Sunday, February 15, 2009

Anatomy of a Building

2100 Russell Road is not a new building. One of the things it does not do well is handle the water and the water pressure associated with washers in individual apartments. This sometimes causes the water in another apartment to back up or the pipes to leak.

As we all signed a lease and of course we all read the lease before we signed it, we all know that we cannot have our own personal washer.(Section 6.8 of your lease). It is a pain in the butt having to take my clothes all the way downstairs to wash them! It's a bigger pain in the butt to spend a day cleaning water up off my floor or walking all the way to Elmvale Shopping Center to use that laundromat. I think I will stop groaning and be grateful that I have not one laundry room, but two and not one washer but 6 to chose from and that I do not have to drag my laundry off to Elmvale. Yup!! Things could be worse! Especially glad I don't have to go out with my laundry when it is -20°C.

If you are one of the few people who have sneaked a washer in here, you might try giving a thought to your neighbours and the misery you cause them. If empathy is not part of your make up, you could consider that by having a washer, you are breaking your contract with Housing and that it is a cause to eviction.

I have mentioned this before but I will mention it again for those few who do not know what I am talking about.

Larger buildings circulate air via air vents. In apartment buildings there are usually one or more air vents, most often found in the kitchen and/or bathroom. At 2100 we have 2 vents per unit. One in the bathroom which is sealed and one in the kitchen which has a little door that opens downward. Behind that little door is a filter. One of the bonuses of living in an Ottawa Housing Apartment is that Housing supplies the filters.

Filters should be changed ever three or four months. Housing apparently do not change the filters - you change your own. It is really a 'piece of cake' to change your air filter. You will find it near the ceiling and in the corner to the far left of the stove. Loosen the screw until the door swings down. Remove the old filter and put the new one in. Close the door and refasten the screw. A 2 minute job that will definitely have you breathing easier and cleaner. Well , maybe 5 minutes if you are a wobbly old crow when using a ladder, like myself. :o)

You didn't know that filter was to be changed? Oh! Just never thought about it! Well don't feel bad. I didn't think about it much either. But when a cold or virus started making the rounds of the building, it came to mind in a hurry. So I asked. Would you believe, the Maintenance Department has a huge box of filters just waiting for you to ask for one. I changed mine. It was black with the dust of at least the four years I have lived here.

As those of you who were here when the Royal Vic loped off my nose and the Queensway Carlton built me a new one from skin grafted from my forehead know, I can't smell much. I do know when that girl that bathes in Avon is about or when a skunk has been chased by dogs but most things don't register anymore. So I do not smell the smells I hear a bunch of folks griping about. They apparently come through the air vents. This is just a guess, but I think a clean air filter might give you less to gripe about too.

So do yourself a favour and change the filter. If perchance you cannot do this by yourself or at all, give me a holler the next time you see me - I'm the gal with the walker and the little chihuahua dog. I will find someone to help you change it.

Why didn't the Building Manager tell you this? Who knows! Probably the poor girl is worn out writing letters to seniors making them take up their 'Welcome Mats' to do anything as mundane as tell you to change your air filters.

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