Apartment Stories: Love Is in the Air … Filter


Beyond repairs: “My, my. You’re even cuter than the pizza man!” (iStock)

Apartment renting has its ups and downs, but you have to appreciate the things that work out unexpectedly. Here is a funny apartment renting story from my first experience living in an apartment.

One Sunday night, I came home to an extremely hot apartment.

Great, I thought, my air conditioner is broken.

Attempting to fix it myself, I thought maybe the air filter needed to be replaced. After all, I had been living there for eight months and never replaced it. Hey, you don’t know what you don’t know, right?

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I went to Lowe’s, bought what looked like the correct filter and attempted to run the A/C for about an hour. The apartment stayed at a steady 85 degrees the entire hour.

So my last resort was to call the maintenance guys. I figured I’d never get anyone to call me back, but hey, this is considered an emergency. I left a message, and within about 30 minutes, I received a call back.

The guy on the phone sounded a little annoyed, and I remember thinking, hey, isn’t this your job?

Regardless, he asked me some common, troubleshooting A/C questions. When he asked if the breaker was on, I just said, “Where would that be?”

He chuckled when I told him that I remembered hanging a picture over the breaker box in my kitchen, forgetting it was there. Finally, he said he would be over to take a look at the problem.

Once he arrived, he asked me if I had a flashlight. He laughed when I replied, “No, but I have a flashlight app on my phone. Will that help?”

In my defense, I had never dealt with this type of maintenance situation before as this was my first rented apartment. OK, so most people have a flashlight stashed in a utility drawer somewhere, but at the time, it was not something that I thought to buy. I could tell this guy understood that.

Then he relayed the bad news: The air conditioner had a bad compressor, and it was going to take another day to fix the unit. I thanked him, dreading spending the rest of the night in a hot apartment.

After that, I kept seeing the guy around even though I hadn’t seen him that much before. At a bar one night, I coincidentally saw him again. I decided to make a move: I asked him to hang out over some dinner, and he delightfully agreed.

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From that moment, we hit it off. I ended up telling him what I did prior to calling him about my A/C, and he was completely surprised to learn that it took me 8 months to change my air filter.

He also informed me that the leasing office provides free air filters if you ask. Well, geez, now I know!

The next day, I arrived home from work and found an air filter sitting against my door. It was the simplest gesture but really made me smile on the inside.

As expected, we soon became a couple. Now I usually don’t have to worry about calling for repairs, and on the first of each month, there is an air filter on my doorstep. Stop by apartment showcase when you get a moment!

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