Jam up and jelly tight

One small bit of serendipity yesterday: I’d earned a 10-percent-off day at Target, due to vigorous use of my Red Card at their pharmacy, and they had my choice of HVAC filter for $8.99, a buck off the usual, so I wound up shelling out $32.36 for a year’s worth.

This is a standard-sized filter, nominally 14 x 25 x 1. In practice, it measures more like 13.7 x 24.7 x 1. Also in practice, it’s apparently still too wide for its slot: it takes some serious bending and wedging to get the darn thing into place, and it’s a good thing I only have to do this every 90 days or so. Curiously, the vents where I work take this same size, and it simply slides into place with no issues.

I should point out that when I arrived here in 2003, I found a so-called “permanent” filter which looked like a giant Scotch-Brite pad; it appeared to have been there since the Devonian period. I duly vacuumed up the crud and returned it to duty, but the first time I had the system serviced, the technician gave me that “How could you?” look and installed what he considered a proper filter, which was indeed labeled 14 x 25 x 1. And he didn’t work up a sweat in so doing, either.

The next width down is a nominal 12, which means about 11.6, which will fall through the mounting and into the Phantom Zone, so that’s out. Is it just me, or do other people have to wrestle with this minor detail?


  1. unimpressed »

    4 May 2008 · 9:58 am

    I’ve noticed that different manufacturers have different “nominal” sizes on filters just as they do with shoes and jeans. You might have to look other places with tape measure in-hand to see if you can find a better, or slightly better, fit.

  2. Dan B »

    4 May 2008 · 10:51 am

    Take a little Windex-type cleaner and a cloth and clean around where the filter sits. That little bit of dirt is sometimes the difference between a filter that seats properly and one that doesn’t.

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