Dust in the vents?


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Old 09-03-12, 12:32 PM
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Dust in the vents?

We have a Gas central heating system only last winter we noticed that whenever the heating came on we would sneeze a little often, we feel it may be "dust" which is causing this? What can we do here please?
 
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Old 09-03-12, 12:35 PM
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There are companies who will come out and clean your ductwork for you.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 12:44 PM
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Do you have central A/C? Does it use the same vents? Do you not sneeze when the A/C kicks on? Did it only do it for the first part of the heating season? If so...unlikely it's heavy dust. More likely it's just the warm air and some minor initial dust/rust burnoff that collected during the off season.

You should be able to do at least a cursory inspection of the ducts yourself.

Like Mitch said "There are companies who will come out and clean your ductwork for you." There are also companies that will charge you $300 or more, spend a few hours there, accomplish nothing and possibly do damage to your ducts. References and training documentation.....if they can't provide it...move on. They may also be able to send a camera scope down the ducts to show you how bad it is.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 12:56 PM
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No we don't have central AC. As far as I remember we only sneeze when the heating first turns on then after that we are fine, that's why this is so strange to us for if it was heavy dust accumulation after the years then won't we be sneezing all the time when the heating is on?
 
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Old 09-03-12, 01:05 PM
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And change your furnace filter often. If you've never changed it... well that would explain the dirty ductwork. Dust on the heat exchange is what you are probably smelling. If the heater doesn't run for a while you will usually smell a "burnt hair" kind of odor when it finally does kick on for the first time in a while. It usually becomes less noticeable the more the heater runs.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 01:05 PM
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Sounds like there is dust accumulating in the non-heating seasons and it's being blown out when the heat is first turned on. I would probably do nothing about this.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 01:11 PM
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So does it happen throughout the heating season whenever the system starts ...or just the first few times?

I still think it's likely that it's just the warm air hitting your sinuses. I sneeze sometimes just walking it to a bright room or outside on a sunny day.

If it is a heavy build up..it might make sense that you just get an initial burst from the air starting to flow...then when the airflow stops the dusty bits relax back to their no airflow state and the cycle repeats....just a little bit each time..ya know?

Anything is possible. You need to take a look yourself..or get a reputable company in to do it.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 01:45 PM
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I have a washable filter. I am more leaning towards this being a filter issue? If I remember correctly, I think this started happening only at the "end" of last winter, I am now wondering if maybe the filter collected too much dust which may have caused this so maybe needs to be cleaned not only at the start of winter but also maybe half way during the season?
 
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Old 09-03-12, 02:41 PM
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I also have a washable filter, I clean mine every month. It might not need it that often but I'd rather keep it clean than have trouble cleaning it when it gets plugged up with dirt.
 

Last edited by marksr; 09-03-12 at 02:49 PM. Reason: fix typo
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Old 09-03-12, 02:48 PM
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Washable filters normally should be cleaned monthly from what I understand...esp if they are the thin ones.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 06:44 PM
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Then that should be it because I only clean it once per season, just before we use the heat for the very first time, by the end of the season that filter is totally clogged with dust, I will try a monthly cleaning to see if the situation changes, thanks!
 
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Old 09-03-12, 06:50 PM
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I do have to say this before the thread goes away....

When I saw the title, all I could think of was the rock group Kansas.

"Dust in the vents,
"All we are is dust in the vents,
"Everything is dust in the vents..."

Or whatever the real lyrics are. Sorry...way off topic.

Let us know if the filter cleaning helps.
 
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Old 09-03-12, 07:16 PM
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If this is a soft foam "filter", throw it away and get some throw-away filters at the home center to use. Change them only when they get dirty, that may be once a month, twice a month or once every several months.

If you have an expanded metal filter then get a spray can of filter oil at the homecenter and lightly spray the inlet side of the filter after cleaning and drying. The filter oil will catch a lot more of the smaller dust particles.
 
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Old 09-04-12, 05:27 AM
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The filter I got at Hoe Depot has thick black borders and a heavy plastic filter, I usually use a compressor to blow it out instead of washing.
 
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Old 09-04-12, 06:36 AM
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Electrostatic filters do not do a good job of removing particles from the air.. Id replace it with a $3 or $4 dollar pleated filter. But if the system is more than 15 years old id recommend having the HVAC system cleaned as well
 
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Old 09-04-12, 06:39 AM
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I agree on the filter becuase whether I wash it as I used to do in the beginning or blow it out it never looks a s clean as it used when it was new, I'll try going back to the regular pleated filters and simly change them when I see they are getting dirty or once each month.
 
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Old 10-07-12, 08:21 AM
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I just bought two 4-pack filters at Home Depot, it says 90 days on it, one side of these filters have wires, when placing in the boiler should the wired side be on the outside facing me or the opposite please?
 
 

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