wardship n. care, custody, guardianship. This is such a Dickensian word to me; it conjures orphans in orphanages, a bachelor uncle suddenly being left with a deceased sister’s growing children, and gaols (jails) watched over by men with large skeleton keys strapped about their hips. But, realistically, we are all wardens of quite a spread- home, land, possessions, not to mention growing children of our deceased sisters, and the animals who cross our paths in this world. That’s what Wednesdays are about at this blog- taking care of home and land. A little bit about the pets. Not much about the children; THAT you will have to study elsewhere.
HVAC filters. Now there’s a scintillating topic! But, most everybody in central Texas has ’em. And they must be taken into account if we want to preserve our investment of thousands of dollars in our heating and cooling systems.
You have your basic throw-away flat filter that traps hair, clumps of dust, and other larger stuff that might otherwise clog up the system. You have your pleated filters that have a greater surface area and also trap a bunch of stuff that would otherwise clog up the system. You have your super-fine HEPA filters that grab even tiny particles out of the air passing through the intake of the HVAC. And, you have your re-usable, washable filters that use a static charge to nab particles passing through the filter on their way toward the HVAC system. (I have links at the bottom of the post so that you can read up on different opinions about which filters to use where.)
The biggest point for a homeowner to remember is this:
(Are you ready?)
- Change your filters regularly!!!
Dirty filters do no more good at protecting your HVAC system from harm than washing a cut with a dirty cloth does to protect your wound from bacteria. Ewwwww. Is that convincing? Once your filter is clogged with junk, it is increasingly harder for the air to get through, making the system work harder to pull the air through, wearing out the parts faster, and shortening the life of your system. Do you really, really want to spend $8- 10,000 every few years to keep your air cooled/warmed inside your house????? Better to maintain your clean filter regime!
How are you going to do this? Well, at our house, we use scheduled reminders on our computers. There is an annoying ding and a message on the screen when it is time to change the filter. Maybe this will work for you, too, especially if it is in an app like ToDoist, which allows you to check off the task when it is completed. (Some people are highly motivated by checking tasks off a list.) Perhaps you could write ‘change air filter’ on the first day of the month in a calendar that you look at each day. Perhaps you could link your once-a-month filter change task to another task you already do once a month, like pay a particular bill. Pay-the-Visa-change-the-filter. Maybe you could link it with the phases of the moon- each time you see the full moon, you go change your furnace filter. Whatever it takes, just DO it!
Here are the promised links:
Read and compare; they don’t all agree.