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Sad Renter 01-04-2010 11:44 PM

Mold in Furnace?! No clue if rental company will help with cleaning charges!
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Today I had an hvac cleaning done on my vents due to recent allergy problems and asthma. But they called me up to see my furnace and it was disgusting and they said it had mold. I can't find many photos of mold online though. I am going to pay my rent tomorrow and I had to pay for the hvac people to clean out the furnace and do a mold treatment. Is this something I have to pay for? This is a town house I do not own...This is something a homeowner would handle, am I not right? Help guys!! :eek:

hvac benny 01-05-2010 12:00 AM

I'm sure this is something that a landlord would be responsible for, but this isn't really the right forum to ask in. I would contact your tenants rights organization, or whatever they are called in your area. I know a very good legal forum on a San Fransisco based website (hint hint) but I think posting the name of it violates the rules here.

Sad Renter 01-05-2010 12:02 AM

Does this site you speak of involve a C and an L in the name?

hvac benny 01-05-2010 12:07 AM

Lots of these issues and good info if you are from the states. Not so much if you are from Canada, but if you are it isn't totally useless. Good luck.

Sad Renter 01-05-2010 12:11 AM

Oh I'm on top of it and already listed my worries on there and started a thread. Thanks for your help! All of my pals on Facebook say my rental company should have to pay. What's upsetting is how mean she was to me.. .saying I "Shouldn't be concerned about those things" and "Why do you have pets if you have asthma?" I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT!

pyper 01-05-2010 06:15 AM

You don't say where you live, so no one can really give you good advice about what might be legally required. Around here, in the Deep South, I doubt you would get any landlord to pay for duct cleaning, especially since the government says it's as likely to cause allergy problems as it is to help them.

And yeah, I think if someone who had pets came and complained about indoor air quality I'd tell them to pay for their own cleaning. Then again, the rental market is really down right now, and they won't want to loose a tenant.

But this is a DIY forum -- you can clean that squirrel cage blower with a vacuum with a HEPA filter. It would probably be more efficient (cost less to run) as an added benefit.

Do you change the filters on the furnace or does the landlord? If it's up to you to change them, then get better quality filters. If the landlord does it, wait until they do it next time and see what they use. If it's those cheap ones that look like spider-webs, replace them with 3M. They will filter stuff out of the air before it gets into the ducts. After 7 years of use, our ducts are still clean inside.

Maintenance 6 01-05-2010 06:32 AM

Was it actually tested to see if it's mold, or is that just a guess? Are you sure it's not an accumulation of lint and pet dander? By the time you fight this and find out it's pet fuzz, you could have it cleaned up and be running more efficiently. It's not a real common place for mold growth unless the supply ductwork is also loaded with it. That would indicate a high humidity level that needs to be assessed. Humidity under 60%=no mold.

beenthere 01-05-2010 07:54 AM

The pic of the blower. Doesn't show mold.

It does show dirt, but not mold.

Did you inform your landlord of problems. And they refused to have it checked?
You can't make them pay. if they weren't informed. And then either refused to do anything, or told you to have it checked.

Renters/tenant rights vary from state to state.

There may be mold in the equipment, or duct system. But your pic doesn't really show any.

Black spots are not always mold.

pyper 01-05-2010 09:36 AM

Of course there are mould spores in the blower. There are mould spores everywhere, indoors and out. Mould is part of the world we live in. If you buy a mould test kit, it's guaranteed to show mould, no matter where you put it, unless you have access to an industrial "clean room."

HooKooDooKu 01-05-2010 10:25 AM

Generally speaking, mold is going to be brownish to black in color. It will also be flat on the surface. Not fluffy.

From what I see in the picture, the fan blades just need a simple wipedown cleaning of accumulated dust and pet dander and pet hair.

Scuba_Dave 01-05-2010 10:38 AM

You have to report a problem to a Landlord & see if they will fix it
You can't "fix" something then request they pay for it
Have you been tested to see what triggers your asthma ?


Common asthma triggers include:
  • Animals (pet hair or dander)
  • Dust
  • Changes in weather (most often cold weather)
  • Chemicals in the air or in food
  • Exercise
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
  • Strong emotions (stress)
  • Tobacco smoke

SKIP4661 01-05-2010 11:27 AM

Looks like the typical funk and nastiness typical to rental units. This is caused by a lack of maintenance and adequate filtration. The normal response for a situation like this is -filter? What filter? It is debatable whether the landlord or rental agency should be responsible. In my opinion it should be a national code that all rental units have their HVAC equipment inspected and serviced annually.:yes:

Brik 01-05-2010 12:21 PM

Like was said, bust its too late. If you are renting and had a concern about indoor air quality you should have just spoken to your landlord, maybe shown the pictures, and requested to have the furnace maintained. You paid someone to clean the ducts. The landlord could come back and say "thank you very much" and thats the end of it. You cant do it on your own and expect him to pay, thats not fair. Would you have the place painted and give him the bill? Maybe pay for a maid and give him the bill? its kinda the same thing.

Also, the whole mold scare is way overblown. Get on with life and put this behind you and chalk it up as a learning experience.

HooKooDooKu 01-05-2010 01:10 PM


Originally Posted by Sad Renter (Post 376943)
I can't find many photos of mold online though.

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