Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Air Filter PEBKAC

Sometimes I find it helpful to be reminded that while I am expensively educated, I am not always smart. - Unknown Stanford Student
When I got an apartment in Sacramento a couple of years ago it tended to smell a little bit like cigarette smoke. The building owner smoked, and while he assured me he never smoked in the apartment, he did like to smoke on the patio outside and in his office which shared a wall (and I assume shared the ventilation system). My mother was kind enough to get me a super power HEPA filter machine and I would constantly run it to try and keep the air clean and beautiful.
I've probably had it for two years now, and we run it every night to create white noise and keep the air clean. Mrs.Chaos has been having a few respiratory problems in the morning and I thought, "ya know, I've never changed the HEPA filter in this thing. So it's probably useful, and might be doing more harm than good." I pulled down some new filters and opened up the device to put them in only to discover that I am an idiot. Inside the machine the actual filters were wrapped in plastic - and therefore had not been doing ANYTHING for the years I have owned it. I have had a very expensive fan.
I remember when I got the thing I read the instructions and it clearly said in the instructions, "remove all plastic before use." So I did remove all the plastic attached to the outside covering up the intake, the exhaust, the buttons, etc. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I needed to open it up and remove plastic from the internal filters. Why would you do this? There are already filters on the intake and exhaust? I mean, at least you should have packaged the filters separately from the device and made me put them in! Whatever. Sometimes I am stupid, and I guess it's useful to be reminded of that from time to time.