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Old 10-10-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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New to the site. HVAC question


Helly everyone, I'm new to the forum and I thought this site looked great for me because I like doing the work of my own projects.

I've recently bought a house and ran into an issue that I'm not sure what the best way would be to go about it. I wanted to buy a new furnace and replace ducting due to the old house and ancient furnace. Due to the funds I have available I decided to hold for a year and just get the ducting and furnace cleaned.

So I figured not to turn the furnace on before cleaning. I hired a company to clean the furnace, and they cleaned a load of junk out of the ducting. They had fired it up but not long enough to make the fan run. After they left I turned the furnace on and it filled my house with ash tray smelling smoke. I've learned that I was sold a house, aparently very cleaned, that was owned by a smoker.

My question is, how in the world do I get the smoke smell out of the ducting and furnace. Will it eventually burn off or do I have to replace everything. My place reeks of an ash tray full of cigeratte butts, and I don't even want to run my furnace again.


Last edited by CS86; 10-10-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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Some duct cleaning companies also can use a sealant to seal the odor to the duct.

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Old 10-10-2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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oops. a double entry

Last edited by CS86; 10-10-2012 at 04:30 PM. Reason: doubled
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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A couple thoughts I had. Would carbon filters at each vent help eliminate much of the odor? or place one on top of the filter in the furnace.

What about odor eliminating sprays. Would they be ok to spray down the return vent and registers? My return vent is part of my wall. After taking the vent off you could see the yellow, smoke saturated paper.

I'm hoping I can do something to help with the major odor, and hope that it disipates over time.

I also contacted the company that cleaned it and they are going to take another look at it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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Carbon filters generally don't help the furnace or supply duct which will also have the stains/odors in them.

At apartment complexes where an apartment was rented for years by a heavy smoker. They have to use an alkyd paint to seal the walls so the odor doesn't come through.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:52 AM   #6
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Will the smell eventually disappear within the year or will it always be evident every time I have the furnace running?

Eventually I plan to get a new furnace. Would this kill the major odor or would the ducting have to be coated, scrubbed, or replaced to completely eliminate it.

The house didn't smell untill I turned the furnace on. I don't think I need to paint over or replace anything in the living space yet unless the furnace odor starts absorbing into it.

Last edited by CS86; 10-11-2012 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:05 AM   #7
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Advice only:
Start 'er up and run for a few hours with windows open. See if smell burns off. Only way to tell.

Seasonal startup can smell like burned metal like first start of a new oven.

The duct cleaners may have used a chemical that needs to burn off.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm aware of the regular dusty burn off each year. I was also there when they cleaned the ducts. They didn't use any type of chemical. They pretty much knocked old dust loose and sucked it out with a huge vacuum.

I did try and run the furnace with the windows open to see if I could get it to burn off. I'm sure it burnt the majority off. I haven't ran it again because I'm waiting for the company to come out and take another look at it. But when I get close to the register It reeks of an ash tray. I sure hope I can eventually get rid of the smell without putting a lot of expense into it. Its made my house and clothing smell bad.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Will the smell eventually disappear within the year or will it always be evident every time I have the furnace running?
Eventually it will fade away. How long is eventually, can't say. could be a month, could 2 or so years.

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