Black dust all over house
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  1. #1

    Black dust all over house

    I am finding a black dust all over my house, I live in the mountains in a cabin. No central heating and cooling, but what we do have is a large wall mount propane heater with a blower pulling from outside. The black dust seems to gather more if i am out of the house for a few days. Also I used a humidifier in the house recently and after it ran for some time the water was black. Anyone have any ideas of what this could be?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,128
    Very complex issue but let me ask you: Do you burn candles?

    You need to get a pro to inspect that heater and verify it is operating properly including combustion analysis.

    If this heater is pulling air from outdoors and blowing into the room is there a filter? Do you have a make and model of this heater?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    549
    Check that propane heater ASAP by an HVAC professional.
    Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    79
    Do you burn allot of candles in the house. Once my wife yelled at me to check the heat and water heater because of soot... The house was all electric. Made her stop burning candles, no more "black stuff"

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2

  5. #5
    Negative on burning candles. Brand of heater is EMPIRE and model number I will post soon its an oldie. Thanks a lot for the help I will pull cover and check filter etc. As far as a combustion analysis I'll check for someone in the area.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,128
    On the rating plate, note the ANSI test std. such as Z21.11.2, which would mean it is a ventfree appliance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westlake, Ohio
    Posts
    2,469
    One question is when did this start to occur? How old is the cabin or has there been any remodeling done recently?

    If the heater was making enough carbon monoxide to produce soot you wouldn't be able to ask this question. If the heater is the source, it would be quite black. It does however take a heat source for the soot to be created.

    In 99% of the incidents I investigated it was caused by VOC's emitted by certain building products and then blacked by some heat source. If the cabin has a ceiling fan, check and see if the blades have a build up on them.
    captain CO

  8. #8
    Ok got all the info from the rating plate...

    Gravity Direct Vent Wall Furnace
    Model# DU-35-156
    Serial# M 22 13794
    Input BTU/HR 35,000
    Wall Depth Max 13" Min 11"
    Gas LP Orifice Drill Size #50
    Gas Pressures: Inlet To Valve Max 13.0 Min11.0
    Manifold 10.0

    ANS: Z21 .44a-1992
    ANSI:Z223.1 (Latest Edition)
    Part# DRB-1

    Side note I have a 3 month old baby in the house is there a possibility of this harming him?

    As for the other stuff. Cabin built in 1946. I have lived in cabin for 6 months, first noticed black dust when me and my wife were gone for 5 days. Came home and noticed dust on certain plastic items, plastic plate and a plastic diaper trash can. The next time we noticed it we were gone for 2 days and when we came home it was a thicker layer of it. It was a warmer day but temp inside cabin would've been no higher than 85%F. No recent remodeling most recent was a year ago or more. No ceiling fan. It is a studio cabin very small.

    Any other info that would be of help?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    167
    This may be a dumb question, but do you have a used or unused fireplace in your house? If you have a crawl space, basement, attic, or unconditioned space look for a mold in those areas. It may pop up there first.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westlake, Ohio
    Posts
    2,469
    The fact that is collecting on plastic confirms it is VOC's blacked by some type of low level heat source. Look up outgassing of building products on the internet. You will see that this can last for 5 years or more. I am guessing when you are gone the ventilation of the cabin drops considerably and the VOC's can build up to the point they will now blacken.

    The only cure is to blast the cabin with some ozone for a few weeks when it isn's occupied. I have many times in the past recommended regular duct mounted ozone generators that put out low levels of ozone and this has stopped the black dust from developing every time within a day. Also in every case where people had some type of illness, allergy etc., they reported their symptoms almost totally disappeared and they required less medication. Might be a reason why the medical field doesn't recommend it, cost them business.
    captain CO

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