Last month, two big things that we were asked for in the hardware store were furnace filters and nut gathers. This time of year everybody needs a new furnace filter. And what was up with all the walnuts?
40 years ago, when I started in dad’s hardware store, there was one type of furnace filter. The good ‘ole basic fiberglass mesh, see-thru, made you itch if you touched it, version. Now pleated filters have arrived and there are choices that have to be made.
Every pleated furnace filter will have a MERV rating. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. And you should use this rating to help decide how effective of a furnace filter you want to buy. Household furnace filters will have a rating in the range of MERV 6 – MERV 10. The higher the MERV rating, the fewer dust particles and contaminants can pass through it. Some of the common particles that filters can remove from your air are pollen, dust mites, carpet fibers, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria and tobacco smoke.
But before you run out and buy the biggest and baddest MERV rated filter that you can, wait a minute! The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the pores are for air to flow through. That might actually lessen the air quality and air flow in your home, and put damaging strain on the fan of your furnace or AC system. So, it is worth doing some research. Find out what the highest MERV rated filter is that still allows for maximum airflow in your system. And, also, do what every furnace manufacturer will tell you, change your filter every 90 days!
WHERE DID ALL THESE WALNUTS COME FROM!
It’s been a long time since my walnut trees have produced this many nuts! We had to watch where we parked the cars, had to watch where we walked, and I think one of our dogs almost got one up top the head! But why so many? I had no idea! So I started doing some research.
Evidently, walnut trees produce nuts on a two-year cycle. Flowers produced one year, don’t mature into nuts until the following year. In early summer, female flowers form on the tips of new growth. But maturity doesn’t happen until the following spring just after the male flowers appear and release pollen. The size of the walnut crop that the tree produces depends on the number of female flowers produced that first year and the success of pollination the second year. Interesting!
Here’s another idea that I found.
Walnut trees produce their nuts strictly to propagate the species. If the trees were to bare heavy amounts of seeds/nuts each year, predatory animals will set up shop and have a feeding frenzy constantly going on and never leave. This is good for the animals but bad for the trees attempt to get those new seedlings going. So, by alternating and varying when the nuts/seeds are produced, those nasty squirrels may not hang around as much and actually give the tree a chance to have some kids!
Last, but not least, here are some fun uses for walnuts.
According to the Health Beckon website walnuts are good for:
Strengthening hair, prevent balding, control dandruff, promotes healthy scalp, can produce natural hair highlights, aids in better sleep, relieves stress, relieves constipation, boosts immunity, delays skin aging, moisturizes your skin, gets rid of dark circles under your eyes, and makes your skin glow.
Have a pleasant November and remember to shop your small, locally-owned retailer for your holiday and seasonal needs.