Mar 10, 2011

Filter this!

So a few weeks after we had the vents cleaned (seriously - you have to check out the before pics here) we started hearing this sound.  Like a whistle going off...  Was it the tea pot?  E's office computers?  What the heck was that noise?

IT was the furnace.  Our poor new furnace was gasping for air.  We had had the vents cleaned but it never occurred to use that maybe there would be some residual furry bits that had gotten loose but not sucked out.  And here they were.  All stuck to our filter.

 WEB WECO Eco Filter AdjustableThis filter was not just any old filter - it was our brand new expensive (for us) washable and reusable filter.  I can not remember exactly how much E paid for it at Costco but here is the same version Amazon style - WEB WECO Eco Adjustable Filter .  It is such a great idea in theory but when we saw what was stuck to ours we decided to start fresh...oh, and the other reason behind that was that E broke the frame while removing it in a desperate attempt to save our gasping furnace.  I am not sure how to do chest compressions to a furnace had it's heart stopped but thankfully, due to my hero E and his fast moving hands ripping out that filter, we didn't have to find out.  I will say - if you decide to go the reusable route it would be best to have 2 filters so you can replace one while the other one is getting washed.  We didn't have that luxury so I went out to buy some new cheap-o ones until we could replace the Cadillac of all filters!  PS -  If you decided to leave the house to buy new filters do yourself, and your furnace, a BIG favor and turn it off!  You do not want it working filter-less ESPECIALLY if you had the type of residue we did from our vent cleaning.  

After replacing the filter I decided to check back in on it a week later.  I wanted to see how clean it would be or if there was anymore residue.  I could only assume with how bad the reusable one was (like, seriously caked in fur) that there had to be more...I was right.  Here is a side by side of the 1 week old filter compared to the next replacement filter I was about to put in:

 Pretty gruesome.  After this I changed the filter every other week 2 more times.  The used filters became less and less dusty/dirty and I became more and more satisfied!  This is important stuff may be walking around and not even know your vents look like this:

I'm sorry!  I had to do it - you HAD to know how disgustingly gross these vents were prior to cleaning.  Truly, if you live in a home with a central heating system and haven't cleaned your vents in a few years I urge you to take a few vent covers off and check it out.  To be clear - this isn't the norm when it comes to dirty vents.  I am not proud to say ours were especially dirty...and to be fair to us, this is not OUR dirt and junk - we bought the place like this but we were foolish enough to live here for almost a full year with it like this completely unbeknown to us.  Don't be foolish!

Oh - and if you are a rookie and have never replaced a filter before it is SUPER simple - just look for the arrow on the filters edge and place it in the direction of the air flow...

Presto Chang-o!  Moral of the story here - check you filters, clean your vents, and brush you teeth.  OK - the last one I just threw in for good measure.  But seriously, folks.  A heating/AC system is extremely expensive to replace - save yourself a few thousand dollars in repair fees and replacement fees by taking care of the unit that you have.  Put a reminder on your calendar to change your filters.  While you are at it - test your smoke detectors too!

Linking up with Centsational Girl!!  Please stop in here for other fab Spring Cleaning ideas!!

Who else had their vents cleaned?  Have any information to share or advice for everyone?  Please feel free to leave a comment to share!  

Bianca Sears vent cleaning, how to change a filter, WEB WECO Eco Adjustable Filter, reusable air f
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