Unfiltered Alert! ~ A Must Read for All!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Beam & Branch Realty TREC #547752

Ha! Did that title catch your attention? Kind of like those big billboard signs that say, "See, you looked!". Well, this post is most definitely a must-read and is about a very important topic for homes everywhere - the air filter!!!

Having been in real estate for over 17 years, I have experienced a thing or two regarding inspections, closings, and move-ins. This most recent experience has to do with my own move-in to a newly constructed rental while our own home is being built. I am familiar with the paperwork, the move-in process, and expectations.

However, this lesson has come at a personal health cost. So much so that I thought, "You know? I should write a post about this issue." So here it is and I hope you all are already doing this or will pass this along to your clients.

In this age of masking and everyone fearing the literal air that we breathe, how often are we paying attention to the air filters in the homes we live in and the homes our clients are moving into? I know I provide my clients with oodles of checklists, moving tips, etc. but never have I mentioned checking the air filters on the day of move-in.

Here is what happened to me. This past November, we moved into a brand new home that we are leasing while we complete our new construction. Within 2 weeks, I came down with my first sinus infection. I only have one lung and these things are really tough on me. Now previously, I haven't been ill for over 5 years!

Then in December, another sinus infection and voila - another one this week. It finally hit me - Paula! Check the air filters in this house! Immediately, we saw the problem! There was NO air filter at all. For months my family and I have been exposed to all of the new construction dust and who knows what else in those ducts! Yuck!

The BIG LESSON LEARNED is to really remind our clients of the importance of checking the filters of the HVAC system immediately upon or before moving in! So if this isn't part of your walk-through, add it! Better yet, why not give your clients a brand new set of air filters on their move-in day!

It's a scary world out there and our homes need to be safe haven. Go check your filters now and get that yucky stuff out of your house today! Breathe well, my friends! 

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Comments (21)

Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

It's extremely important to replace air filters often.  Thankfully our new system let's us know and Gary handles it right away.   Paula I'm  sorry to hear you've had such a hard time with sinus infections. Feel better soon!

Jan 21, 2022 02:35 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Paula- I've had my share of sinus infections as well as bronchitis and I have both my lungs. I cannot imagine how sick you must have been and felt. We change our filters regularly. I mark my calendar and Larry rights the date on the filter. 

Jan 21, 2022 06:20 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Great advice, Paula. I change my filters in my home each month like clockwork. I'm always reminding my own clients to change their filters regularly. Always amazed when I'm viewing homes how many of them have filthy filters and grates.

Jan 22, 2022 05:55 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Paula - safety in the home goes beyond the typical hazards people may typically consider.  

Jan 22, 2022 05:56 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Great advice and, unfortunately on my part, not part of any checklist I hand clients.  That will be changed come Monday.  Thank you, Mark

Jan 22, 2022 06:58 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

PS...yes a very catchy Title/Headline.  Drew me in quickly.  lol

Jan 22, 2022 06:59 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Oh Dr. Paula McDonald I am so sorry that happened to you.  Good heavens. I hope you are feeling better now with restored health. 

Yes, those filters are important. I recently had all my HVAC venting cleaned and a new MERV 16 filter installed. It is far superior to the filters we buy in the store. 


Jan 22, 2022 08:57 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Jan 22, 2022 05:56 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Paula. Not changing air filters on a regular basis can be an expensive lesson to be learned. Enjoy your day

Jan 23, 2022 05:29 AM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Those filters are critical! I had to change my filters repeatedly after changing carpet in the house. It took months of dusting furniture and a few filters to get all the dirt that resides underneath the carpet.

Jan 23, 2022 06:36 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Air filter changing is often an overlooked item. Dr. Paula McDonald 

We purchased a standalone air filter system for our home sine with do not have central air or forced hot air heat.

Jan 23, 2022 09:44 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Paula, for sharing your experience and advice.

Jan 23, 2022 10:23 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Paula - another thing too, new owners should get their ducts cleaned.

Jan 23, 2022 12:47 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Yikes!  So sorry you had to experience this type of issue with your one lung!  The good news is that newer building codes are now addressing indoor air quality so make sure to ask to which code the builder is building. Ducting needs to be tested so it is not leaking as well.  Good luck!  

Jan 24, 2022 10:27 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Paula:

So sorry to hear about your sinus infections! This is great advice for all homeowners.


Jan 24, 2022 11:58 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I try to make it easy by buying a few filters and keeping them in an easily accessed spot.  It is so easy to forget. 

I hope you are feeling better.

Jan 24, 2022 04:24 PM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Walhalla, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

Not changing air filters regularly also puts a strain on your unit's compressor.

Jan 25, 2022 06:02 AM
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Colorado Broker / Referral Services

Oh my.... that is never good, and especially in a NEW home!  It's a shame it took getting sick to realize there is MORE to the sinus issue that did not surface right away.  Very smart to find the culprit... no filter and poor inspection of the home!!

Jan 25, 2022 09:38 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Interesting to know Paula. Thank you for the eye opening post and congrats on being featured  on Kathy’s weekly post

Jan 27, 2022 01:17 PM
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Paula, I am pretty diligent about changing filters.

Sorry somebody didnt do their job and you experienced that.

Feb 01, 2022 03:09 PM