Furnace Filters 101

I didn’t do all that I had planned this weekend but I did get the usual weekend housework stuff done and I did make it to Home Depot to check out the ceiling tiles that I liked AND I had to get an new filter for the furnace!

The thermostat has been flashing “change filter” for about six months now. I really didn’t want to even think about this, so I just ignored it. What could be the worst thing that could happen…..the furnace was still working, right! But I have cats and then I had all that dust from the sawing on the steps back in the fall and who knows what else those filters filter! I probably need my ducts cleaned too….another day though.

I decided that I should check out filters while as I was at HD, I’d ignored it long enough and figured this might be part of why I seem to have a stuffy nose a lot of the time let alone the actual efficiency of my High Efficiency furnace!! I read through the furnace manual and found the size and type of filter recommended…..I’m all set, right?

Early last year our hot water tank packed it in. We had it replaced, of course. The plumber was really good and installed one that had excellent reviews, so we were happy with it and it’s supposed to be more efficient too. Great!

Unfortunately our water tank and furnace are in the same closet type spot. Both fit with no problem……except for where one has to pull out the furnace filter to replace it! The new water tank is just a little bigger so now there is no room to pull out the furnace filter!! My daughter was here and coming to HD with me, so we took pictures of our dilemma and off we went!

the stuck filter with NO fibre/filter stuff in it!

the stuck filter with NO fibre/filter stuff in it!

I learned a lot about furnace filters! Apparently we have a “washable” one. Who knew that? Ken did of course. It’s very convenient and economical because those disposable filters are pretty pricey ($25 and up for a good one) and they are supposed to be replaced every 3 months, not every 6 or 9 or whenever I get around to it. The only problem was that there was none of the actual filter stuff in the one that was now in our furnace?? Who knows why??? Did it just disintegrate? The HD guys didn’t think so….it’s a mystery that will never be solved now. Based on this, it appears that I have not even HAD a filter on my furnace for at least a year, which would have been about the last time Ken would have felt up to doing something like this.

what the filter SHOULD have looked like!

what the filter SHOULD have looked like!

They only thing they could suggest for getting the filter out of the tight spot was to try and bend and wiggle it as much as possible and pull and hope that it didn’t break. In the meantime we bought a cheapie disposable one, that we could at least bend the cardboard frame of, so we’d have something in there for now….as long as we could get the other one out!

The good news is, we managed, between us, in that tight little space, to wiggle and bend the washable one enough to finally get it out without breaking it. I bent and stuck the disposable one in for now. Next time my thermostat reminds me to change it, I’ll either get a new washable one or the fibre replacement stuff that you can buy on it’s own for the one I have. I can at least vacuum it even if I can’t actually finagle the damn thing out to wash it. That is, assuming of course, that I can bend and wiggle it enough to get it in! It was all an ordeal but we did laugh….and curse and swear a bit too! The good times that a mother and daughter should have together…..

I also talked to the HD guys about the ceiling tiles that I want for downstairs and the various options for dealing with the pieces that aren’t full squares, so this was all good. Lots to think about. The tiles I want are really nice but also really expensive…..I want it to look nice but just how much do I want to spend on these things?? Another decision that only I can make!

ceiling tiles that I'd like....

ceiling tiles that I’d like….

Thank you HD people, very helpful as usual :)

I really was hoping that I’d already come across all the “house” type things that I would have to deal with maintenance wise, but it seems like there is always something else that pops up. This wasn’t a big deal really and we found a solution, but this is just another one of those things that I never had to worry about, or even think about, before. What else is lurking??? But I now know all about furnace filters! Who knew I’d ever need to know this??

I’m learning a lot….I guess this is all good.

L.

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