Noob question: Condo HVAC crawlspace

Discussion in 'HVAC' started by vilmosz, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Feb 6, 2010 #1

    vilmosz

    vilmosz

    vilmosz

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    Hi, everyone. I'm new here. Thanks for making this forum available and for being a friendly and helpful place to ask and answer. I live in West Los Angeles and we rent a 1970s two-story townhouse with central air. Never had central air before, so I have some questions and concerns about the HVAC. I found the intake grill; it's under the stairs, and when I lifted the grill and the 30-day filter I saw a pretty filthy crawlspace -- a big ol' area underneath the stairs. I expected to see a duct, not a huge empty and dirty crawlspace. So, my first question is: Is that air under the crawlspace what is getting sucked into our HVAC and then sent back out through the outtakes? I woulda thunk there was some sort of obvious duct in there. Once I get an answer for this, I can start figuring out how to assess whether the outtakes are delivering acceptable air quality and if not how we can address that issue. Until then, we'll be using the space heaters. ;)

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
     
  2. Feb 6, 2010 #2

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    Housebroken Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Where else would the air come from??
    Unfortunatly this is done all the time, and folks wonder why they do not feel so good.
    If you want air that is from the space you breath, you need sealed,return ductwork.
    Call an HVAC company, and get the existing ductwork cleaned, and updated.

    And if the unit is in the crawlspace....it will collect air from there too.

    Then you can always move.
     
  3. Feb 7, 2010 #3

    vilmosz

    vilmosz

    vilmosz

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    Thanks for the information, InspectorD: So step one, I will contact the owner and arrange to have an HVAC person come in and clean this up. Not sure I can get him to foot the bill for a sealed duct. I am amazed that isn't in the unit and I checked with other owners in this complex and there's is the exact same way. What gives? Why do they build this way?
     
  4. Feb 7, 2010 #4

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    $$$$$$$$$$.
    And it still meet code...the minimum, that is all they need to do.

    And clean up the crawlspace, seal any holes that lets varmints in with screen.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Apr 12, 2010 #5

    vilmosz

    vilmosz

    vilmosz

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    So, we had some people come in and look and the HVAC hadn't been maintained and the gas and electric to it had to be immediately turned off. Fortunately, we didn't use the system or it would have presented a CO and/or electrical hazard. Landlord had it replaced with a new Day N Nite unit. He has given us the go ahead to have the ducts cleaned. QUESTION: Considering how poor the condition was of the HVAC, what would be our next step in regard to the ducts? A company says they will come in and clean it for $325; or they will inspect it for $100. Not knowing anything about such systems, I'm wondering what we can do to ensure the ducts are in a condition where cleaning them would be a solution rather than either a waste of money or just adding to the problem.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     

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