems with wrong-size filters.

Why Wrong-Size Filters Are So Common in Commercial Buildings

Building engineers or maintenance workers end up using incorrectly sized filters for a variety of reasons. When a new engineer arrives at a building, the norm is to continue using the filters that have been used in the past. When a commercial building is sold, the new owner often inherits these problems.

It’s possible that at some point, a building’s current engineer didn’t have the right size or quantity of filters on hand and was forced to rely on stop-gap measures, such as gaskets and spacers, to block air from bypassing the filters. But these short-term solutions cannot fully alleviate the negative effects of air bypass.

How Air Bypass Increases Costs and Reduces Air Quality

You might have a unit intended to be filled with 5 to 10 filters. Air follows the path of least resistance, so even seemingly-tiny gaps between these filters can let through enough unfiltered air to effectively decrease the MERV level of your filtration system.

When the air in an HVAC system bypasses the filters, the unfiltered air can be harmful to the health of building occupants and the success of critical business processes. This situation can be detrimental in any industry, but it can be severe—even costing millions of dollars in lost product—in highly regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals or semiconductor manufacturing. Expensive lawsuits are also possible if air isn’t properly filtered in health care facilities.

In addition to poor indoor air quality, air bypass can contribute to equipment breakdowns and decreased system efficiency. Coils can become dirty, causing the compressor to work harder to push air through—increasing energy use and costs.


How to Fix the Problem and Optimize Your HVAC Filters

The only true solution to eliminate air bypass issues is to ensure that the right quantity, size, and efficiency filters are installed—and that they fit properly. Gaskets can be added to the track or holding frame to improve the seal, but it is recommended to avoid using spacers. They often don’t fit perfectly, leaving gaps. Even worse, many times when spacers are removed to change the filter, they are never put back—allowing the problem to become even worse.

Joe W. Fly Co. does more than sell air filters. Our technicians conduct thorough inspections and offer recommendations based on our many years of experience in the filtration market. In many facilities, it’s possible to generate substantial savings by ensuring that the correct sizes and types of filters are used consistently.

Another solution that helps reduce costs is to install a custom metal filter frame in place of the disposable filters used in most facilities. This frame covers the entire filter track and is guaranteed to eliminate air bypass. By ensuring that all of the air passing through your HVAC system is properly filtered, you’ll minimize labor and energy costs, and avoid the burden of having to clean your HVAC coils frequently.

Contact Joe W. Fly Co. today to learn more.

In your home, all you have to do to change an air filter is to open the HVAC unit, pull out the dirty filter, and slide in a new one. In large commercial facilities, the logistics are much more complicated. Storing and handling dozens of filters is a costly burden for busy building engineers.

Joe W. Fly Co. President Trey Fly explains how the company’s turnkey solution for managing HVAC filters eliminates long lead times and the burden of on-site storage.

The Burden of Sorting, Storing, and Handling Air Filters

Internal maintenance teams typically have to order full cases of filters from their distributor—much more than they need—and place their orders far enough in advance to account for three to six weeks of lead time. Uncertainty about the delivery date makes it difficult for maintenance supervisors to schedule technicians to do the work. And when the filters finally arrive, you have to sort through the boxes, find the specific sizes and quantities needed, and then find storage space for the excess filters.

Most companies are challenged to stock all of the filters they need on-site: with so many different sizes and bulky disposable frames, there simply isn’t enough space. It’s common for an office building to have 10 different sizes of filters that they need in different quantities, on different schedules. There may be a small number of high-efficiency filters that only need to be changed once or twice per year, but these items move notoriously slowly in most distribution relationships: requiring up to 60 days of lead time.

Each time a filter change-out is coming up, the maintenance technician needs to get their list, place an order, wait, sort through the cases and find the right filters, transport them up to the roof or to another access point, perform the change-out, and dispose of the dirty products. This entire process is costly, labor-intensive, and dependent on unpredictable delivery timelines.

A New Approach to Managing HVAC Filters in Your Facility

Facilities can reduce the headache involved in managing HVAC filters by engaging a supplier that can provide exact quantities and place custom labels on the filters—eliminating complex sorting and organization work when at change-out time. Ideally, the vendor would also deliver and install the filters when needed, and dispose of the dirty ones.

Meet the Filtration Experts at Joe W. Fly Co.

Joe W. Fly Co. has a 24-hour lead time on most products—even high-efficiency filters that other distributors would have to order from a manufacturer. In addition to the largest inventory of in-stock filters in the state of Texas, Joe W. Fly Co. has the manpower, resources, and filtration expertise, to provide a turnkey solution for just-in-time delivery and installation of HVAC filters.

Our technicians are hands-on experts who are 100% focused on air filters. We don’t just deliver products: we’ll examine your HVAC unit, check what filters you’re currently using, and provide options that will be less expensive or more effective. By outsourcing filter management to our team, you’ll save money on labor, storage, and disposal—and free up internal maintenance resources for other critical projects, such as repairs and upkeep for the HVAC system.



Learn How We Help Optimize Your System

Custom filter frames are a great example of how Joe W. Fly Co. provides cost-effective solutions. The media that goes in our custom frames is pre-cut and delivered the day it needs to be used. This system reduces labor and material costs, and eliminates the burden of on-site storage.

Our frame-and-media system also enables facilities to ensure that each filter is a perfect fit, so they can do away with stop-gap measures such as the use of tape or cardboard spacers. This helps ensure that air goes through the filters, rather than squeezing around the sides. Even small air leaks can significantly reduce the effectiveness of your HVAC filters—letting through unfiltered air that can damage your equipment or create health concerns for workers.

