Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Filter

We have always admired how efficient our heat pump is. It keeps us warm in winter and cool in summer with a nice, low bill. But there is a large grate in the upstairs hall ceiling and Demetrios worried about it. It seemed to be sucking up a lot of air into our attic. So when the nice man built our sunroom, Demetrios asked him what that thing was for, and should it be covered.

"No," it shouldn't, said Charles. "It's just a big intake. There is a duct behind it, so that air is recirculating." Then, after a pause, he asked, "Where's y'all's filter?"

Filter? We just looked at each other. Filter! Well, sure, a heating system must have a filter. Bound to have one. Somewhere.

"I can't recall ever having seen it," I mumbled.

Charles didn't even know what to say. Finally, breaking into a smile, he asked, "How long have y'all lived here?"

Um, well, eighteen years, for Demetrios; seventeen for me.

"And y'all've never changed the filter?" smiling in disbelief.

So off went Charles in search of it, every room of the house. No luck. I was beginning to feel vindicated when finally he located it, at the bottom of the furnace. "But y'all's hot water heater is standing directly in front of it," he reported. "That leaves no room to pull the filter out. Is that a new water heater or somethin'?"

New ten years ago, yes.

Now what?

Eventually, a Greek friend of ours brought his brother over here, whose occupation in Greece is heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. He pulled the filter out after all. "With only a couple of shovelfuls of dirt in it," quipped Maria, his sister-in-law.

We've bought a replacement. Now we have to clear out that utility shed and try to vaccuum the rest of the dirt out from under the bottom of the furnace before we put in the new filter.

Fortunately, for the moment, we're having the sort of weather that needs no heat or cooling.

Charles didn't even charge us. He was paid in laughter.



Christopher D. Hall said...

Three thoughts on this:

1. I'm surprised the thing is working at all, never having changed the filter!

2. It's a good thing you don't suffer from a dust allergy; you'd be dead by now :)

3. Nice story--and a good friend. God is blessing you.

JTKlopcic said...

If the cold air return feeds directly into the furnace, then you should be able to install a filter behind the grate in the ceiling. This is how ours is set up, and it's much easier to get to. Also, seeing the dust build up on it kinda reminds you that it needs to be changed from time to time.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

We are looking forward to seeing our already low heating and cooling bill (!) go down even further -- and to a great reduction in sneezing and coughing.


Fr. Gregory Hogg said...

Anastasia--you are the Orthodox Erma Bombeck!

Fr. Gregory