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  1. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,358
    Bottom line...find out what the dust is, if you haven't done so already, before going any further.

    So far the attack angle has been from an infiltration standpoint, which is a reasonable approach...even more reasonable if the infiltration can be determined to be the contributor to the excessive dust problem. However, since it appears you've gone to extraordinary lengths to seal things up and you aren't reporting any diminishment in dust accumulation levels, maybe the source is right in the home vs. coming in from outside. A painted surface flaking off, for instance.

    It'll cost a bit to find out what the dust is, but would give you some idea as to its source, IMO, and how to mitigate it. The way things are going now, you could end up with a very tight house, which is great for holding in heated or cooled air, but with the dust generation source unchecked, could actually be worse than if the house was more leaky.

  2. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    292
    Quote Originally Posted by leeannwc View Post
    I am in central KY. I searched the resnet directory you provided and one of those contractors in Lexington I had already contacted today to see if they could help. I have not yet heard back from them. My days off work are spent like this: I send my kids to daycare so they can breathe and I can...CLEAN...research on the internet/make contacts....experimental fixes of my own...repeat....for over a year now! I most resent that I am missing their childhood sending them off each day, but I don't know how we'll ever move past this if I don't stay on it. There are a few on this forum who have helped me (THANK YOU), and have done some diagnostic work for me, but they are a few hours away and have not yet been able to make another home visit. They are currently trying to track down a thermal imager to look for bypasses/infiltrations before they invest their time and energy making the trip. That piece of equipment is proving quite challenging to locate, though. I really appreciate everyone's help. We can't fix this problem soon enough. I feel like my family is dying in here.

    I have just about every piece of equipment you would need, including an infrared camera. If you are willing to send me an email (from my profile) we might be able to work something out.

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    Quote Originally Posted by leeannwc View Post
    I am in central KY. I searched the resnet directory you provided and one of those contractors in Lexington I had already contacted today to see if they could help. I have not yet heard back from them. My days off work are spent like this: I send my kids to daycare so they can breathe and I can...CLEAN...research on the internet/make contacts....experimental fixes of my own...repeat....for over a year now! I most resent that I am missing their childhood sending them off each day, but I don't know how we'll ever move past this if I don't stay on it. There are a few on this forum who have helped me (THANK YOU), and have done some diagnostic work for me, but they are a few hours away and have not yet been able to make another home visit. They are currently trying to track down a thermal imager to look for bypasses/infiltrations before they invest their time and energy making the trip. That piece of equipment is proving quite challenging to locate, though. I really appreciate everyone's help. We can't fix this problem soon enough. I feel like my family is dying in here.
    Have you checked to see if there is a Comfort Institute member contractor in your area?
    www.comfortinstitute.org

    Try the "Find a CI contractor" link.

    All comfort institute members have the equipment to do the testing you need.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  4. #43
    I would almost bet my life that the dust is cellulose. after just a few hours you can run you finger across a surface and come away with enough dust to roll into a ball. then you can crumble it into a paper-like consistency. at least two HVAC professionals have seen it too (one under a microscope) and agree.
    today i turned off all the HVAC at about 8:30 am, waited a few hours to let things settle, then began cleaning around noon. i finished up about 4:30 and left the house. I just returned at 8 pm and the surfaces are covered again! is this enough time to validate that it is not coming from the ductwork or could the dust still be suspended in the air and just dropping? interestingly the house maintained its temperature....even now it is still 70 degrees in here which would make me think that infiltrations are negligible....is that correct thinking? nothing makes sense anymore. a good tornado to take it all away would be a blessing.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    So. NH
    Posts
    748
    Did you try closing all the doors during that test?

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    So. NH
    Posts
    748
    Another thread just made me think, what is the humidity in your house?

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    103
    Wish you the best of luck, I know this must be driving you crazy. I will be following also so please keep us updated.

  8. #47
    i did not close doors. we have a very open floor plan, so the only thing i could isolate really would be 3 bedrooms upstairs.
    we are maintaining a RH of about 43%. last winter we could not get it to reach 40, but we discovered some significant infiltrations and sealed those. now it stays steady pretty close to what i have it set at (44 or 45 i think).
    i still have the air handlers off, but it will probably be in the 30's tonight. i'm thinking of moving us all to the basement for the night, cleaning some surfaces again and seeing what i have in the morning. i thought perhaps there was still a lot of dust suspended and that i should give it some more time to rule out the ducts as a source. i have left the units off for a few days at a time before, but i can't remember for sure if i tried both upstairs and downstairs and maybe i cleaned before the air had a chance to settle. thought i'd try it again today. if i seem like i'm rambling, its because i'm going mad! any advice? should i turn the heat back on or move the family to the basement for the night?

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    So. NH
    Posts
    748
    Closing them may not help but would still try it. Can you post some pictures?

  10. #49
    what would you like to see pictures of?

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    So. NH
    Posts
    748
    Mechanical systems, attic, interior, exterior. Someone may see something that was overlooked. I can look at a house going down the road and come up with some pretty accurate guesses about problem areas in the building envelope. It's real easy if we just got an inch of snow. A picture is worth a thousand words.
    Last edited by stvc; 11-29-2007 at 12:04 AM. Reason: sp

  12. #51
    you had said your ductwork was cleaned and inspected.i was just remembering something i came across a while ago.went back to a job the next day and found that the jamoke doing the popcorn cieling thought it was a blast to shoot his cieling gunk into our ductwork probably not relivant to your problem but though i would throw oit out there

  13. #52
    no popcorn here
    i will try to post some pics. in the meantime, the house plan is the "Montaigne" at frankbetz.com.
    notice the gable vents. tomorrow i am going to try covering them with plastic. we are on a hill and and have a tall home. we get lots of wind hitting the front of the home and it rips through those gable wents. the one on the right of the elevation is over our master closet and yesterday when i opened the attic access in that closet it was like a hurricane up there. the other attic also stays quite breezy. My thoughts are that perhaps there is too much ventilation up there and that is creating a positive pressure in the attic. we also have soffit vents but they may not be able to handle such an influx. that's my target for tomorrow. i don't know where in the world the air could be entering on the finished side as much sealing as I've done, but it's worth a try. of note the master suite is batted fiberglass but the main attic has about a ten foot drop to it and i can see blown insulation has fallen over.
    i left the heat off for the night so i'll check dust levels again in the am, too.

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