Contact Joe W. Fly Co. to learn more about our turnkey solution for filter management, and how we can help reduce the cost and burden of managing filters in your facility.



It seems like a no-brainer to use a cheaper air filter if you know you can save $1,000 on material costs this year. But how do you ensure that these short-term savings won’t come with more long-term costs attached? And what if you could save $5,000 this year by investing in better filters and reducing lifecycle costs associated with change-outs and energy efficiency?

Selecting the right HVAC filter can generate long-term savings in several ways. Unfortunately, building engineers often don’t have the filtration expertise to determine the most cost-effective air filter for their building.

In fact, facilities commonly use the same filter, year after year, without seriously evaluating whether it is the best option. Examining the air filters to find savings gets put permanently on the back burner as engineers focus on more visible facility maintenance issues.  

Joe W. Fly Co. Dallas Branch Manager Will Denton explains how using a higher-cost filter can result in substantial savings.

How Better Air Filters Save You Money

Building engineers usually look at air filters as a commodity: something they need to have installed in their HVAC system. From this perspective, using the least expensive filter available seems like an obvious opportunity to generate savings that can be applied in other areas of the building. Sometimes it really is that simple, but in many cases focusing solely on the upfront cost of the filter results in higher total costs over the long term.
It is often possible to significantly reduce the total lifecycle costs associated with each air filter by investing in products that last longer or provide other efficiencies. The labor and disposal costs associated with filter change-outs are substantial, and reducing the number of times filters need to be changed can generate thousands of dollars in annual savings.
Filters also affect your building’s energy efficiency. In many facilities such as hospitals, schools, and complex manufacturing environments, using a better filter can significantly reduce energy costs—which greatly exceed the cost of filtration materials in most cases.


How to Find the Right Filter for Your Facility

Joe W. Fly Co. helps companies in all market sectors in Texas and surrounding states optimize their air filters to minimize total lifecycle costs. We use our own fully stocked warehouses, trucks, and technicians to provide a reliable turnkey service including delivery, installation, maintenance, and disposal of air filters.
When Joe W. Fly Co. technicians inspect a unit, they frequently find opportunities to save by:
  • Installing filters that cost less and are easier to change and dispose
  • Recommending filters with higher capacity, lower pressure drop, or other benefits
  • Addressing filter-fit or installation issues that reduce efficiency and add costs
Contact us to learn more about how a partnership with Joe W. Fly Co. can help you manage air filtration costs in your facility.



This article explains how to examine the air filters currently in your HVAC system and identify more cost-effective options, as well as the expertise and resources needed to effectively manage filters in-house.

Joe W. Fly Co. Key Account Manager Lori Gutierrez explains how to select air filters that will result in the lowest total costs.

Step One: Examining What Kind of Filter Is Currently in the Unit

It is extremely common for building engineers to continue using whatever air filters have been used before, including products that were previously installed or stored at a building, or filters the engineer has used in the past at a different building.

Sticking with what’s been done in the past seems like a safe choice, but it’s often not the best choice. You have many different options when selecting air filters. Consulting a vendor with filtration expertise—having them inspect your unit and recommend the most cost-effective products—can deliver significant value by reducing material, labor, and energy costs.

How to Identify a Better Fit or Calculate a Better Cost Option

There are multiple factors to consider when calculating total cost of ownership for air filters and selecting the right products for your facility. Of course, there’s the initial price—but this is only a fraction of the total lifecycle cost. You also need to consider how often the filter needs to be changed, associated labor and disposal costs, and the impact of your chosen filter on your HVAC system’s overall performance.

The air filter market is constantly evolving. For example, manufacturers have been able to provide higher efficiencies with lower pressure drop, which helps save energy by allowing air to pass through the filter more easily. That’s important because the cost of energy to push air through a filter is typically greater than the price of the filter itself.  Higher-efficiency products can also help reduce maintenance costs by better protecting your HVAC equipment.

When Joe W. Fly Co. inspects a unit, we frequently find opportunities for improvement, either by recommending more cost-effective products, or ensuring that air isn’t bypassing the filters. It’s essential to check that there is no air bypass, because there are common issues with the installation of proper fitting filters that escape the attention of building owners and engineers.

You could be purchasing the right filter, but losing filtration efficiency because it doesn’t fit properly. If you have to bend a filter to get it in place, or there are any gaps between filters, the air is going to take the path of least resistance, which means unfiltered particles will enter the building’s air stream.

Unfiltered air can damage your equipment and reduce air quality in your facility, which is a critical issue in sectors such as healthcare and manufacturing. For example, if you’re required to use a HEPA filter—but your filters aren’t sealed properly—you aren’t getting the actual filtration efficiency of a HEPA filter.


The Best Way to Manage Your Facility’s Air Filters

The expense and burden of managing filters with in-house resources is often seen as an unavoidable cost of operating a building—but Joe W. Fly Co. provides a turn-key service for delivery, installation, maintenance, and disposal of air filters for all market sectors in Texas and surrounding states.

We can come into your facility, examine potential issues with air quality and efficiency, recommend solutions, and offer a wide selection of products from multiple top manufacturers. Then we’ll use our own fully-stocked warehouses, trucks, and technicians to provide reliable just-in-time delivery and installation of air filters.

How can Joe W. Fly Co. help you understand your options and select the most cost-effective air filters for your facility? Find out today!