I was feeling energetic spring cleaning last weekend and removed the cold air
grate from the wall and gave it a good scrubbing in the tub. Before I replaced
it, I looked in and there were massive amounts of hair and dirt on that little
"floor" behind the grate -- I guess that's the top of the furnace? I started
removing handfuls of hairballs and tumbleweeds laying on top, and kept going
until I got down to the metal. My house was built in 1956 and I've never
removed the grate and took out all that hair before. We just had a cold snap
the past two days and I turned the furnace on. I can hear the air freely going
into that grate now (where I never could before), b/c all that hair and debris
isn't buffering the airflow noise any longer. Started thinking -- was part of
that hair and mess that I picked up also possibly a rotted filter laying on top?
Like I said, everything I brought up was in black clumps so I'm wondering if
there wasn't a dry rotted filter in there too? Did I do something wrong or is
that space supposed to be free and clear? I hope I didn't just provide a direct
route for hair and debris to go straight down to the furnace b/c there's nothing
there to trap it now. Help please. Thanks.