Many of us shower expletives (#$%@! - I certainly do!) on these filters and the slots in which they get stuck.
Fingernails won’t do it
Needle-nosed pliers won’t fit in the slot
A knife will tear apart the flimsy cardboard filter frame
Fabricated from polished steel with a nickel coating.
The Filtr-Grip ™ Gripper simply won’t bend, break or rust!
Patented design has ergonomic handles and oversized jaws.
The stiff spring grabs a filter and won’t let go!
A few years ago our founder and inventor Mark Gordon, a landlord with a few rental properties, got tired of struggling to remove HVAC filters from their slots.
These filters are an inch thick and fit tightly into a furnace slot that is only slightly larger than the filter. This tightness keeps air from flowing around the filter – defeating its purpose of cleaning dust from the air passing through it – but also makes grabbing the filter difficult when it needs to be replaced. Fingernails won’t fit in there, nor will needle-nosed pliers. Can you imagine the fun if you used a key to dig out the filter and the key dropped to the bottom of the filter slot!
Thus was born the idea of The Filtr-Grip™ Gripper. Starting with an A-shaped spring clamp from Home Depot, Mark had a welder attach flat plats to the clamp jaws so they would be parallel at a one inch separation. The result was the first prototype. It didn’t look very pretty but it was functional. Another issue was the spring strength. The off-the-shelf A-shaped spring clamp had a very stiff spring (it was after all a clamp), necessitating a gap adjustment bolt. This bolt made it easier to set the gap at about the thickness of the filter, a requirement because many filter slots are in awkward locations. A few iterations later the spring is a bit less powerful, the adjustment bolt is gone, the design is patented, and tooling has been made to manufacture the tool in sheet metal overseas.
But the problem remains. These filters come in many sizes. 16X20, 16X25 or 20X20 inches are common but so are many other sizes; visit Home Depot or a good hardware store and you’ll see at least a dozen or so sizes if not a score. These filters are nothing more than rectangular hunks of inch-thick fiber material with cardboard edges. They tend to get stuck in their slots once they accumulate dust and grime. The fan in each of these heating and air conditioning units is strong enough to deform the filter once the path through the filter degrades. The result is a big 3D rectangle (actually a parallelepiped for you three dimensional geometry fans) that is no longer a rectangle because it bows out and lets the air pass around it. That’s when the fun begins if you are trying to wrestle that filter out of the slot without tearing it into pieces.
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