I like to write about projects, DIY stuff, upgrades, and updates, but we all know that the majority of stuff we do in our houses is routine home maintenance. Am I right? Gutter clearing, fixing squeaky doors, and leaky faucets. Not so exciting or glamorous, and easy to put it off and forget about it.
Well today I was embarrassingly reminded of one simple home maintenance task that we had let slide for waaaaaay too long.
Air filters. A classic case of "out of sight, out of mind" for us. Air filters are part of your furnace/AC system that clear the air. They catch dust, gunk, anything that would go from the part of the system that cools the air to the part of the system that puts it back into your house. Air filters are a good thing.
We get our oil furnace serviced annually by the company that delivers our oil as part of our contract. And today was the day! Exciting, right? Who thinks about heat in JULY? Nobody, which is why they were available.
So they come in, go to the basement and do their thing. Checking the things that need checking, tightening bolts, cleaning things out. Or rather, I think that's what they did down there. I didn't watch. And then one guy came up and said, "Can you come down here, I want to show you something." And he showed me the grossest, gunked up air filter. See below. But not if you're eating. Seriously gross.
Apparently, homeowners should be replacing air filters every 30-60 days. And if you're doing drywall (like we are) or have a pet (like we do) then 30 days is the rule, especially in the summer. I'm not gonna lie - I'm not sure we've replaced the filters EVER. And we've had the furnace/AC for 4 years. I guess we've been having "signs" of needing new ones desperately for a while and didn't realize what it meant. First off, our duct work in the basement has been having some condensation on the outside - big drippy drops of water. And our vent covers are pretty dirty looking, and I'm sure that once the new filters are in place they'll do a better job of catching stuff. And finally, we've been having a pretty gross smell from the vents and also in the basement.
New filters aren't terribly expensive - these were the "mid-range" from Ace Hardware and were about $5/each.
The installation was pretty straight forward. Flip off the whole thing first to eliminate the risk of injury from anything that might be going on in there. Then pop off a side panel and slide the filters in place! Seriously simple!
I'll post an update on here after a few days letting you guys know how improved things are with new filters!