My apologies, Renee and Baboons. I was away from e-mail and the blog all day yesterday, and did not realize there was no comment box in spite of several polite attempts made by diligent readers to call my attention to that fact.
I blame the dust. In my brain.
Comments are now open on this post, which will remain up through the weekend.
Today’s post comes from Renee in North Dakota.
Husband has terrible airborne allergies, particularly to dust and pollen and cat dander. I had hoped that when we installed new siding and windows in the house last year he would find some relief, at least inside the house, but it didn’t happen. We have HEPA filters running all the time and have dust mite proof mattress and pillow covers, and new carpets, but he still downs Sudafed and Allegra like candy and is always sneezing and clearing his throat.
I noticed that even when our new windows were shut tight, there was always a thick layer of dust on furniture and other surfaces. I know that it is dustier out here than in other places because of the winds we have, but, honestly, a person shouldn’t have to dust twice a week when the windows haven’t even been opened.
It occurred to me that we must be recirculating dust whenever we ran the furnace or the central air conditioning. I replace the furnace filter at the approved intervals, but that didn’t help, either. We decided to call in the dust suckers, or, more professionally, Peterson’s Furnace and Air Duct Cleaners. They arrived today and spent 7 hours removing more dirt and objects from our furnace and furnace ducts than I thought possible. They have a 600 lb vacuum that gets connected to the furnace and cleans out everything. The hose is more than a foot in diameter. They also go from the vents back to the furnace to make sure nothing is in the ducts, and then sterilize the whole duct system. Some of the more interesting things they removed included:
- Pieces of lumber, presumably left by the construction workers who built the house in 1978
- Chunks of drywall-ditto
- Cassette tapes
- Cat toys
- Spoons (not soup spoons but spoons for feeding babies)
- gargantuan dust bunnies
Mr. Peterson is a local, and his able assistant is from New Jersey and has the most delightful accent. They tell us that this procedure should be done about every 10 years. It evidently hasn’t ever been done here in the 37 years since the house was built. It remains to be seen if husband’s allergies will remit somewhat, but getting rid of the dust certainly can’t hurt. I need to ask my children which of them stuffed cassette number 4 of Harry Potter and The Goblet of FIre down the heat vent, and why. Alas, though, now I know that none of my missing soup spoons are in the duct work.
What long-missing item might be hiding in your air ducts?