Help-Health Issues When AC Is Running - Page 3
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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,426
    Since OP is having symptoms w/ a/c too- I'm leaning towards them having a reaction to chemicals, sealants, glues used in the duct system or installation.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by Heather432 View Post
    I have run a Hepa air cleaner in the living area and do not have symptoms. It blows air out like a fan.
    I mean something that moves enough air to significantly affect the air movement in a whole room.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  3. #29
    Again, thank you all for helping me troubleshoot.

    To Mark,
    I will try with a large fan and see if that induces symtoms and let you know.

    Precision,
    Everything I have seen regarding indoor air quality leads me to agree with you. I believe it is a chemical or VOC that is causing this, but how the heck do I find out what? I am at the point of calling an Environmental Investigation company to come in and test the air. I have lived in several "new construction" homes and have never had symptoms. Thus why I am so perplexed.

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,207
    Try turning the nat gas off to your house then run the ac to see if you have any symptoms, if you do then it's probably not caused by co from a back drafting water heater

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,229
    You are living a new home without any fresh air ventilation. Of course you have a more serious problem, short term.
    Long term, all experts on indoor air quality suggest that you need a minimum of an fresh air change in in 4-5 hours. I suggest a box fan in the window with +100 cfm of fresh air blowing into the home 24/7 with the air handler in the "on" mode for a couple days. Then do the occupancy thing to see if anyone is sensitive to the air in the home that has proper fresh air and circulation.
    If that works, install a small ventilating whole house dehumidifier( Like the Ultra-Aire) with 100 cfm of fresh make-up air.
    If the 24/7 fresh air does not improve the indoor air quality, start digging into the a/c system until you identify the offending material. It should be easy to identify. Remove it and procede with the fresh air ventilation for long term indoor air quality.
    All quality homes need mechanical fresh air venitlaing during calm weather and occupancy to purge the normal indoor air pollutants and renew oxygen.
    In climates where the outdoor dew points are +55^F with low cooling loads need supplemental to maintain <50%RH. Green grass climates are like this during the spring/fall. Humidity control is critical to avoid mold and dust mites in the home.
    I have been through this before. Keep digging, you will find the problem.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  6. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    You are living a new home without any fresh air ventilation. Of course you have a more serious problem, short term.
    Long term, all experts on indoor air quality suggest that you need a minimum of an fresh air change in in 4-5 hours. I suggest a box fan in the window with +100 cfm of fresh air blowing into the home 24/7 with the air handler in the "on" mode for a couple days. Then do the occupancy thing to see if anyone is sensitive to the air in the home that has proper fresh air and circulation.
    If that works, install a small ventilating whole house dehumidifier( Like the Ultra-Aire) with 100 cfm of fresh make-up air.
    If the 24/7 fresh air does not improve the indoor air quality, start digging into the a/c system until you identify the offending material. It should be easy to identify. Remove it and procede with the fresh air ventilation for long term indoor air quality.
    All quality homes need mechanical fresh air venitlaing during calm weather and occupancy to purge the normal indoor air pollutants and renew oxygen.
    In climates where the outdoor dew points are +55^F with low cooling loads need supplemental to maintain <50%RH. Green grass climates are like this during the spring/fall. Humidity control is critical to avoid mold and dust mites in the home.
    I have been through this before. Keep digging, you will find the problem.
    Regards TB
    Thanks so much TB. I will do as you suggest and try the fan with the air handler on and then see if we continue to react. I have a "Home air test" coming today, that allegedly measures the VOCs, mold and formaldehyde. We will see what that shows. I am going to relay this to the HVAC tech who is returning today, maybe that will spur him on to investigate more thoroughly. BTW, we are not far from you. We are in Lake Co. Illinois. Thanks again.
    Last edited by Heather432; 09-19-2012 at 11:36 AM. Reason: additional info

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,774
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    You are living a new home without any fresh air ventilation. Of course you have a more serious problem, short term.
    Long term, all experts on indoor air quality suggest that you need a minimum of an fresh air change in in 4-5 hours..
    Is there any useful amount of fresh air drawn in from vent hoods and bath vents. I mean a 6" vent from the hood to outside during off times, has to draw in a respectful amount of fresh air, or do we just not consider these appliances sometimes as the best of both worlds? just wondering.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  8. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    6,207
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    Is there any useful amount of fresh air drawn in from vent hoods and bath vents. I mean a 6" vent from the hood to outside during off times, has to draw in a respectful amount of fresh air, or do we just not consider these appliances sometimes as the best of both worlds? just wondering.
    They should have backdraft dampers on them

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,774
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    They should have backdraft dampers on them
    Key word "should" In 32 years I have never seen one in Houston yet that does.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  10. #36
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,118
    the things I've learned about backdraft dampers:
    on bath fans half the time that they are even present..
    they are installed upside down so that they are open all the time.
    when they are installed correctly they aren't always firmly attached
    to the housing and come lose and allow insulation particles to be
    drawn into the house.
    as does the oversized cut around the housing where it is installed
    that is covered by the cover of the bathfan inside the bathroom.

    stove dampers..if there is a dent/buckle in the sheetmetal it will cause the
    damper to stay open or stay closed. dents & buckles usually occur
    when install is being done.

    OP please share with us what the findings today were.
    what type of insulation did you use in attic?

    best of luck & hope you have a speedy resolution.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  11. #37
    Energyrater,

    The findings were basically nill. My HVAC tech thinks the units themselves are fine and the fact that we get symptoms by just running the air handler/fan, he believes it is something in the air in the house. He also showed me the crap job that the guy did that cleaned my ducts on Tuesday. The blower was so dusty as were the inside of both units. He (the air duct cleaner,) also did not take off the cool air returns, as he said some were painted. Most were not. My husband and I took them off last night, and the construction dust fell out of them. I have attached a couple of pics, including one of my HVAC guy's hand. He was mad to say the least. I called the air cleaning company and they are returning with a supervisor to reclean the units.

    Also, I just checked in the attic. There is pink Owens Corning R-38 and the rest is a thick yellow insulation, which I could not find any backing stating what it is. (No signs of mold.) I am currently running an air test for VOCs, mold and formaldehyde. We shall see what comes of it.

  12. #38
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,118
    no pics attached.
    you should give teddy bear a call.
    unreal that you have to clean new ductwork..twice. hope it isn't flex duct.

    not only should ducts be clean..but they should also be mastic sealed.
    even where supply boxes enter conditioned space..behind the supply grills.
    if areas where attic air & insulation particles are not sealed they will
    circulate the air & particles through the house. if you have recessed lights
    that are not air tight & sealed where they penetrate the sheetrock ceiling
    (insulation contact air tight not just IC) these also allow insulation particles
    into the house.

    to me..the things you describe sound like adhesives & caulks used to assemble
    hvac system (which is why I use mastics) or voc's from other sources.
    (ductwork supply boxes return air recessed lights oversized cuts in sheetrock
    ceilings not sealed to name a few)
    these have been my experiences with the situation you describe from homeowners
    in my area.

    if it is not the hvac system itself, then sealing the leakage sites and keeping the
    house under a positive pressure (see teddy bear's posting #33) is what is usually needed.

    while it will be interesting to see what is found out, I am sorry to know that
    this is your experience in your new home.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  13. #39
    Energy_Rater_La,

    Sorry I forgot to attach the photos last night. (A symptom of my ongoing stress!) I know that while up in the attic, I can easily see light around the can/recessed lights. I plan on mentioning TB's suggestions, however, I think it will fall on deaf ears. Thanks again for the help.

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