Reducing allergies and saving money doing it

I saw a slideshow on CNN this week about ways to reduce allergies at home. One of the options they suggested was using a filter with an MERV rating between 8 and 12.

This works, and doesn’t have to be expensive either, if you know where to shop.
Buy them at retail, and you see filters at two extremes. On the low end are the filters with cardboard frames and strands of what looks like blue fiberglass, priced at around $3. And then they have high-end filters that start at around $12 and go up and up from there.

I’ve used those $3 filters, and I’ve paid $12-$15 for the expensive ones. Lately I’ve been using Nordic Pure filters I bought at Amazon. In packs of 6, they work out to a little over $8 apiece, and they last three months. That makes them marginally cheaper than the cheap filters, assuming you actually change them every month. I never did; but I paid for it elsewhere, in higher utility bills, since clogged filters reduce airflow.

I can’t tell much difference between the Nordic Pure filters and the 3M filters that cost 50% more. I do notice a difference between them and the cheap blue ones.

A six-pack should last a year and a half. My expensive Carrier Infinity thermostat reminds me to change the filter every three months, which is nice. If I have a box of them on hand I’ll actually remember to do it when the thermostat says to do it.

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