Julies Blog

Air-conditioning filters

by Julie Finch-Scally

Our house is two levels. On each level we have a reverse cycle air-conditioner. As an experiment to try and rectify the ambient warmth of the whole house, I have been using the down stairs unit only. It kept the upstairs warm as well as heating down stairs. Hot air rises.

Why would I be concerned about this? The down stairs area is usually three or four degrees cooler than upstairs. By using the down stairs air-con both areas have become equal in temperature and we are still only using one machine. (Electricity costs should be the same)

We had noticed that the down stairs air-con had to be set very high to keep the temperature level reasonable. Of course, to generate the higher the temperature the more electricity is used.

Hubby thought it might have been some time since he had cleaned the filters, so last weekend he climbed up and removed them. Both he and I were shocked at the dust that had collected all over the filters. In fact the filters were chocked with dust, making it difficult for the air to flow through and naturally causing the temperature gauge to be increased to provide the required temperature in the room.

Out came the vacuum cleaner and the crevice nozzle attachment and each filter was gently rubbed over with the nozzle, lifting and removing all that thick, built up dust. While we were doing this the air-conditioner was still on and we were amazed that the temperature in the room increased by three degrees in that short period of time.

I suggested we cleaned the fins inside the air-con behind where the filters sit. While I held the vacuum up so hubby could reach, he ran the crevice nozzle along and across all the fins inside the unit. I could see the dust swirling around in the vacuum cleaner catchment barrel. It was amazing.

Needless to say, having cleaned the down stairs filters we thought it wise to see if the upstairs air-con was as badly affected. There was dust but nothing like down stairs. The vacuum crevice nozzle was used again but the dust seemed a lot finer so I had to wash the filters. This was done by placing them in hot soapy water, and while wearing rubber gloves gently rubbing over both sides of the filter. The light film of dust was easily removed and there was dirty water. The filters were put outside on a towel to dry in the sun.

The moral is: Air-conditioning units all have filters that need to be cleaned on a regular basis. How often? At least once every six months: and if they are used all year round, during summer and winter, maybe every three months. I can tell you the difference the clean made on the downstairs air-conditioner was massive. We can now keep the temperature gauge around 22° and the ambient temperature of the whole house is just perfect.


The wonders of the magic eraser

by Julie Finch-Scally

My Nephew has just discovered the wonders of the magic eraser that removes stains from cups and other little marks on items that cannot be cleaned with a scourer.

I had a very well used small piece of magic eraser next to the sink and my Nephew, who was staying with me for a few days, wasn’t sure whether he should throw it away or not. I quickly explained what the eraser could do and he left it where he had found it.

The next morning as we emptied the dish washer the large enameled roasting dish still had some stains. The dishwasher had not done its job. So Nephew used the magic eraser and voila the stains were gone.

I was quite surprised at how delighted he was with the results. I guess when you use something on a regular basis you don’t realise how unusual results can be to someone who hasn’t used the product before. Needless to say the Nephew said he was going to purchase a packet of the magic erasers when he got back home.

But why is the magic eraser so successful? Well I guess that is corporate knowledge, because I have no idea how these little puffs of magic are made. I do know they are available in the US and I believe other parts of the world other than Australia.

But although the magic eraser works wonders with porcelain and enamel, one has to be careful when using them to clean marks off walls. I thought I would be clever and use one in a customer’s house to remove a scuff mark only to notice that the paint came off as well. I think a light clean with a damp cloth and a drop of cream cleanser might have been more successful on that occasion.

But that doesn’t mean the magic eraser cannot be used for cleaning marks off paint. I have found it most successful on skirting boards, doors and architraves painted with gloss paint. Care does have to be taken otherwise the paint loses its glossy look, but a gentle wipe along the mark easily removes it and keeps the paint work looking pristine.

There is no doubt the magic eraser is just that. If you don’t have one in your home they can be purchased in the cleanser aisle of the supermarket, and I have even seen them in my local hardware store.

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