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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    613

    Oder Absorbing Gel in HVAC return

    My wife purchased some room Oder Absorbing Gel canisters from the big box store. The type you set on a desk or whatever and last about a month. The instructions on one say "for best results, increase air flow around product by placing near or in air handling system ducts".

    Will this harm the coil in a HVAC system? Any opinions, good or bad about placing this in the air handler behind the filter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,350
    Odor absorbing gel...does it also give off a scent? Like FaBreeze or something similar?

    Personally I dislike any product that tries to mask an odor. Many times the scent given off by the thing is worse than the odor alone when it combines with the odor. Not to mention it's questionable exactly how healthy it is to be inhaling such scents. I know several people who are chemically sensitive and cannot be around any fragrance for a length of time.

    Regarding odors, I'm more in favor of finding the cause of an odor vs. either masking it or hoping some product will absorb it. Carpets are a repository for stuff that can cause foul odors. High indoor humidity levels can also contribute. Almost goes without mentioning smoking, greasy food cooking, daily constitutionals without adequate ventilation, pets, etc.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    I agree... adequate ventilation is much more effective. "The solution to pollution is dilution"... as they say.

    Personally I've found those odor absorbing beads to not be terribly effective...especially with their price.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lucas, TX
    Posts
    107
    When we moved into a house with old carpets, we would sprinkler baking power on
    the carpet and let it sit a while. Then we would vacuum it up. It would reduce the odors
    from the carpet...

    If you are going to the effor to putting int in the return, I agree, see if you can find out where the odor is coming from.


    Adam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    5,551
    Some mask the odor with another, some use chemicals to dull the sense of smell, others absorb odors with agents like activated charcoal. I'd be ok with charcoal but not the others.
    Tracers work both ways.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    , had my own business for 30 years
    Posts
    351
    I have worked on RTU's after a smoke incident before, and have seen odor absorbing canisters in them, like others here, depends on whether they are masking, or absorbent, sounds like your wife went the right direction.
    Agree with going after the source, but sometimes you have to do something.
    I had rental properties, usually the carpets and pads were the biggest sinners. New paint and good cleaning works wonders
    Good luck.

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