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Thread: IAQ question re: hvac/mold

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    2
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    IAQ question re: hvac/mold

    Hi! Iím hoping to maybe figure out a major issue Iím having in my apartment. Itís a long story, but I moved to an apartment in August and there were serious problems day 1 I knew Iíd be moving ASAP so I kept majority of my items in the garage and probably the other half inside. My husband assured me storing things in the garage would be ok. Definitely not the case. Anyhow - It took me three months to find a new place. My new apartment is a new build. When I started moving furniture and items in, some things had an odor but we didnít notice at the time that all our belongings reeked of mold/mildew.

    We threw out almost all of our items over the next few months, but much of it was stored in this garage as we sorted through, hired people to haul things away, ect. There are areas in the apartment that smell musty even though the items are now gone (carpet they were sitting on, ect).

    Now thereís a strong smell coming from one section of the apartment where the garage wall borders the bedroom/kitchen. Our return vent is in the kitchen on the wall that leads to the garage over the garage door. Our hvac unit is above that on the second level. We are having an AIQ person come this week, but Iím really worried that maybe itís drawing in air/spores from the garage since thatís where things were initially stored. My son is allergic to mold and heís been on allergy medication this entire time. My throat and ears are always itchy and I have a headache whenever I get a whiff of that smell.

    Iíve been driving myself insane trying to figure it out and Iím really worried as itís a health issue. Iíve cleaned everything, thrown almost everything away - but the smell is still happening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    10,406
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    Are you in a "green grass" climate?

    Monitor your indoor %RH with a meter from places like Amazon or ?? You need to maintain <50%RH to avoid musty odors. Is all about outdoor moisture and inside mechanicals. Fresh air and maintain less than 50%RH. Its easy when outdoors are less than a 50^F dew point. Impossible during rainy weather and occupying the living space. There is a lot of info here about the problem. You need a good setup on your a/c to remove moisture during high sensible cooling loads and some co-operation from the weather.
    Start by monitoring your inside conditions, temp/%RH. Let us know climate and see if we can help.

    Regards Teddy Bear
    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"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    2
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    Thread Starter
    Iím in New England. We have been having major indoor humidity issues since it got hot and humid here about a week or so ago. Our dyson filters say itís between 63-72 which I know is just too high on the upper and lower levels. We have a strong odor infiltrating through leaky cabinets that are on the shared wall with our garage. Iím thinking I need a dehumidifier outside and inside? Iím not too sure what to do. I did some research and saw I should have my fan on auto. Itís been on ďonĒ all winter and I didnít know to change it. I just did that but obviously havenít seen a difference yet. We tent to keep the AC at 70/71 throughout the day. Itís a brand new apartment and new system. Not sure if that matters. We have a MERV 13 filter in now and just ordered an 11 to replace with when it comes in. Not sure if that was the right move.

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