Floor-level air returns are bad about drawing in more dust and dirt

I’m not a germaphobe, but I have definitely become more obsessive about cleanliness in recent years.

This is a far cry from the conditions I lived in while I was finishing college.

My friends and I trashed this house and rarely cleaned, including the kitchen and bathrooms. But once I was suddenly responsible for a studio apartment and facing a security deposit that I funded myself, my respect for my living quarters increased. I took advice from girlfriends over the years and learned better cleaning habits. One example is cooking, because usually I would make a large meal and let the pots and pans pile up in the sink for a day or more. I have since learned that it is easier to wash all of these dishes gradually while you’re still cooking. By the time your meal is done cooking, you will only have a few things left to wash. I’m also a lot better about keeping my floor cleaned, because otherwise my air quality suffers. I have an air return for my air conditioner that is on a wall right above the floor. Naturally, it’s easier to get into my air conditioner filter when it’s pulling dust and dirt directly off the floor. It’s frustrating when you put in a brand new air conditioner filter only for it to look dirty in under three weeks. I think that these filters would look half as dirty if the return for the HVAC system was on the ceiling instead. The vent could be on the wall above my head for all I care, I just don’t want the air return located on the floor or right above the floor along the baseboards. Too much dust gets into the HVAC system with these kinds of vents.
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