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  1. #1

    Rust in duct work

    I am renting a house in VA. I have been consistently sick since I moved into the house. I pulled up the floor vents to find rust and what I think may be mold. I sent the landlord these photos requesting that the HVAC system and duct work be cleaned. My landlord responded that the vents were consistent with what would be expected for the age of the house (1950's) and that the system didn't need to be cleaned because the rust didn't pose a health risk.

    My question is, "does this sound or look right?" I have reservations about breathing air pumped through these vents. I am concerned that I am over reacting to the situation and just want a natural opinion.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,161
    if all the floor vents are as badly installed as in picture one, then
    the rust isn't unusual.
    that gap around where the box should be sealed.
    doing this at each supply & return would be my first course
    of action.
    looks like rust to me, I didn't see any signs of mold.
    rust wouldn't be unusual with that gap allowing hot &
    cold air to meet & condensate on metal. as the condensation
    sits & runs into box, it rusts.

    after properly securing the boxes,
    I'd use hardcast brand #1402 mastic tape to seal supply
    boxes to wood floor surrounding box, then install grills.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,190
    I respect and defer to Energy's extensive expierence in these kinds of issues, although I am a little concerned about what I can't see.
    Rust means liquid water. Liquid water and organic material ( dust and dirt) equals the possibility for "bugs" Without see whats inside your duct, you cant know. That being said I would like to state that of the 10,000 kinds of mold ( bread mold for instance) the really bad ones are the exception and not the rule, so don't overreact to hysterical claims
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,720
    I'm with erla but a duct system that old leaks everywhere pulling in "bad air" from the crawl/attic and also likely causing a negative pressure in your house which then pulls "bad air", insulation, dirt, rodent urine/feces ect into your house through any crack, crevice, hole, light switch etc in your thermal envelope.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    3,168
    I was just wondering. Being consistent with 1950 "normal" doesn't mean that it is working or "clean".
    Isn't it the landlords responsibility to provide a safe living space ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,720
    In my area all they are required to have is a space heater and smoke alarms

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