Help!! Ventilation, bad smell, townhouse...


  #1  
Old 06-06-04, 12:30 AM
SJ702
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Help!! Ventilation, bad smell, townhouse...


Why is our air system pulling in the neighbor's stink?! We have a townhome, we share a wall with a neighbor. When this neighbor cooks we get all the kitchen odor when the air conditioning or forced heat is running. I don't know what this old woman cooks but it smells like the back ends of a dozen skunks!!! No kidding, I am serious. At times it gives us sore throats, running noses and turns the stomach. I'm in the southwest and with temps in the 100's right now it isn't a good time to just open windows. So why is this happening and is there anything we can do to prevent or stop it?
 
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Old 06-06-04, 05:48 AM
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SJ702,

Do you share a common ductwork system with your neighbour?
 
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Old 06-06-04, 09:01 AM
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Wink

Like Greg here. You have to check how the duct work is. look at all of the cold air return yours and hers. Bad smell check all the water traps she has and yours. I can't count the times that smell and gas leaks. Have turned out to be methane gas from dried out traps in the homes.


ED
 
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Old 06-06-04, 11:34 AM
SJ702
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No we don't have shared duct work. Our attics are separate and so are the heating and cooling units.

The smell only occurs when she cooks a particular dish [usually holidays or when her family visits]; since the stink is not constant and only happens when she cooks this [????], I don't think it's the water traps.

Infact when she really gets going you can smell this cooking stink [skunky, burnt garlic, onion and ??] in the garage, outside, even down the street on a windy day... But the smell is even worse in our house when the forced air is running and seems to take about 18 hours to clear. It over powers air fresheners, but once it's gone, it is gone.... Well, until she cooks this [????] again. Besides raiding her home and removing her stove, what else can I do?

We don't have ridgid duct work, it's the kind that looks like a insulated mylar tube. The air flow in a couple of rooms isn't very strong... Is it possible that there is a hole or tear in the duct work, maybe in the attic or between the walls [we're in a 2 story]; that is causing the neighbors cooking stink to be pulled through the air system?
 
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Old 06-06-04, 03:01 PM
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SJ702,

There is the possibility that there is not a good seal in the separation to the two units.
A common spot for air leaks is at the top of the basement wall where it meets the ceiling.

One thing you could try, although not energy efficient is to install a vent to outside, connected to the intake side of the furnace.
This will give your home a slightly positive pressure, hopefully causing an outward flow of air.
In fact if your neighbour has this the air could be forced from their suite to yours.

Another possibility is to invite yourself over to familiarize yourself with this type of food.
Perhaps if you aquired a taste for it there would be a bit more tolerance.
 
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Old 06-07-04, 02:32 PM
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i have to laugh here, he calls it stink, and she serves it up on holidays! reminds me of my ex wife.... i digress!

i would look closely at your return duct, leakage may be pulling in the delicate aroma of your neighbor's fine vittles.

where is your duct system? attic, crawl space, etc. where is her's? i would assume same...is there a dividing wall b/w the 2 of you? if not, her supply duct may be leaking, and your return pulling it in.

also look closely at your exhaust over the stove... where does it go? hers probably is vented very similarly. it may be leaking, forcing these wonderfully horrific smells into a space that gains access to your side.

but then again if it destroys the air quality of the entire neighborhood, i would move
 
 

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