The trapdoor that leads to the underside of the house also leads to another world, dusty and dirty.
Unfortunately, that’s where the furnace and its filters reside and after duct cleaning and the marathon construction, the filter needed changed. Ick.
After years of reading gas and electric meters for Public Service, I’ve seen my share of traps. In many parts of Denver, the gas meter is under the house and it requires the lifting of a heavy trapdoor and while holding the door up, I read the gas meter and entered the number into the computer. All while holding the door up. At the end of a long day, traps are the worst.
I now have a trap, although there’s no gas meter under the house, the furnace is.
The only good omen about this little adventure was a large box of new filters, ready and waiting near the opening of the crawl space. So happy was I to see the box of filters that saved me a trip down to Ace Hardware, I tripped and fell, landing in the dirt.
Under the house, it’s not tall enough to stand up and the ground is covered with fine, sandy dirt that clings to everything. Armed with a flashlight, I tried to find the furnace, which is located in the far corner of the house, past the pipes and plumbing.
Crawling under the pipes, I prayed the slot for the furnace filter isn’t on the dark side of the furnace. Luckily, the slot was clearly marked and is on the bright side of the silvery moon. I crawled on my stomach to the furnace, kissing my clean clothes goodbye.
I opened the tall slot, pulled out the filter that’s been in there since October. It was filthy, heavy with dirt and dust. No wonder I’ve been sneezing every time the furnace came on.
I crawled back out, covered in dirt but at least, I changed my filter, sparing my furnace and my pocketbook.
On the way out, I noticed there are skis, a series of kitchen cabinets, an assortment of paint cans and all the baseboard heaters that once graced the inside of the house but were ripped out leaving gaping holes in the wall. The water reservoir is down there, as well as a variety of pumps and hoses. In the scheme of all things construction, the underside of the house isn’t so bad. It’s a wasteland of the house’s past and will require a cleanup at some point.
I wonder if next month, I can pay the kid next door $20 to go under the house. I ain’t going back under there.