Home>Discussions>HEALTH & SAFETY>Indoor Air Quality - Help...
4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Indoor Air Quality - Help...

I bought a home a year ago that was built in 2003. I'm having issues with air quality on the second floor. It has a dual zone furnace/ac setup where the zones are 2nd floor for Zone 1, and basement and first floor for Zone 2. Whenever I am upstairs (zone 1), my sinuses and throat get irritated. It is not unbearable, but it is clearly noticeable. I do not see any mold issues, any sources of moisture, etc. When we bought the place, which had been vacated, the furnace was not igniting, so we fixed that. I have a feeling that the issue is related to the HVAC system in Zone1. My questions are these:

1) If there is an issue with the air quality as a result of the HVAC, whom should I contact for help?
2) What if anything can i do on my own to remedy this?
3) What else might some of you suggest to look for in case it is not related to the HVAC?


Timothy Miller
Re: Indoor Air Quality - Help...

Howdy, duct cleaing companies can clean and seal the ducts an the HVAC unit. Have you checked the attic to see that it is dry?
any new carpet or painting in the upper level? Pets?

Re: Indoor Air Quality - Help...

The attic, in general, is dry. The area around the furnace, which is in the attic, is also dry. There's a crawl space to get to the attic area over the master bedroom which I have not attempted to look at yet. Although, as i mentioned, there is no visible moisture on the second floor. We haven't painted. We do have a pet, but its been this way pretty much since we moved in. I went to the hypoallergenic 3M Filtrete air filters 6 months ago which seem to have helped slightly, but not completely. My guess is that there is something in the duct work. Is there an easy way to check this myself? Do you know of anywhere I can get a simple (and inexpensive) fiber optic camera to look in the vents? Just a thought. Any input is appreciated.

Re: Indoor Air Quality - Help...

While the HVAC system may be something a part of the solution, this may be a problem that was created during the time the house was vacant (and it was just never resolved). There can be a number of allergens that could cause your symptoms. Have you spoken to your doctor about your symptoms? Have you spoken to an indoor environmental consultant? The key to this isn't diluting the problem (even with ventillation) but removing the source of your symptoms. Having a professional inspect this home may lead to some real solutions toward resolving your issue. Assumptions may only cost you money without results. I've seen many people upgrade, clean and repair their HVAC system only to continue with their ill dis-ease and dis-comfort. There are many resources you can look to for information regarding indoor air pollutants and professionals to help inspect them. Check out www.SolutionsIEC.com and www.EPA.gov for information on indoor air quality, pollutants and damages information. And, check out the American Indoor Air Quality Council www.iaqcouncil.org for professionals to help diagnose your home. You may want to also look into the American Industrial Hygiene Association's site www.aiha.org.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.