CHICAGO — Andy Swan didn’t have to worry about standing very long in one spot at the Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo). He wasn’t showing off his company’s new air filter in a booth, he was taking his story to the show attendees.

His company, Hirsh Industries (Des Moines, Iowa), markets a product called Natural Fiber Filters. The filters are made from coconut husk fiber and the company claims they will last six months between changes.

“It is a fraction of the cost of most furnace filters, it is rigid enough that it does not require a frame, and it comes in rolls which can be cut in the field,” said Swan. He added that an extra feature is the ease of use — a 25-foot roll can remain in the service van, eliminating the need to carry a large inventory of filters.

According to the company’s data, its filter holds five times more dirt than fiberglass and two times more than polyester at a 1/2-inch thickness. Hirsh Industries also said that its filter maintains arrestance “long after pleated, fiberglass, and polyester filters are saturated.”

Visitors to the company Web site,, can learn more about the product and also enroll in the company’s “Partner Program.”

Publication date: 03/03/2003