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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,646
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyclifton View Post
    What do I look for? I've never noticed a damp spot in the house but have not done a hands-and-knees chack as you suggest. I will though. Am I simply sniffing for a wet/mildewy smell or feeling for dampness?




    I will check the attic tomorrow! My home is pretty air tight which is why I like to leave the windows open (or at least cracked) when I can during the mild season. I am in Virginia and it will get hot and humid as Spring progresses.




    I will make it a visually check these, but wouldn't I notice extra stink coming from a sink/shower if this was missing? I notice no localized smell.
    You are sniffing for must odors.
    Did you get the point about fresh ventilation? Open windows when nice out is not what I had in mind. You need a continuous fresh air stream, an air change in 4-5 hours when occupied at a minimum to purge pollutants and renew oxygen. To test operate a 60-80 cfm fan blowing fresh air into the house continously for a couple days.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  2. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Did you get the point about fresh ventilation? Open windows when nice out is not what I had in mind. You need a continuous fresh air stream, an air change in 4-5 hours when occupied at a minimum to purge pollutants and renew oxygen. To test operate a 60-80 cfm fan blowing fresh air into the house continously for a couple days.
    I am trying to get the point. Some of these things are new ideas to me. I like the idea of a fresh air stream but I feel like I will be working against my heat (in winter) or A/C (in summer). How do I set up a fresh air exchange without fighting my heat pump?

  3. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern KY
    Posts
    2
    I was slightly embarrassed myself when I saw the condition of the A-coil when I decided to replace my split unit AC-furnace that was 22 yrs old. I had been getting smells that weren't identifiable. Just last week, we put in a Trane XL16c electric package heat pump w/ Honeywell 7 day programmable thermostat and couldn't be happier so far with what its done to the air inside the house.


  4. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,787
    You say you have a pretty tight house. Do you use the bathroom fan often? You may actually have a bad wax ring on a toilet, and when the fan is run, the negative pressure in the bathroom/house pulls sewer gas into the home. A small leak in a wax ring won't necessarily leak liquids when flushed, but will definitely leak gasses when sucked on.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    907
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyclifton View Post
    I am trying to get the point. Some of these things are new ideas to me. I like the idea of a fresh air stream but I feel like I will be working against my heat (in winter) or A/C (in summer). How do I set up a fresh air exchange without fighting my heat pump?
    As the saying goes, there's no free lunch.
    -If you won't turn it on then nothing else matters.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    st louis mo
    Posts
    334

    Angry

    is your return air next to toilet? also, put a diaper on yer animals they are probably wiping their butts on yer floor at night and laughing at you behind yer back. also, stop feeding them chilli until you get the pet diapers.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Henrico, Virginia
    Posts
    37
    Where in Virginia How old is the house? Has it been renovated? do you know what type of drain piping you have? The smell you are describing sounds more like sewer gas/ drain odor and could have one or many sources. One thing if it tends to show up in warmer weather is to deodorize the sink drains. The bathroom sink overflows can grow some wicked stuff in them along with the drain tubing between the sinks and the traps.

  8. #21
    I took the advice about the humidity. I shut the windows Sunday and turned on the A/C. We were expecting a hot week so seemed like a good time to do it. The humidity dropped 10% and the smell got a lot better! I have a fairly new Trane XL15i unit so it runs the A/C a bit longer because it also is working on the humidity. Smell is not gone but much better.

    I'm going to go check on some of these other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by KEFCOPRES View Post
    Where in Virginia How old is the house? Has it been renovated? do you know what type of drain piping you have? The smell you are describing sounds more like sewer gas/ drain odor and could have one or many sources. One thing if it tends to show up in warmer weather is to deodorize the sink drains. The bathroom sink overflows can grow some wicked stuff in them along with the drain tubing between the sinks and the traps.
    House is about 24 years old and outside of Charlottesville. My wife has a good nose and usually detects when a given sink is putting out a stink (sometimes the kitchen sink will get a nasty leftover in it. She will find it and blame me of course). No renovations. Original plumbing and I don't know the type. I agree on the sewer gas / drain odor as a large component but do not smell it coming out of any sink/drain and we check those.

    I do have a drain field as my septic system and sometimes I worry this is failing. I'm not sure how that would introduce smells, maybe I am just paranoid. Outside of my house can smell damp/musty as well because the property is very wooded so we have a lot of naturally decaying leaf/plant matter. Sometimes I wonder if I am picking up a septic drain field smell or if that is just the smell of the plant matter decaying not far from the house. The house sits nestled in a slight low spot and surrounded by tall trees so it stays cool and the ground may not dry out as quickly as other areas given the reduced sunlight and airflow.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Henrico, Virginia
    Posts
    37
    If you've been getting your septic tank pumped out regularly and don't run any heavy vehicles, etc over the field you shouldn't have a problem. if only liquid is going out to the drain field there should not be any smell as it soaks down. if its an outside smell coming in it should be very noticeable outside. Sewer gas smell is pretty self categorized just like improper natural gas combustion. 24 years old should be plastic drains. It is possible a vent has come loose in a wall. There is an old trick used to find a smell and rule out the plumbing. We used to pour peppermint extract down the drainage vent pipes on the roofs. If you have something letting sewer gas out you can usually find it or rule it out pretty quick. We didnt ask I think, but are any of your ducts in the slab?

  10. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by KEFCOPRES View Post
    We didnt ask I think, but are any of your ducts in the slab?
    No, no ducts in the slab. I like that peppermint trick. May try that.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,787
    I'm still putting my money on the toilet wax ring(s). It's the leak location that would be hardest to detect by actual water leakage, but could very easily bring in gas.

  12. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by CraziFuzzy View Post
    I'm still putting my money on the toilet wax ring(s). It's the leak location that would be hardest to detect by actual water leakage, but could very easily bring in gas.
    But wouldn't there be a more noticeable stank in that bathroom? Thanks for the tip though as I never thought of that.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Western MA
    Posts
    58
    I'm not saying this is the answer but it will help. You can buy carbon filter material to line your current air filter. Carbon helps with odors but need to be changed periodically. Also a good air filter, like merv 8 or better. A ventilation system will also help with some of the humidity and use very little energy. I now use carbon on all of my filters.

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