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Storing central air conditioner filters?

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vs1988

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Another home improvement type of question. Where should we put our new air conditioner filters? My dad bought a new pack of them today, though we had one more unused one in the attic. The new filter my dad pulled from the attic was covered in dust and mouse droppings. He didn't want it to go to waste, so he just dusted it off and installed it into the air conditioner vent. I suggested storing these filters elsewhere so the mice and dust wouldn't get into them. Any ideas?

Thanks
 

OpSec

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The new filter was covered in dust and mouse crap, but he installed it anyway? Gross! Now all that dust and mouse crap is going blow all over the house thru the HVAC system.

Take the $5 loss and use a new filter. Geez, what happened to common sense...is it completely gone now?
 

vs1988

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That's what I figured. He turned on the AC right afterward, so if there were any contaminants in the dirt/mouse droppings, they're well spread around the house now:(.
 

jeffrey420

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That could be hazardous to your health. I remember hearing about a woman dying from drinking a canned soft drink that had dried rat urine on the top.

I would either keep them in a closet, or at least put them in a sealed new trash bag to keep them clean.

I would also for sure replace the dirty one right away.
 

SCPD

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vs1988 said:
That's what I figured. He turned on the AC right afterward, so if there were any contaminants in the dirt/mouse droppings, they're well spread around the house now:(.

BLECH...Yep. Might be an idea to have a go at getting rid of the mice too. I usually just keep mine beside the furnace in the plastic they came in and I don't keep more than 1 extra on hand...but then my filter only requires changing once a year.

It likely wouldn't be such a bad idea to get the ductwork cleaned out now too in the event there are critters or crap from that filter put through the system. Maybe google airborne diseases caused by mice and print it out for him. In the mean time, breath real shallow :(
 

vs1988

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wheelchair said:
It likely wouldn't be such a bad idea to get the ductwork cleaned out now too in the event there are critters or crap from that filter put through the system. Maybe google airborne diseases caused by mice and print it out for him. In the mean time, breath real shallow :(
I've tried printing out fact sheets for my parents before, like when I had to clean out the mouse droppings at work. They just tell me that I worry too much and that these diseases "aren't serious".
 

joetnymedic

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wasn't there some type of disease related to mouse pooh out there awhile back that took out a few people before they tracked it to that as the cause? the bacteria went airborne and did the respiratory thing and then Wham!!! you're gone.
 

SCPD

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joetnymedic said:
wasn't there some type of disease related to mouse pooh out there awhile back that took out a few people before they tracked it to that as the cause? the bacteria went airborne and did the respiratory thing and then Wham!!! you're gone.

Yes, Hantavirus and many others.
Although the fact sheets I've seen say it is remote that you will encounter it.

Some good tips here so I'll post them:

Proper precautions should be taken to minimize any possible health risk. Remember, the risk of actually encountering hantavirus-infected mice is very remote, but taking the following steps can minimize any potential risk:

Never sweep or vacuum mouse droppings and dust or debris in mouse activity areas.

Wear a respirator equipped with a High Efficiency Purifying Air (HEPA) filter as well as unvented protective goggles, and impermeable latex or rubber gloves.

Soak mouse droppings and dusty areas with an EPA-registered disinfectant then wipe up with paper towels. Place the soiled towels in a sealed plastic bag and dispose in an outdoor trash receptacle.

Clean protective equipment with the EPA-registered disinfectant, then again with soap and water, and allow to air dry before the next use.

Spray dead mice with EPA-registered disinfectant before disposal. Handle traps wearing protective latex or rubber gloves and a HEPA-equipped respirator. Try to avoid touching or handling the carcass. Dispose of the carcass in a sealed plastic bag in an outdoor trash receptacle.


Let's hope the poop in the filter was not of the infected variety and that perhaps it was also on the intake side of the filter to prevent pulling as much through the house.
 

kb2vxa

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Hi VS and all,

"He turned on the AC right afterward, so if there were any contaminants in the dirt/mouse droppings, they're well spread around the house now."

Yeah, and in your lungs and I just hope your immune system can handle the diseases you were and are exposed to with that fine dust permeating everything in the house.

"Let's hope the poop in the filter was not of the infected variety and that perhaps it was also on the intake side of the filter to prevent pulling as much through the house."

That's going to take a LOT of hope, no ordinary filter is capable of trapping micron sized particles so that crap is EVERYWHERE, no doubt about it.
 

USAPatriot

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If he's got a stack of them, shove them all into a garbage bag, tie it off, and put them on a shelf in the garage. They'll keep indefinitely if the rodents don't use them to nest in. Best bet is to get the box they came in and store them in it. The store he bought them from probably throws a few boxes just that size away every week in the summer. -Rod-
 

kc2jfs

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It's cool when a human liquifies

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)


Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection.
 

vs1988

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Well my parents swapped out the dirty one with one of the new clean ones; we now keep them in the upstairs closet.
 

vs1988

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kb2vxa said:
OK, now what about the rodent infestation?
We had some mice in our garage, so I set out a few traps. They've been unsuccessful at getting anything so far. They're the traditional snap-traps w/ the metal triggers. I think I might go for the expanded trigger version and set a few in the attic as well.

We have a rodent problem in the office where i work too; there's some traps set out, but many of them aren't even baited or loaded. The back room where I work was cleaned out on tuesday, and there were mouse droppings found behind stacks of junk that'd been piled there for literally years without being moved. they cleaned out the walk-in closet, which was even worse in its accumulation of crap. I don't know if I'm just looking too hard or if where I work and live are both infested by mice.
 
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