Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Didn’t know, didn’t ask, then learned

Recently, I had a thing done at my house, a sort of “ongoing maintenance” thing. I was surprised by the cost, for several reasons, and then I learned some things in the process. But I don’t know that it’ll change anything.

Back in December of 2020, I had an HRV ventilation system installed in my house (which this past May I called my fourth favourite out of “My 5 Favourite home changes”).. I asked the guy how often the filter needed to be changed, and would they let me know when it was time? They need to be changed every two years, he said, and that they’d contact me. They rang in October and sechduled the work for Monday of last week (November 7). This is where things got a bit rocky.

The woman who rang said she’d send a reminder email and the pricing, but either she forgot or what we had was a failure to communicate, because I never got the email. However, I also forgot to follow up—but somehow remembered the date of the appointment, if not the time.

My first order of business was to clear a path from the garage's overhead door, then to clear out the laundry area because the hatch to the attic is located there. I got both done.

The guy arrived mid-morning that day (I kind of thought that was the time, but I couldn’t remember). He changed the filters (old filters are in the photo above), then did a test of all the vents to make sure the air flow was optimal.

Then, I got the bill.

It cost me $370 to have the two filters changed, which seems like an awful lot (I thought it might cost around $200). I was actually pretty relaxed about the shock. As I put it on my personal Facebook:
Still, it is what it is. It needs to be done to ensure that the air that’s blown into my house is clean, and the filters are custom, so I’m just quite surprised, not angry or whatever. I have enough problems without dirty air, too.
People commented about changing such filters themselves, and I’d vaguely thought about that, but hadn’t pursued it before the guy came to change the filters. After the comments, I looked into it and I found out there are some available for $62 each, which would mean that doing it it myself would’ve saved me around $250. Worth it? Well…

There’s a lot going on in attic, and not just the HRV system and its duct lines to the whole house. There’s the sort of duct for the Solatube skylight thing that crosses from its roof connection on one side of the roof peak over to the other side where it connects to the ceiling in roughly the centre of that particular attic (that was my second-favourite thing among “My 5 Favourite home changes”).. Then, there’s all the wiring connections for the solar panels (number one on my favourites list), which enter the house in that space and run to a wall in that same area where in connects to its inverter and the power distribution panel in the garage. Finally, there’s the data cabling and TV antenna/aerial cables I had installed (and ordinary power and the water lines).

So, yep—there’s a LOT going on up there. I’d need to make sure that clumsy me wouldn’t damage any of that stuff—in addition to not falling through the plasterboard ceiling, of course. On balance, it might be “worth” all that extra money to avoid calamity or personal injury. I mean, sure, I can do anything but surgery, but the real questions are, “should I?” And, “do I actually want to?”. To be determined.

I had a thing done at my house and was surprised by the cost, for several reasons. But I learned some things in the process. Even so, I don’t know that it’ll change anything. At least I have clean air.

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