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Thread: Newbie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    Default Newbie

    New to site and looking for resolution to a residential air quality problem. I?m not sure if it a furnace or mold issue. There is a cloudy white chalky substance over entire 2 level condo, that?s 6.5 years old. The substance is visible on black plastic surfaces, clear plastic bags, glasses, and can be felt on furniture, clothing in closets, etc. Multiple HVAC techs have been out for annual furnace maintenance and none have seen this problem before. The air ducts have been cleaned twice in 10 months and I have two air purifiers that run almost 24/7. Can see the substance on the metal blades on one and the charcoal and ?cone? filter, if I shake it out on the other purifier. The landlord has seen pics and been in my unit and says it?s regular dust and allergies. I have suffered from worsening sinus, allergies and breathing problems for the last 20 months. A friend thinks it?s mold, but I?m confused by the white chalky residue/ substance everywhere. I?m hoping someone on this site can help or guide me in the right direction to resolve my problem. Pics to follow.

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  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Newbie

    Need more information.
    The air purifiers may actually be causing or contributing to the problem depending on the type. The electrostatic (ionizer) type may be causing dust to drop out of the air and accumulating on differently charged items. Candles, air fresheners, cooking, cleaning equipment should also be suspect. Unless there is a damaged heat exchanger the furnace combustion air would not enter the house air stream.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    CO
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    Default Re: Newbie

    Thanks for your response. I have a Winix 5500 series and an older Brookstone Ion pro air purifiers. I haven?t been able to figure out how to attach pics...yet. I had the unit checked for termites, none were found. I?ll complete a home mold test. I?m also trying to locate a company that will test the air quality.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,857

    Default Re: Newbie

    To help find the source of the white powdery stuff, tape a black cloth over the supply vents and return air grille to see if it is coming from the a/c system.

    Do the same for air filters.

    Covering the return will show if it is being recirculated through each/either and if more/less is coming out of the supply from each/either than is going in.

    You are just making an unscientific observation as to the likely source of the white stuff (that's the reason for using black cloth).

    If nothing else, it's a place to start.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    CO
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    Default Re: Newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    To help find the source of the white powdery stuff, tape a black cloth over the supply vents and return air grille to see if it is coming from the a/c system.

    Do the same for air filters.

    Covering the return will show if it is being recirculated through each/either and if more/less is coming out of the supply from each/either than is going in.

    You are just making an unscientific observation as to the likely source of the white stuff (that's the reason for using black cloth).

    If nothing else, it's a place to start.
    I?ve had the floor vent filters and change them out approximately every two months. When shaken, nothing comes out, but they feel slightly chalky. On the other hand when I shook the Winix filter (the one that should be replaced every 12 months and it?s only 3) a bunch of the white chalky substance came out. I?ll try the black material over the registers and vents. I?m in CO and haven?t used the central air yet. Other black items, clothing (stored in a closet), the inside of a floor/standing hair dryer, black plastic trash can, etc all have the cloudy chalky residue on them.


  7. #7
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Newbie

    You don't need to run the a/c, just turn the fan from "auto" to "on" and let the fan circulate air through the system.

    Compare return (air into system) to supply (air out of system).

    But it sounds like you may have already narrowed it down to the filter - compare return (air in) to supply (air out) ... if the unit has a filter, put a new filter in first.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    CO
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    4

    Default Re: Newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You don't need to run the a/c, just turn the fan from "auto" to "on" and let the fan circulate air through the system.

    Compare return (air into system) to supply (air out of system).

    But it sounds like you may have already narrowed it down to the filter - compare return (air in) to supply (air out) ... if the unit has a filter, put a new filter in first.
    Will check the air in/out. Thank you for your help and suggestions.


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