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Old 07-15-2007, 04:51 PM   #1
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Smell and dust in house after cellulose ins. added to attic!


Our house is apx. 40 to 50 years old and we just added blown cellulose insulation over top of the old fiberglass to bring it up to R-30. We noticed the first time the AC kicked on the entire house smelled like old news papers (the new insulation) and within 24 hours everything in our house was covered with a fine dust! This can't be normal...

I thought the AC system is a closed system (at least in the attic) so how is this happening? Is the dust dangerous? Also, everything in the attic is covered with a foot or so of the stuff, how do I find the problem or leak in the system?

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Old 07-15-2007, 05:22 PM   #2
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Smell and dust in house after cellulose ins. added to attic!


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Our house is apx. 40 to 50 years old and we just added blown cellulose insulation over top of the old fiberglass to bring it up to R-30. We noticed the first time the AC kicked on the entire house smelled like old news papers (the new insulation) and within 24 hours everything in our house was covered with a fine dust! This can't be normal...

I thought the AC system is a closed system (at least in the attic) so how is this happening? Is the dust dangerous? Also, everything in the attic is covered with a foot or so of the stuff, how do I find the problem or leak in the system?

Thanks in advance for any help!
Look at the return duct for leaks. It may be sucking in some insulation.

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Old 07-15-2007, 05:34 PM   #3
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Smell and dust in house after cellulose ins. added to attic!


What's the best way to do that? There is the main return in the hallway with limited access. Everything in the attic is pretty hard to get into to look at it...
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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Smell and dust in house after cellulose ins. added to attic!


You also may not have proper attic ventilation in the form of soffit vents and ridge vents.vent boxes.

If it was warm enough for AC, the roof vents should carry the odor out, but not the dust.
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:22 PM   #5
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Smell and dust in house after cellulose ins. added to attic!


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Originally Posted by Kent Gorsuch View Post
Our house is apx. 40 to 50 years old and we just added blown cellulose insulation over top of the old fiberglass to bring it up to R-30. We noticed the first time the AC kicked on the entire house smelled like old news papers (the new insulation) and within 24 hours everything in our house was covered with a fine dust! This can't be normal...

I thought the AC system is a closed system (at least in the attic) so how is this happening? Is the dust dangerous? Also, everything in the attic is covered with a foot or so of the stuff, how do I find the problem or leak in the system?

Thanks in advance for any help!
Look,

I am sure you spent some big money insulating, and of course it will pay dividends down the road. One thing that you dident know or no one told you was that home HVAC Duct system IS NOT DESIGNED TO BE AIR TIGHT!!!! Now I know this may come as a shock, but its the truth. Give it a month or two and proper filter maintance and this should all clear up..............or of course you can follow common american thought and sue (spelling*) everyone involved, over a little dust.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:14 AM   #6
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Smell and dust in house after cellulose ins. added to attic!


I think I found the problem, over the years workers going in and out of the attic have used the duct system as a crawl way rather than using the planks laid down just for that purpose. In several places the seams were badly crimped and the system was drawing air directly from the attic rather than the retrun.

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Old 07-17-2007, 07:01 AM   #7
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Smell and dust in house after cellulose ins. added to attic!


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I think I found the problem, over the years workers going in and out of the attic have used the duct system as a crawl way rather than using the planks laid down just for that purpose. In several places the seams were badly crimped and the system was drawing air directly from the attic rather than the retrun.

Thanks
You may want to open your air handler. I'm not sure what kind of system you have or its configurations, but you may want to take a quick look at the coil. I have seen this before and was surprised how much got caught in the coil. The return I was looking at had a huge tear at a seam with a filter back grill.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:56 AM   #8
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Smell and dust in house after cellulose ins. added to attic!


I checked it and cleaned it best I could while I was up there yesterday and it seemed to be fine. There is still a very slight smell in the house but it is much better than it was. Guess I won’t have to “Sue” anybody after all!

Thanks for all of your help, have a great summer!

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