ventilation/dirty carpet near edge of walls


Old 03-05-05, 12:24 AM
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ventilation/dirty carpet near edge of walls

A while ago, I found myself in a hurry as I read the Sunday papers' home improvement section and caught a glimpse of a curious, yet relevant situation regarding ventilation problems and evidence of dirt collecting next to the edge of some walls in carpeting. I was going to re-read the Q&A but, forgot about it until after the recycling was left out on the curb, etc.,etc. My problem certainly isn't regarding keeping the carpet clean, it's more aimed toward ventilation problems (forced air, gas furnace). Does the situation like that indicate that we have excess negative pressure or positive pressure or?? How can we alleviate the problem, with an eye on lowering our energy bills? When we moved in to our home 6yrs. ago (house age=14years), we had our duct work cleaned by a commercial company. The person doing it had made several comments about how he's not seen a system so well "plumbed" with a fresh air return network. Is it excessive, perhaps? There is a noticable difference in tempurature between the basement, the main floor, and the upper floor. During the winter, it's a bit cooler upstairs, and during the summer the opposite. I've installed several years back, a whole house fan, and also an auxillary electric roof vent. During the summer, the attic vent stays on almost constantly (thermostatically controlled, set at a high temp setting on it's thermostat). We have no mold problems, and clear soffet vents all around. Any comments/thoughts would be so very much appreciated. undefined
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Old 03-05-05, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Filtration soil

Cold air tends to sink and warm air tends to rise. As cold air sinks through to basement through gaps along wall, the carpet acts as a filter and collects dust and soil particles. When it's time to replace carpet, you can caulk between wall and floor around perimeter of room to seal this gap. In the meantime, use crevice tool to vacuum along baseboard every time you vacuum. Sponge mixture of 1/4 dishliquid in 1 cup warm water can be used to clean the area. Followup by wiping with plain water to remove all residues which can attract soil and cause rapid resoiling. Or, clean area with enzyme digester cleaner for organic stains. The trick to using enzymes is to give them time to digest stains. These are pet mess cleaners, Out, OdoBan, Nature's Miracle, and others and can be found in cleaning aisles and at homecenters and hardwares. If soiling is severe, carpet may be permanently stained.
Old 03-05-05, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,873
By the description you made, it appears the source of the infiltration is probably the whole house fan louver in the hallway. The volume of air inside the home remains constant. What this means is air cannot come into the house without the same volume of leaving the house. To illustrate this concept is by blowing air into a balloon and the balloon gets bigger. If you let air out of the balloon, it will get smaller. Your house cannot get bigger or smaller, so if air leaves the house, it creates a vacuum strong enough to pull air into the house. There are two reasons why I think the louver is the source. One is the tendancy of different temperatures attraction and the other is the bouyancy of warm air.

These louvers can be described as anything but air tight. Even if you cover them with insulation. They should be covered with plastic and taped air tight during the winter, then you can insulate over them.

There are other sources where heated air can escape the house, but this is the most likely one.

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