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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC
    Posts
    7

    Sickning smell present after installation of Carrier Infinity Air Purifiers

    I recently had two Carrier Infinity Air Purification systems (Model # GAPAAXCC1625) installed in my 2 story home. A few days later my wife and daughter were complaining about a gaseous like smell that was present throughout both floors of our home and was making them nauseous and causing headaches. I have bad sinuses so I never smelled anything but I noticed that I was getting more headaches than usual and also felt slightly nauseous.

    Since my wife and daughter said the smell was gaseous in nature, I called the gas company who sent a technician with a sniffer to our home. He did a thorough check up both in the house, in our attic where the mechanicals and air purifiers are installed, and even checked the outside gas lines. He found no evidence of a gas leak, so that was ruled out.

    I notified my Carrier Dealer about the smell and they sent over one of their master technicians. He immediately noticed the smell and after checking out the system, stated that the ionizers were producing ozone which was what we were smelling. He suggested that we run the HVAC fans for 24 hours per day for a few days which should help dissipate the odor. This didn't make any sense to me because if the HVAC system fans were on, so were the air purifiers ionizers; but I left the fans on as suggested and it seems to help with the smell.

    The fans have been running for about 48 hours straight. I decided to see what would happened if I put the thermostat's fan setting back to it's Auto setting which turned off the HVAC's system fans. Within 5 minutes my wife detected the smell while standing under the air vent return in our master bedroom. Within 2 hours both my wife and daughter stated that the smell had returned to both floors of our home and that they were experiencing headaches and feeling slightly nauseous. They decided to leave the home and went shopping, and I decided to climb up to the attic to see if I could detect anything unusual with the two air purifiers. The only thing I noticed is that the blue power indicator light on both units remained lit whether the HVAC systems fans were on or off. I remember reading in the installation manual that the blue power indicator light should only be lit when the air purifier unit is first powered on and when the HVAC system fan was on; when the HVAC system blower was off or the HVAC system's power was off, the blue power indicator light on the air purifiers should be off. Is the fact that power indicator light remains constantly on indicate a wiring problem? Could this be contributing to the smell?

    In the mean time, I've turned the fans back on to help dissipate the smell, but again as I said earlier, this make no sense to me. If my technician's assumption is correct that the air purifiers ionizers are creating an ozone smell, then how can the fans running with the air purifiers clear the air? And what's causing the smell when the fans are turned off?

    A few additional questions: If I power off the air purifiers until my Carrier Dealer is able to eliminate the smell or remove the units, which they said they would do if we're not completely satisfied with the performance of the units, would I cause any damage by running my HVAC systems without the air purifiers operating since they will remain in-line until removed?

    If I replace these units with Aprilaire 5000 Air Cleaners, could I experience the same problem since the Aprilaire has an Ionization unit?

    Thanks in advance to any of the pros (and non-pros alike) that take the time to answer my questions and for providing assistance with this matter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,296
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,102
    I personally don't like electronic air cleaners (EAC) unless maintained monthly they do not work very well. I'm not familiar with the carrier model but anything that creates ozone doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I prefer Honeywell F100 5 inch media filter changed out every 6 months, spring and fall, in most cases they last much longer but I like to change mine twice a year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,736
    I've heard of this before. Think I've been in a house that had this problem, it is NOT supposed to be powered all the time. They installed it wrong.

    The NICE thing about that filtration system is it has a media filter (imo ALL filtration should have media filtration). So if the electrical part fails you still get high quality air filtration, just not super crazy allergic to everything on the planet high filtration.

    The old school electronic filters were basically electromagnetic plates which were noisy when clean (think bug zapper), they quickly got dirty reducing their effectiveness to 0, and people never cleaned them so they were basically worthless.

    http://www.phoenixny.com/content/Inf...20Purifier.pdf
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    winnipeg
    Posts
    1,330
    can you say ozone.... i hate electronic cleaners...
    it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,171
    Turn off the power to the air purifiers. If odor goes a way after a while. Call contractor and let them know they need to address the air purifier problem.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,535
    They need to be wired so they only operate w/ blower running. I prefer Aprilaire 5000 myself. EAC & media filter in 1 unit.
    http://www.aprilaire.com/index.php?z...ry=7&item=5000
    I've installed hundreds of these- even for sensitive sniffers & not 1 complaint of an odor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Turn off the power to the air purifiers. If odor goes a way after a while. Call contractor and let them know they need to address the air purifier problem.
    Hi beenthere:

    Thanks for the response. As I stated in my original message, we were able to mask/eliminate the smell by running the HVAC fans continuously as suggested by my Carrier Dealer. This didn't make sense to me because the air purifiers were also running along with the ionizers, but somehow the the smell was masked or eliminated by running the fans continuously.

    Per your suggestion, I turned both units off from the front panel switches and returned the fan setting to Auto. Even with units powered off, the smell returned about 30 minutes later; so we turned the HVAC fans back to continous and according to my wife, she couldn't smell anything about 10 minutes later.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,736
    Peanut oil burning of the heat exchangers? Should be gone after a day or two.

    Hmmm, what else....?
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by precision hvac View Post
    They need to be wired so they only operate w/ blower running. I prefer Aprilaire 5000 myself. EAC & media filter in 1 unit.
    http://www.aprilaire.com/index.php?z...ry=7&item=5000
    I've installed hundreds of these- even for sensitive sniffers & not 1 complaint of an odor.
    Hi precision hvac:

    Thanks for your response.

    I thought I interpeted the installation manual correctly regarding the power indicator light staying on. The light stays on regardless if the blower is on or off.

    I'm going to contact my Carrier Dealer first thing Monday morning and have them schedule a tech to come by and check the wiring. If they can't get rid of the smell, I'll have them replace the Carrier units with Aprilaire. I had an Aprilaire 5000 in another home and really liked it. I originally wanted to go with two of the units for my new home, but my dealer talked me out of it and gave me a heck of a deal on the Carrier units; almost a thousand dollars less than what they wanted for two Aprilaire units.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by tedkidd View Post
    Peanut oil burning of the heat exchangers? Should be gone after a day or two.

    Hmmm, what else....?
    Hey tedkidd:

    Not running heat. Running AC. Thanks for your response.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,535
    Cut & paste from Carrier installation instructions.
    Needs to be wired correctly per instructions or install a sail switch to activate on call for blower.

    Electrical Power
    The Infinityt Air Purifier should only be powered when
    airflow is present. The furnace control EAC terminals provide
    power only when the furnace blower is operating. Infinityt Air
    Purifier models GAPAAXCC1625 and GAPAAXCC2025 are
    designed to be powered from the electronic air cleaner (EAC)
    terminals on a furnace electronic control. If EAC terminals are
    not available, an alternative airflow sensing mechanism must be
    used to ensure the Infinityt Air Purifier is only powered when
    airflow is present. Contact local Carrier distributor for
    information on approved alternatives.

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