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  1. #1
    Sharpshooter

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    HVAC work = dusty film on everything?

    We have this weird dusty film on everything and I wonder if it's from our HVAC system.

    In March, we had a new compressor installed on our heat pump and put a new inline drier that wasn't there before (house is 14 years old, made during the housing boon). The company over-filled/charged the system, using twice as much freon as they should have. Another company figured out the problem and fixed it. But, since the work was done, we've noticed this fine dusty film on everything in the house--we wipe it away, and a few days later, it's back.

    Today, we had two separate times that the smoke detectors were tripped, one in the basement and one in an upstairs bedroom; when I took out one of the device's battery, I noticed it had a film on it, so now I'm thinking all of them will be tripped due to the film on the sensors... Strangely, the upstairs doesn't have much of an issue with the film, but the smoke detector I looked at was from one of the bedrooms, so the film is actually everywhere (even this laptop has the white film between the keys and on the screen).

    Meanwhile, we are breathing this in...

    Thoughts on the source?

  2. #2
    I still care....Really
    churchmouse's Avatar

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    This is not directly from that repair.
    Near impossible to say over the internet.
    But that is a curious issue.

    Is the A/C running. Pretty nice outside.
    Is it running when the detectors go off.
    AKA..Thor. Odin son. God of thunder.
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  3. #3
    Sharpshooter

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    Fan is on continuously.

    First alert was at 0800 in the basement and woke up the house. Next one was just a bit ago, in a bedroom with closed door and window. But,we've been dealing with the film for more than a month (can't say immediately since the repair, since we dust weekly, and it finally took us to realize the windows were getting nasty quickly).

    When you say, "not directly", does that suggest it could have an indirect cause from the repair?

  4. #4
    I still care....Really
    churchmouse's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosierkav View Post
    Fan is on continuously.

    First alert was at 0800 in the basement and woke up the house. Next one was just a bit ago, in a bedroom with closed door and window. But,we've been dealing with the film for more than a month (can't say immediately since the repair, since we dust weekly, and it finally took us to realize the windows were getting nasty quickly).

    When you say, "not directly", does that suggest it could have an indirect cause from the repair?
    No. No way does replacing a compressor have this effect. Something has changed but I can not see this being the cause.
    AKA..Thor. Odin son. God of thunder.
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  5. #5
    Expert GREEN607's Avatar

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    Sounds to me like a possible freon/refrigerant leak at the A-coil or at the high-side or low-side copper refrigerant lines inside your air handler (the unit with the AC coil and fan enclosed). Only the air that comes from the rooms thru the intake vent and duct are 'filtered'. Anything above/beyond that in the inside unit could escape thru your individual room vents/diffusers. Refrigerant definitely creates a film, if escaping from a pressurized system.

    I would call the repair company back out to check for that refrigerant leak at the inside unit, ASAP.
    Teach a kid something wholesome today..... and teach an adult gun safety this week.

  6. #6
    Expert GREEN607's Avatar

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    Also, you mentioned that the fan is on continuously. Check at the wall thermostat, and make sure the fan switch is set to 'AUTO' and not 'ON'.
    Teach a kid something wholesome today..... and teach an adult gun safety this week.

  7. #7
    I still care....Really
    churchmouse's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREEN607 View Post
    Sounds to me like a possible freon/refrigerant leak at the A-coil or at the high-side or low-side copper refrigerant lines inside your air handler (the unit with the AC coil and fan enclosed). Only the air that comes from the rooms thru the intake vent and duct are 'filtered'. Anything above/beyond that in the inside unit could escape thru your individual room vents/diffusers. Refrigerant definitely creates a film, if escaping from a pressurized system.

    I would call the repair company back out to check for that refrigerant leak at the inside unit, ASAP.
    There is not enough refrigerant in the system to cause this for the length of time mentioned. A leak that bad is done in a day or so. I have seen dozens and dozens of leaking evaps and never seen this. There is an oily film for sure. Just never seen it spread through the entire house for any extended time period.
    Agreed, he needs to get it looked at.
    AKA..Thor. Odin son. God of thunder.
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  8. #8
    Expert GREEN607's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by churchmouse View Post
    There is not enough refrigerant in the system to cause this for the length of time mentioned. A leak that bad is done in a day or so. I have seen dozens and dozens of leaking evaps and never seen this. There is an oily film for sure. Just never seen it spread through the entire house for any extended time period.
    Agreed, he needs to get it looked at.
    Well buddy, he did say the first Co. over-charged it by DOUBLE..... and if the fan switch was set to 'ON' and not to 'AUTO' as it should be..... ????? I've seen stranger things happen when contractors have more faith than knowledge in their work.
    Teach a kid something wholesome today..... and teach an adult gun safety this week.

  9. #9
    Grandmaster Cameramonkey's Avatar

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    Stupid question. Is the filter in the unit? Could it have been left out and the gunk on the intake side is now working its way into the house instead of not sticking to the filter?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Freeman View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierdoc View Post
    also, where do we sign up to touch Frank's equipment?

  10. #10
    I still care....Really
    churchmouse's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREEN607 View Post
    Well buddy, he did say the first Co. over-charged it by DOUBLE..... and if the fan switch was set to 'ON' and not to 'AUTO' as it should be..... ????? I've seen stranger things happen when contractors have more faith than knowledge in their work.
    Did you just call me buddy..........

    This has been near a month. A residential system does not hold that much refrigerant. A leak that would cause this would take a lot or refrigerant. A lot. You can blow one down in a matter of minutes even double charged.

    Yes it was double charged or at least that's what the second tech stated. I have seen them with so much gas that the compressor locked up and would not pump. Reclaimed. Recharged and off to the races.

    I have several customers that I have them run the fan full time to get the air circulated more efficiently. Really helps in 2 story's with poor duct design.

    Buddy........

    I like it. Not knocking your opinion. I just have mine formed from doing this since the mid 60's.

    OP, let us know what you have going on. Please.

    AKA..Thor. Odin son. God of thunder.
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