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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    26

    Microban smell coming from ductwork

    I had a company pull and clean my furnace, clean both my returns and main supply in the basement, this past summer. Microban was used in varying amounts during this procedure.

    I had to have the company come back twice to wipe out both returns, as I continued to get the smell and fumes of the Microban. After the second wiping out it went away.

    This past weekend I turned on the heat for the first time. I immediately got an overwhelming smell of the Microban and a little bit of smoke. After running it for awhile it died down, although it took several days to air out the house and I can still smell the chemical in the living room.

    The company told me I needed to run the heat for awhile and that it would burn itself out of the furnace and supply. For three days I ran it once each day for about 1.5-2 hrs with the windows open. Now it's cold and I have to start running it, windows closed, all the time. I still have a significant chemical smell coming from the supply, I believe. I spent almost a whole day wiping it out myself and it hasn't seemed to help. It's also seemed to take on an additional heavy metallic odor as well.

    Have I not run it long enough? How long does it take for a film of Microban to dissipate? The supply was cleaned two months ago and I got alot of odor when I was going back over it with water. How long can I expect to smell it in the living room when I'm not even running the air?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    997
    Microban has had a lot of bad rep with odors and there claiming it will do more than it does. My first question is why did the spray it in the duct work. Only two ways I no how to get rid of the smell is to replace the duct or put a EPA approved coating over top of it like Foster 40-20

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    26
    They were trying to clean out alot of drywall dust. They managed to get the Microban all out of the return duct by manually wiping it out, but it appears to have some left in the furnace and the supply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    997
    Microban will do nothing for sheet rock dust. I can't believe they thought it would. Think you got sold a bill of goods on the Microban.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    26
    Would a professional 24hr ozone treatment take care of it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    997
    Most likely not because you will still have the chemical there. It would take the smell out for a few hours but that would be it. Id cover over top of it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    26
    Does the chemical eventually breakdown and go away?

  8. #8
    I just joined this site because I also would like to hear replies about this thread. I have been researching online because I just had Microban disinfectant spray sprayed into a vent below my fireplace which leads to the crawlspace due to rats that had gotten in, made a nest, and vacated it...but for a year the rat urine smell leaked up through the fireplace and made a horrible smell at times in the living room. So I called a "Green exterminator" and he came and sprayed Microban into the vent and in the crawl space. He promised me it was totally safe (I'm pregnant) and the smell would dissapate in about 24 hours. It actually took about 48 hours until the smell was gone from the living room, but now if I put my nose to the vent area on the floor, I can still smell the chemical Microban smell (though it did get mostly rid of the urine smell!) And I am concerned about those odors still being present, as I said, I am pregnant and also very chemically sensitive. When I looked online, I found a descripton from Unsmoke (who makes the spray?) That stated:

    "Microban treatment in HVAC systems may be effective for 6 months or longer."

    So I wonder...Does it take 6 months to break down? Because I can't wait to not have the product offgassing in my house anymore. It did it's job, now I want a chemical free home again! Does any HVAC specialist on this site know how long it takes to break down/completely go away from being sprayed?

    It also states:

    "Microban is EPA registered as a bacteriostat, fungistat (mold and mildew), mildewstat and deodorizer for use in HVAC systems.
    Microban has a site specific EPA registration for air ducts."

    So I assume that it wouldn't smell forever, but your response of having the odor for 2 months is very worrisome to me. Even though my vent is not an air duct, it still has an air flow from the crawl space into the house. We currenly blocked the vent with plastic bags to prevent the Microban odor fumes from coming up into the living room, but obviously I would like to not do that forever. I've had a headache for the last 4 days since the spray, but it is hard to ever know if it is from the spray or from another factor. but I do worry and am starting to regret agreeing to have a chemical sprayed in my home.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    997
    I'm sorry both of you are having problems with the same chemical. We don't use it because of all the problems with Microban so I can't say first hand. I would think it would go away! How long is hard to say. The bad thing is Microban does such a good job with marketing they are adding it to almost everything these days.

  10. #10
    Drk,
    Are the problems you mention all centered around odor or are there other issues? I ask because as I said before, I am pregnant and also chemically sensitive and worry about toxicity in my house from the spray.

    Thanks for your reply!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    997
    Most of there problems consisted of statements the company made claiming that Microban could kill things that it could not. But there are many claims just like yours about odor or off gassing for a long time.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    26
    Problem appears to be solved. Several weeks ago the service company returned and thouroughly wiped out the main supply trunk with lots of water. The smell dissipated over the last couple of weeks. We can run heat now without a chemical smell.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wi-Sheboygan
    Posts
    1,582
    I would think maybe you could try some type of dessicant place placed in the duct work or in your crawl space to asborb the odor as opposed to trying to mask the odor may work better than anything else... Just a thought

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