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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Duct question(chemicals?) and new furnace options

    Hi all. I am brand new to this forum with a few questions. Thanks in advance for this great resource!

    A little history--We have a very old gas furnace (24 years old.) We recently had some home renovations done which required moving a vent and adding some new ductwork. My son and I are very sensitive to chemicals.

    Ever since the work was done at our house, my son and are are reacting to something whenever the furnace (and air conditioner) come on. We have sinus pressure, headaches, raw throat, ears ring. We have had the furnace checked over for leaks, etc. There is no carbon monoxide, no leak, and it seems to be in good working order. The gas company came, and there are no natural gas leaks. At first we thought that maybe the furnace was simply circulating some chemical from the renovations around the house, but we were very careful in our materials (no VOC paint, ceramic tile floor, pure cement thinset mortar, etc.) so there really weren't many chemicals used, and there is no odor. Plus, it has been several weeks since the work was done.

    Since the problem is happening when the furnace comes on, I am wondering if the ducts have some oil or something on them that we are reacting to. The worker said he used no chemicals when he installed the ducts. Is there some kind of oil on new metal ductwork that might cause this problem for sensitive people?

    Also, question number two. When we do purchase a new furnace, do you have recommendations for chemically sensitive people? (For instance, I have been told that I should get an electric furnace next time. We currently have gas.)

    Thank you so much!
    Pam in Missouri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    south louisiana
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    Is there some kind of oil on new metal ductwork that might cause this problem for sensitive people?

    there is a thin coat of oil on the equipment, and inside the ductwork if you have
    hard pipe ducting. it may be that this coating just needs time to burn off.
    I realize this isn't helping you right this instant...but maybe leave heating system
    on & take a long weekend at a family member's home?

    instead of electric furnace next time maybe look into heat pump.
    or ask that they clean the interior surface of sheet metal duct
    prior to constructing.

    sorry for your issue, having dealt with chemically sensitive people
    in the past I realize how much these things effect you.
    hope it resolves itself soon.

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

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