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  1. #1

    Help! Fiberglass coming from my vents - asthmatic son

    Last year I had a new furnace installed and had fiberglass threads coming from the vents. I discovered that the air space where the return air traveled had uncovered insulation (house built in the 70's). I had that sealed, but still had dark dust that looked like fiberglass on surfaces afterwards. I am now getting my furnace ready for the winter...cleaning the filter, etc. and discovered that there is a fiberglass insultating mask inside the air handler...on the other side of my electostatic filter. The insulation has been compromised in several places and falls off easily.

    Is this standard to have fiberglass insulation inside the air handler on a new furnace? If there was a resin applied to this material, it didn't hold it together well. How can I have it removed so that it doesn't get further contaminate the system? (I live in San Diego, and it doesn't get that cold where the furnace is located.) The air in this whole space gets sucked into the fan. I have an asthmatic son that had the worst asthma of his life all winter after this new furnace was installed. The furnace is still on the 1 year labor warrenty...can I have the company that installed this remove it? (I did tell them about my son, asked for a special filter and asked them to be careful since we had air quality concerns.)

    Thank you for your advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    502
    well most mnfg. use a black matt fiberglass as an insulater and sound dedner which is likly more important in cooling the heat
    ive also noticed durring instalation of a furnace it often gets desturbed due to return air cuts to the side of said unit
    without it the outer skin may condensate causing other asthmatic issues
    though you should sure call them back to remedy it in one way or another before out of warranty

  3. #3
    I did call the installer back and he claims that all carriers have this black matt fiberglass in the air handler. He claims that there is no way to remove it without getting more fiberglass into the system.

    Couldn't he remove the side panels and remove the fiberglass away from the rest of the system? My last carrier had no insulatation in the handler and was not an issue. No noise and no condensation. The furnace is in the garage...not much temperature swing here in San Diego. He is refusing to do anything, even though you can visually see that it is ripped and flaking off.

    What do you suggest?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    2,987
    can you post pictures?

    what type of ductwork do you have
    hard pipe ducting or flex duct?

    "I discovered that the air space where the return air traveled had uncovered insulation (house built in the 70's). I had that sealed"

    can you elaborate on this? return was in wall chase? what type of insulation
    was uncovered & how was it addressed.

    pictures of this area would also help.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    2,987
    I suggest that you post some pics so that we can see what you
    are talking about.

    I'd hesitate to start removing insulation unless I could be
    sure to get it all. once you remove the covering of the insulation
    there is nothing to keep the particles in place.
    this rather than helping, would worsen the problem.

    the type of ductwork
    and what was done inside the return are also
    things that would help us to answer your questions.

    just addressing part of the issue doesn't solve your child's
    breathing issues.
    please provide more information.

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

  6. #6
    Thank you for trying to help. The insulation near the ducts and air space was removed and sealed up by a reputable company. My question is about the insulation in the air handler in the furnace

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,671
    Quote Originally Posted by dhoren View Post
    Thank you for trying to help. The insulation near the ducts and air space was removed and sealed up by a reputable company. My question is about the insulation in the air handler in the furnace
    I wish people would quit saying "it was done by a reputable company" What did they do? and What does it look like?

    the insulation in equipment is not open fibers.

    To the OP: Energy rater is highly skilled in duct and house sealing. TRUELY REPUTABLE
    It's not the Brand with the fewest repairs-It's all in the install!!! Attention to detail and using the best materials!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    547
    I have seen plenty of units with insulation with open fibers. But then again most common insulation has open fibers. I have also seen the insulation on the inside of blower cabinets deteriorate rather quickly so the situation you have described is not uncommon. That said there are some options and none are particularly easy. The insulation can be removed and if done carefully it wont put too much in the air stream. It would be an involved process, depending on where in the air handler the insulation is and how its attached. A lot of variables here that I dont have enough info to elaborate on. The insulation can then be replaced. I dont know about Carrier but you can order new insulation from Trane so I imagine Carrier could do it too. But it could also be replace with some other insulation, such as a foil backed duct wrap style insulation or even a closed cell foam insulation. Both are time consuming and complicated to do because it will most likely be necessary to disassemble a large portion of the air handler.
    The only true knowledge is the pursuit of knowledge

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    5,821
    Did you by any chance have UV lights installed?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,325
    Quote Originally Posted by SBKold View Post
    Did you by any chance have UV lights installed?
    X2 Deteriation of insulation.
    ALSO TO THE OP. If your son has such bad asthma did you install a high efficeincy air filter or do you use that worthless 1 inch pleated filter from home depot.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    502
    you could just encapsulate said insulation

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