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!


When you need to buy an air filter, the first thing you ask potential vendors about is probably the price. This focus on upfront cost is standard within the industry—but the initial purchase price of a filter is typically only a small part of the total cost of ownership over that filter’s lifecycle.

You need to consider other factors when deciding which filter is best for your facility, because your choice can have a substantial impact on your long-term expenses. Beyond the initial purchase price, significant cost factors associated with indoor air filtration include:

Joe W. Fly Co. Key Account Manager Lori Gutierrez explains the largest cost factors related to air filtration—and how to find savings.

Change-Out Frequency

How long a filter lasts is one of the most important factors in calculating total cost of ownership. The efficiency and configuration of your filters can affect how often they need to be changed, and it is often possible to save money by installing filters with a longer lifespan. In addition to purchasing fewer filters, you can save on labor and other expenses.

Shipping, Storage, and Disposal

Air filters are typically bulky and need to be protected from moisture and structural damage during transit. This makes them expensive to ship and cumbersome to store on-site. As a result, facilities rarely stock large quantities of filters—and suppliers often require long lead times to deliver new filters.

You may be familiar with this scenario: having to order filters months in advance and then finding space to store them until they are needed—or rushing to catch up on filter change-outs and maintenance after receiving backordered products.

Disposal of used air filters can also be costly because they take up a lot of space. The more often you have to change out a disposable filter, the more these lifecycle expenses eat into your bottom line.

Energy Efficiency and Maintenance Costs

The impact of poor air filtration on energy efficiency is one of the largest cost factors related to choosing a filter, because the cost of energy to push air through the filter is typically far greater than the cost of purchasing the filter itself. This is especially true with low-efficiency disposable filters.

Inadequate air filtration also results in serious maintenance concerns. If there are gaps in an array of filters because they are the wrong size or not installed correctly, contaminants in the air can slip through and damage expensive components of your HVAC system.



How Joe W. Fly Co. Helps Reduce These Costs

Joe W. Fly Co. provides a broad selection of air filtration products from top manufacturers, as well as a turn-key installation service for facilities in all market sectors in Texas and surrounding states. Our account managers and service technicians take a hands-on approach to finding savings in your system by recommending high-efficiency products, ensuring they are installed correctly, and offering feedback on any components not running at optimal performance.

With eight warehouses throughout the state of Texas, we can provide reliable just-in-time delivery and installation of air filters at your facility—either on a pre-set schedule or on a contingency basis with 24 hours’ notice. Many products have an industry-standard lead time of 5 weeks, but we will typically have the filters you need in stock at our nearest warehouse and be ready to deliver and install the next day, using our own trucks and technicians. We’ll even haul away the dirty, used filters.

Contact Joe W. Fly Co. today to learn more about how we can help reduce the cost and burden of managing air filters in your facility.

Pleated Air Filter

When it comes to commercial HVAC filters, pleated air filters are among the safest choices. Made of woven polyester fabric-like material, these air filters are housed inside a rigid panel that is pleated to increase the surface area. The result is better particulate resistance and enhanced airflow, compared to fiberglass, washable, and other commercial air filter options. Here are five key reasons to choose pleated air filters for your commercial establishment.

1. High Filtration Efficiency
Unlike standard air filters designed to restrict only large airborne particles (usually larger than 3 plus microns in size), high-efficiency pleated air filters, with a 11 to 13 MERV filters, can trap up to 0.3 microns of pollutants such as bacteria and viruses. Consequently, they help users significantly limit allergens and other harmful particulates’ entrance into living or working spaces, and provide more protection to HVAC systems.

2. Optimum Air Flow
Air filters with higher MERV ratings are more efficient in comparison to standard or fiberglass filters, as they restrict more pollutants. They, however, have a high pressure drop, which means high resistance to airflow and therefore reduced heating/cooling efficiency. Pleated air filters, on the other hand, do not have this shortcoming, as their pleated design helps them stop allergens and airborne particles without restricting airflow.

3. Zero Ductwork Modification
In most cases, you don’t have to make any alterations in the ductwork of your furnace or HVAC systems to install pleated air filters. In fact, you can slide a pleated air filter right into the space where the standard flat filter was installed. Consequently, upgrading to pleated air filters give you an easy and effective way to improving the air quality of commercial building, without having to bear any charges apart from the price of the filter.

