The Truth About Air Filters

The Truth About Air Filters

If you are like me, you are interested in the truth.  But when you go down the rabbit hole, things start to look very grey. Take furnace filters for example: I was at Home Depot and I was staring at wall-to-wall furnace filters. The prices were all over the place, from as low as $3.00 and going well over $50.00 for a single filter. And as a price, but also value-conscious consumer, I pulled up my phone and started Googling air filters. Then, in frustration, I bought a mid-level multi-pack. It is impossible to find a true answer, because everyone has stakes in the game. Home Depot employees would tell you, buy the HEPA-whatever because the store makes more money on it. An HVAC (Heating Venting Air Conditioning) specialist would tell you that all those filters are crap and what you need is an auxiliary system to scrub your air clean (for over $1000.00). Who is going to tell you the truth? I will tell you the truth. Well, as best as I can ascertain. How Your Filter Works Before I tell you what to buy, I would like to teach you what is happening in your HVAC system, assuming you have a forced air system. If you have a boiler system, then open a window. When your furnace turns on, air is drawn into the system (from an outside vent and also though large inside air-return vents) through the air-return ductwork. It is that large circular or rectangular box that runs along your basement ceiling. The air passes through the filter that is mounted between the air return...
Cold Weather Work Gloves

Cold Weather Work Gloves

Out with the old, in with the new. What if instead: out with the new, in with the old? For the last couple of months, I have been testing a pair of Terra Nitrile Dipped Nylon Cold Weather work gloves. I have worn them around the house, out about the city (black gloves can basically go anywhere and no one notices), and as driving gloves (at the moment replacing my Hatch Street Guard gloves which are looking a little worse for wear). The Terra work gloves are a part of the new trend of using nitrile-dipped technology to “waterproof” your hands against the nasty wet stuff you deal with on a regular basis. And they do keep water and most muck out, provided that it doesn’t go much farther than your knuckles. Their rough grippy outer shell is great for dealing with recycling and garbage, and as with this pair of cold weather gloves, they are snow proof. But they are far from perfect. Basically, due to the waterproofing latex-esque layer of paint that keeps stuff out, they also keep moisture in. Even while driving, once the heater in the car kicks in at -30, they start to get… moist. Any real activity that involves any physical labour, the gloves actually get colder. This is because as you start to sweat (which is your body’s way of maintaining a consistent internal temperature of 37°C / 98.5°F when faced with a rising internal temperature), the water collects right against your skin and it conducts heat 25 times faster than when your hands are dry (see Survival Course, Shelter). So unless you...