Filter? I don't need no stinking filter!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

As part of NEQID (there’s something I haven’t used in a while. I originally wrote “ever-improving David,” before I remembered my wonderful acronym for this quest: “Never Ending Quest to Improve David”), I’ve added another element to my daily Goal. Besides the 1,000 typed words, I will also handwrite one full Moleskine page worth of thoughts, notes, writing. (These very handwritten words are transcribed and reworked from that Goal.) It’s a small addition, but it’ll keep me thinking throughout the day about writing, and give me something to do when during my free moments when I don’t feel like or don’t have the time to open the computer and start pounding away.

I sort of met this Goal today. I probably should have written another two lines to make it official. But close is good enough. Once the cow dies, well, it’s dead, and there’s no amount of prodding that’ll wake it. I don’t know what this has to do with the official writing goals or weather, but there you have it. (Seattle: balmy and intermittent rain, if you’re curious.) For what it’s worth the Moleskine jotting did get my juices running today, which was its purpose. The two cups of yummy caffeine probably helped in that as well. It’s been too long since large amounts of yummy caffeine flowed through my system. Oh how I’ve missed its bitter yet invigorating taste!

We had a bit of a problem with the heating system in the Castle. Over the last few months or so the fan that forces the heat from the furnace around the Castle began to shut off. I rationalized this failure by blaming power outages in the Castle. I had anecdotal evidence as one evening I found a blinking clock concurrent with a fan failure, thanks, no doubt, to the strange weather Seattle has experienced. (This was not during the Big One that left me without power for 24 hours.)

When I reset the system at the thermostat the fan would turn back on after the five-minute waiting period. Over the last few days this failure became worse and more frequent. Last night, as we went to bed, I didn’t hear the fan churning away (the fan acts as white noise as it’s usually on when I sleep, blowing cold and hot air. I only seem to notice it when it’s off. It’s amazing how reliant I am on the white noise. When it’s off I find it hard to sleep). I was bundled under the covers and I told Doolies that I thought there was a problem with the heating system.

In the morning I reset the heater and went to work. When Doolies woke the fan was off again. After resetting it three times in as many hours, she called the HVAC guy. He arrived this afternoon and quickly discovered the problem. I don’t know how many of you are homeowners (actually, I do: Moms-homeowner, Chuck-not a homeowner (yet), rest of readers-imaginary and therefore probably not homeowners), but the HVAC guy said there’s something called a “filter” that connects to the heating and cooling system. This filter is supposed to be replaced or cleaned every one to three months. I last cleaned the filter at the beginning of the summer because the air conditioner was not conditioner the air enough.

It turns out that when you don’t clean the filter, not only does the heat or cold not circulate around the house, but when the filter is dirty enough, it blocks the fan from blowing air and the system shuts off. The guy said the pressure builds up because the air can’t get through the filter and shuts off the system. Clearly he’s a fraud. In the end, it cost us $150 + $3.97 + tax to fix the system. The first part was my incredible stupidity. The second was the cost of the replacement filters. And the third was the greedy liberals stealing all of my money. (Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m one of those greedy liberals.)