4. High Durability
All pleated filters, under normal dirt conditions, last up to three to four months and are more durable than any standard filter. The reason behind this is their large surface area that allows for more particulates and dust to settle on the surface before the need to remove the filter. The result is that pleated air filters require less frequent changes than standard filters.

5. Better HVAC Protection
A pleated air filter has an average efficiency of 25 to 30 percent, which can go up to 45 percent in electrostatically charged or carbon pleated filters. In fact, carbon pleated air filters made of fine mesh activated carbon that helps remove malodorous compounds and even odors at low concentration levels. Consequently, they not only help improve the performance of HVAC systems, but also enhance their lifespan.

Pleated air filters are more cost-effective and efficient when compared to most standard commercial filters. Notably lighter on the pocket than HEPA filters, pleated air filter are available in a variety of designs and custom sizes. These filters, however, cannot capture airborne particles smaller than 1 micron in size. The solution, therefore, is to use efficient air purifiers along with high-quality air filters. If you need help, our experts at Joe Fly Co. can guide you in selecting the right air purifier and pleated air filter for your commercial facility. Feel free to connect with one of our representatives for a no-obligation consultation.

HVAC air filter

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV for short, is an industry rating to determine the effectiveness of air filters. Commonly used to the specify the filtration efficiency  of commercial grade filters, the industry standard rating system allows facility managers to compare different HVAC filters as per their MERV values and choose the one that meets their filtration requirements. To help, here is a summary of MERV ratings according to particle size.

The MERV Rating Chart

MERV Minimum Particle Size Typical Controlled Contaminant
1-4 > 10.0 μm Pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, sanding dust, spray paint dust, textile fibers, carpet fibers
5–8 10.0–3.0 μm Mold, spores, dust mite debris, cat and dog dander, hair spray, fabric protector, dusting aids, pudding mix
9–12 3.0–1.0 μm Legionella, Humidifier dust, Lead dust, Milled flour, Auto emission particulates, Nebulizer droplets
13–16 1.0–0.3 μm Bacteria, droplet nuclei (sneeze), cooking oil, most smoke and insecticide dust, most face powder, most paint pigments
17–20 < 0.3 μm Virus, carbon dust, sea salt, smoke

MERV ratings usually range between 1-16, but the upper limit has been extended to 20. The MERV rating scale is designed to represent worst-case performance of an air filter that is used for filter particles ranging from 0.3 to 10 micrometers. While the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends using air filters with MERV value 6 or higher, the US Department of Energy recommends products with MERV 13 and LEED recommends filters with at least MERV value 8.

How is the MERV Rating of Air Filter Determined?

Determining the MERV rating of an air filter involves a series of tests. The process includes:

  • Test particles are added into the air in the testing area. These particles are of different sizes and fall into 1 of the 12 categories.
  • The air is passed through the filter that is tested. The density of the particles in the air is measured both before and after the air passed through the filters to determine its efficiency in order to remove the pollutants.
  • The entire process is carried out six times to get six ratings for the twelve categories each.
  • The MERV rating is given on the basis of the worst result.

The Significance of MERV Rating

Maintaining the Indoor air quality is very critical especially in healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical units and several other manufacturing units. The MERV rating assists these facilities to select an ideal filter that removes the impurities from air efficiently. Installing a filter with an MERV rating lower than required may lead to health problems in the facility as the indoor air quality is not clean. Here are the details of which MERV ratings that are ideal for specific sectors:

MERV 1-4

Air filters with MERV 1-4 ratings are recommended for facilities that require minimum filtration. These are used exclusively in residential buildings.

MERV 5-8

Air filters with MERV 5-8 ratings are recommended for residential, commercial and industrial workspaces.

MERV 9-12

Air filters with MERV 9-12 ratings are recommended for residential, commercial facilities and hospital laboratories.

MERV 13-16

Air filters with MERV 13-16 ratings are ideal to be used in hospitals and general surgery units.

MERV 17-20

Air filters with MERV 17-20 ratings are ideal for electronics and pharmaceutical manufacturing units.


MERV rating of a filter is determined through rigorous testing and it gives the performance of a filter in worst-case scenario, which makes it a reliable criteria for air filter selection. It is however essential for commercial establishments and industrial units to understand that highest MERV unit is just one selection criteria. There is a need to pay attention to other factors such as the size of the unit, price factor and the nature of filtration, when choosing an air filter.