Dear HVAC gurus,
My wife and I moved into a house in January...immediately I started having air quality symptoms. I thought his might have had something to do with the heat pump itself. However, I have been convinced that that wasn't the issue.
Well we had an air quality test done. The results were...outdoor environment B...Chemical pollutants were 820 ug/m3....Particle Allergens were at 27 ug/m3...Carbon dioxde was 771 ppm....Temperature was 70 degrees...all results are given in overall averages....some of the daily and hourly averages were much higher.
So...the air quality guy said to do a blow test or something like that to measure the leakage. Since this is a $$$$ test and our house is only 5 years old, I'm thinking about passing on it. It seems to me we would be really unlikely to be pulling air from outside. Not just that the air quality outside is pretty good...so if I was pulling air in from outside it seems like it would help the indoor air quality. In fact with seconds of going outside my symptoms usually go away.
He also recommended installing an additional return...perhaps one for each bedroom...so +3 more than what we have now. He seem to think this would help the particle count and the humidity. He also said it might be necessary to seal up the vents, canned lights, plugs and switches to keep them from leaking attic air into the house...another hvac guy confirmed this particular thing.
At this point, I have a few questions. Is putting an addtional/additional return/s likely to be effective for the particles and humidity(which would in turn deal with the need to have the thermostat down to 70)? I was thinking of starting with one return at a time to see how it did.
Also, will that deal with the high carbon dioxide levels in the house? If not, would it be possible/adviseable to put a return that sucks air from my patio to pull in fresh air. I got this idea from my dad's house. I have no symptoms at his house...his house is old...has very old vent work but has a return that sucks air from under the house as well as another return sucking air from inside the house. I know my patio isn't as cool as under my dad's house but wouldn't the unit cool and dehumidify the air coming from a patio return?
Any advice about which way to go would be greatly appreciated...I have one more guy coming tomorrow. Just trying to make the best decision I can for my health....my home...and also making this decision with my wife...she thinks a lot of this in my head....and the available funds I have to tackle this issue.