Dirty Air Conditioning Vents
LESLIE: Next up, we have Michael from Louisiana who has some traces of smoke around the vents in his house.
Michael, where is this happening and what’s it like?
MICHAEL: Near the air conditioning vent in each room there’s traces of like either dust or it looks like gray smoke or whatever. At first I thought it was a filter problem but I’ve been changing my filters regularly but it just keeps happening. And it just looks real repulsive and I was just wondering what’s the best way to prevent that.
TOM: Yeah, I think you’re on the right track, Michael, because it probably is dirt in the air. And it’s not indicative of your housekeeping, so don’t worry about that. But here’s what’s happening. As the air goes through the duct system either in the air conditioning or the heating, you have a difference in temperature between that air and the outside wall and you get condensation of moisture on that wall and it leaves its dirt behind. So that’s what’s happening.
You basically need to clean it off once and then you mentioned changing your filter. You know, if it’s a regular problem in your house, you might want to look into a more efficient filter.
Leslie, what’s that new filter that was written up by Consumer Reports that’s excellent?
LESLIE: Is it the Aprilaire whole-house air filter?
TOM: Yes, that was it?
LESLIE: Yeah, this is something – do you have forced air in your house or central air or central heating?
MICHAEL: Yes ma’am.
LESLIE: You do. So what a good thing is is this is something that sits right into your central air unit. It has to be installed by a professional and you can find out at Aprilaire.com who does it in your area. And it’s a system that fits right into what you already have and it works to sort of clean all of the air in your house. And really, you’ll find that the air in your house can be about 25 percent more polluted than the air actually outside, which is why you’re probably seeing this dust and dirt. And the filters will not only get the dirt and dust out of the air but they’ll also get bacteria and any sort of allergens out the air as well. So it’s really helpful in more ways than one.
TOM: So a better filter, a little bit of painting, and a little bit of cleaning and you’ll be good to go. OK, Michael? Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.