I noticed a high dust accumulation in a short time in our apartment (1st winter here, old building). I decided to clean the intakes and change the air filter. I discovered that the old filter, placed by apartment maintance was 25% smaller than the cold air return hole. Furthermore, there is no air filter holding frame or strap or metal clips to hold it place. Basically they had leaned this filter onto the front of the fan.
Logic tells me this is not a correct setup: the filter was not dirty because the air goes right around it. The interior to the unit has a 3 mm layer of dust inside, the intake vent has ~12 mm layer of dust/debris inside it. Even more alarming, when I removed the intake vent from the wall I found that there is a 1 foot hole in the drywall behind it full of the dust/debris stuff.
So far, I have vacuumed out the intake vents in the apartment, and used AC metal duct tape to attach a correctly sized filter over the cold air return (hoping it will stay affixed until I change it).
1. Is there a better way for me to use a filter? Note: I cannot cut sheet metal or modify the existing ductwork.
2. Should I be worried about air quality given the state of the intake vent, the accumulation of dust behind the drywall, and the hole in the drywall? Could it be blowing insulation particles, asbestos, lead, etc into our apartment? (I checked on a neighbor's unit and found the same setup, with 1 difference, they had no filter)
3. Should I have the ducts professionally cleaned?
- 15 Old House Features We Shouldn't Abandon
- 17 Tiny Bathrooms We Love
- 30 Things Everyone Should Know
- 16 Sneaky Storage Ideas
- 20 Easy 60-Minute Home Improvements
- 10 IKEA Favorites Made New with Paint
- The Tiniest Appliances You Never Knew Existed
- 9 Alternative Uses for Toothpaste
- 133 Smart Storage Ideas for the Whole House
- 16 New Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities
- 8 Ways to Make a Small Room Look Big
- 21 Expert Picks for Fail-Safe Colors
- 10 Fall Door DIYs for the Best House on the Block
- The Cheapest Ways to Boost Home Value
- 10 New Uses for Old Doors
- 26 Easy Painted Pumpkins for Halloween
- 15 Once-Popular Home Items Now Vanishing
- 8 Unique Ways to Build Your Own Table
- Woodworking for Beginners: 10 Projects
- 7 Reasons to Reconsider Wallpaper
- 10 New Uses for Old Dressers
- 7 Upgrades You Can Do in Under 300 Seconds
- 10 Thrifty DIY Ways to Organize Your Home
- 12 "Different" Ways to Store Firewood
- 17 Creative Ways to Repurpose Cardboard
- Beyond White: 11 Bathroom Paint Colors
- 10 DIYs for a Festive Front Door This Fall
- 10 Creative New Ways to Use Old Bottles
- The 10 Best Things to Buy Secondhand
- 16 Must-See Coffee Tables You Can DIY—Easily!