View Full Version : Headaches ?
11-30-2005, 06:05 PM
OK guys I have a customer that has a small office inside a building, in the office are the computers and servers, this room is about 15ft x 15ft, it is cooled by a 1.5 or 2 ton (cant remember which) heat pump with no outside air, the girl in the office complains that she feels like hell after about 45 minutes in there, leaves and goes out into the building and feels fine. The other part of the building is a showroom which has splits cooling it also with no outside air but with the showroom doors opening all day. Any ideas?
11-30-2005, 07:46 PM
Need a little more info. Is it a split w/ fancoil? What does the evap look like? Does it have a trap in the drain?
Worst fancoil I've ever gotten into was full (absolutely) of black mold. HO wasn't affected, apparently, and everyone may react differently.
Most people affected in this way will have respiratory symptoms but sinus headaches aren't a big stretch. I notice
more complaints from people during the changes from heat'g-cooling and cool-htg seasons. The blanket is dying off or coming alive.
Return leakage could be a guess? Are you affected while in the area? There's a monitor "Air Advive" that might be some help, it will give you a breakdown on VOCs, CO, Humidity, Particulate and has some advantage if you know there is a mold problem.
[Edited by superheatsleuth on 11-30-2005 at 07:49 PM]
Did you check RH,co and co2!
12-01-2005, 09:57 PM
It is a split with a fan coil, havent got over there yet to check coil and pan, going to try and stop by tommorrow. Havent checked for co and co2, all I have is a fluke carbon monoxide probe, is there anything else to use. Thanks for the replies
12-02-2005, 05:09 AM
Re: 1.5 or 2 ton HEAT PUMP. Is it dual fuel? Unless the
office is next to a garage of some sort likely not CO.
Tis the season for the dying off of the organics accumulated on the coil, blower and ....
I think I'd have a very good respirator with me. (Toxic Dust) I think it's an N95.
12-02-2005, 05:53 AM
No outside air !
The poor girl is getting the moisture sucked out of her body like a vampire !
Even with an airconditioner on you are meant to leave a
window open some 20 mm for fresh air to be drawn in.
Am i right ?
12-02-2005, 06:34 AM
Could be "ALOT" of things. And you're right.
Just needs to be thoroughly checked out. How old is the system...? It's the right season for this sort of complaint. The problem existed long before the complaint.
A proper install and regular maintenance are essential.
Alot of fancoils get put in without a trap, you'll get bad results a couple of years later. The unit won't dehunidify, the coil gets stacked up with organics. So you have moisture and food - and a bad brew waiting to happen.
12-02-2005, 06:12 PM
Chill let me give you another thing to look at How about Ozone being created off the computers and you don't have enough fresh air to displace it.
12-08-2005, 05:29 PM
Well I finally got over there to check it out, it is not dual fuel actually it is a heat pump cond unit on a fan coil unit without electric strips, there is a baseboard electric heater for when it gets to cold ( like it is now in Ohio ) anyway checked the pan found nothing growing in the pan and it was dry, also looked at the coil and it was a little dirty but not to bad, checked the CO level with my Fluke and it showed 0 ppm, (kinda doubted it could be that) the funny thing is when you first walk in the room there is a strange taste in the air, after about 20 minutes the back of my mouth had a strange taste to it as well and about 30 minutes later I was starting to get a headache also.
I guess I am going to try and bring in some outside air, how would I test for ozone, they are building a new building now but it wont be done for about 4 months, might be an awful long 4 months at this rate.
12-09-2005, 10:11 PM
That doesn't sound like ozone to me. High ozone symptoms generally manifest as difficulty breathing. Also, you'd know the smell - it's that "after a rain" smell in small concentrations, and the acrid part of a hairdryer or vacuum cleaner smell in larger concentrations.
How many computers are in this space, and how new are they? How about the paint on the walls, floor coverings, ceiling, etc? Anything brand new in there?
The headache sounds more like outgassing than ozone, now that you've ruled out organics. Can you place what the taste is? Is it "new car smell" at all?
There are IAQ dataloggers out there that are very good for this sort of thing. I don't know too much about the technical side on them, just that you can get IAQ/SBS consultants in to use them. (I suppose they are HVAC contractors, but it's a very specific [and expensive] niche market..)
Take a look at http://www.eagleih.com/awsover.html - that's the sort of logger I'm talking about. No idea if that model is any good, it's just the first reasonably representative one that came up on Google.
12-10-2005, 06:23 AM
Here's a link to Air advice:
Outside air, VOC's & Humidity? Sound levels in db & freq would be some other concerns. I'd hand it off to a specialist in IAQ before it gets too deep...IMO
12-11-2005, 09:31 PM
Yep, the AirAdvice is what I was trying to link to..
Will be interested to hear how this turns out.
12-17-2005, 06:07 PM
You need fresh air makeup. And cleaning of the ahu.
12-22-2005, 09:23 PM
Ozone monitors can be purchased for less than $400 and are a good investment at times. You probably also have VOCs being created by the computer equipment. You certainly have a higher level of positive ionization in that environment. If you have a negative ion generator available, give that a short-term try in the room. You might even check with some of the local IAQ people to see if they have an Aircuity monitor available. These provide real time data on TVOC, ozone, radon, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, large and small particulate counts, and can even be set up for pathogen (mold and bacteria) testing. Good luck!
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