The apartment Ashley and I share is part of an old house. As far as apartments go, this is the best kind in my opinion. We get that old-house feeling without the old-house maintenance costs and the old-house price.

But it comes with its old-house problems.

This is the air intake for the heater/air-conditioner.

And also maybe the portal to hell.

When we first moved in I put some mesh under the wooden grate, mostly to guard against losing cat toys. Once we started using the heater though I noticed that the mesh was constantly getting clogged up.1 Over time using the edge cleaner to vacuum all that unsightly stuff didn’t work too well anymore.

Then about two weeks ago the filter light came on on our thermostat.2 The landlord cleaned out the filter but the light remained on.

So Sunday I decided it had to have something to do with the mesh. I pulled up the grate and removed the mesh. Then I peeked into the cavern beneath, not entirely sure that I wouldn’t see Gollum or Hellboy or that creepy-ass chick from The Grudge.

And I don't mean Buffy.

The next fifteen minutes or so found me armed with the vacuum cleaner going at the duct-work like Charlie Sheen on a call-girl.

The end result?

Not pictured: Charlie Sheen's career.

Aside from all the dust and hair, note the washcloth. The pen. The Pez dispenser.

None of that shit is ours.


And ew some more.

After purging the intake duct-work we ran to the store where I purchased a nice filter to put under the grate. I had to modify it slightly to make it fit, but it wasn’t too much work.

I can’t say for sure that it’s helping yet, but I certainly feel better about it because 1) the open mouth of Hades is covered, ii) cat toys won’t be falling down there, c) I don’t have to vacuum it, and IV) it actually filters the air.

Though I will admit that I want to make a little expedition to see what other crap I might find further down the cave. Maybe another weekend.

  1. Cat hair, dust and unmentionable detritus unbefitting a doorway to the underworld.
  2. I wasn’t aware it had a filter light.

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