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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Default Air Quality of Forced Air Heating

    I just moved into an apartment in a very old building that has a heating system of unknown vintage. It appears to be forced air with vents on the first floor and one in the hallway on the second that blow air. The upstairs rooms have floor vents that open to the rooms below so rising hot air can heat those rooms. I have not been able to locate a return air vent. My question is how often the filters and duct work need to be cleaned. I tried out the system and found I could hardly breathe after a few minutes. I need to approach the property manager, but want to have my facts straight first. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    13

    Default Re: Air Quality of Forced Air Heating

    The return may be located at the furnace. If it wasn't installed by a professional they may have not run the ducts properly. I would have the ducts cleaned if you see a black residue by the vents. The filter should be changed every three months if it is a cheap filter and depending on dust. Also with forced hot air it is very dry air. You can have a humidifiers installed on the furnace or use humidifiers in your rooms

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Northeast
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    661

    Default Re: Air Quality of Forced Air Heating

    Most filters you get are only 30 day filters, depending on how much you use the Furnace or A/C and if you have pet hair. Good Luck!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Midwest
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    Default Re: Air Quality of Forced Air Heating

    It is more likely that the floor supply grilles are ducted from the furnace, some use the space between the joists and studs as a duct instead of having sheet metal ductwork. Most businesses change filters every 3 months, most homeowners every six months. Ducts are almost never cleaned because of the expense. If the filters are properly maintained, your supply ducts should never get very dirty, if. Try putting filter material over the supply grilles to filter the air, as your landlord will most likely evict you before he gets the ducts cleaned.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Northeast
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    661

    Default Re: Air Quality of Forced Air Heating

    You cannot pan a supply bay only a return, and yes people do wait for 3 to 6 months to change there filters and most of the time they end up calling us first due to a no heat because of a furnace that went off on high limit, or an Air Handler or Coil that is iced over or frozen because they have no air going through it, (hvac 101). The choice is the home owners 6 filters = $18.00 to $24.00 or 1 service call for around $100.00 per hour for a no heat or 2 service calls for no A/C, the first to diagnose and then to come back when the coil has thawed out, that's 2 @ $100.00 per hour. Not to mention the strain a plugged filter will have on a blower motor and an A/C compressor. You have to have proper Air Flow, always !!!!! Geez changing those filters every 30 days is looking pretty good right about now. Good Luck!!!
    Last edited by Sten; 09-14-2009 at 11:16 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Air Quality of Forced Air Heating

    Good luck with the 30 day thing,you apparently have never dealt with the average landlord, they are not known for their generous spending on the tenant's needs,especially when the tenants are paying the utilities. Do they care about breakdowns? Only when they're writing the check.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Air Quality of Forced Air Heating

    If the tenant is paying the utilities, $24.00 per year for filters is minimal to make sure you will have heat or A/C. I understand that some, not most, Landlords are penny pinchers . Show them the plugged filter and explain the beating that the unit is taking because of it. After the cost of one service call we tell them that we will gladly come out once a month and change there filters for the one hour min., guess how many of those we have to go back to for the same issue??? You guessed it. I'm not trying to argue with anyone, I read what the problem is that someone is having and give them the best solution that I know of. Just because they have a cheap landlord doesn't mean it's right to tell them 6 mos. to change a filter is OK, most filters are designed for 30 days. and it usually says right on the side. Good Luck!!!
    Last edited by Sten; 09-14-2009 at 04:46 PM.

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