I moved to a new apartment and started a new job not too long ago. One thing I have noticed is that my nose is usually on the brink of a nosebleed since then. My snot tends to have blood in it.
Another thing I notice is in my apartment I get these weird white dust balls that build up after a few weeks over the carpet in all the rooms. They seem to resemble tiny bits of tissue paper or toilet paper in texture. I have a dark red rug, so they show up. I vacuum them up, but within a month they are all over the floor again. I am assuming they are coming out of the central A/C unit, but I really don’t know where they come from. Aside from the vents (or maybe the ceiling) where else would they come from?
When I am not in my apartment and am visiting other places, the bleeding seems to stop. I think.
I bought an air purifier for my apartment, that didn’t really help. I measured the humidity and it is at about 50%, which is normal. I have tried moisturizing my nose with both saline and ayr nasal gel, which does nothing.
I need to talk to management when I get back to find out what is happening. Is there a filter in the A/C unit that is dirty?
Are there filters that can be placed directly on the vents?
I’d hire a professional carpet cleaning company to clean all of the permanent soft surfaces in the apartment. I’d wipe down the walls and woodwork. Then I’d see if things had improved, and if not, go to a doctor and start looking for a new apartment.
My last house gave me terrible allergies; I had to take Claritin every day or I’d get grotesque sinus infections. It all went away when we moved, so the problem was in the house, and I’m sure it was really in the carpet.
I think you should go visit a doctor soon. They may be able to give you a better idea of what to clean or look for, and also, if things come down to a legal confrontation with your landlord or employer, you will have the medical documentation that the problem began shortly after you moved in or started work.
There may be dirty or old filters. You can buy cheesecloth at Lowes or Home Depot, unscrew your vent covers and after washing them thoroughly (she said, w/ no subtlety whatsoever) affix the cheesecloth to the back of the vent before putting it back on the wall/ceiling. We had a fire and even though the insurance people cleaned very well the cheesecloth over the vents still had to be changed every few months for nearly 2 years as the soot worked its way around the ducts.
If you have a wand on your vacuum (or access to one that does) it would behoove you to vacuum inside the vent while you have the cover off. I don’t know of any apartments that clean those out btwn tenants.
I’m back at my apartment, but I have to leave soon and will talk to management tomorrow.
I don’t know a lot about filters, but I believe the filter goes in the slot between the blower and the AC unit.
I looked up the model number online and didn’t find anything about where to locate the filter.
I checked mine and I found a slot between the AC unit and the blower, and there is a ‘hole’ shaped like a flat rectangle (which filters are supposed to be shaped as, an elongated rectangle about 20-30" long and about 1" high).
But instead of a filter, they just put a piece of aluminum foil to cover the slot.
I don’t know if I am looking at the wrong part of my system, or what exactly. but that pisses me off if they have been avoiding replacing (or even using) a filter the whole time I’ve been here. They may have just been using aluminum foil to cover the slot where they are supposed to be placing and replacing the filter.
Does the building have central air, or do you have a unit in your apartment that has its own blower motor? If it’s central, there would be a centrally located filter between the return air and the blower motor. If it’s missing, then dust is going to be a big problem. Central air is notorious for lint and dust. Even with the filter installed, we get quite a few lint/dustball accumulations. If you have an air handler in your apartment, there should be a simple dust filter (sometimes just a piece of porous foam) located at the air intake. Also, for central air, if the ducting has never been vacuumed out, that could be part of your problem. You can buy register filters that fit into your floor/wall registers on sites like Amazon.
As far as I can tell, I have my own system. I don’t know a lot about HVAC systems, but in the utility closet there is a water heater and an AC unit. So I’m guessing each dwelling has an independent system.
I ended up buying these
Since my registers are not the typical 4x12, they are more like 6x12 and when that arrives I am going to put those over the registers. Until then I’m just going to avoid using the AC, and keep the air purifier running at full blast to see if that helps any.
There is something that looks like a slot a filter slides into on the right underneath the white pipe seen on the right, but on the left there is no second slot. There is just a piece of wood jammed into the area.
I measured the slot and it measures about 14" long by 1" high, and the total length of that hole is about 20", so that is roughly the measurement of a 14x20 or 12x20 filter.
But I can’t stick a filter in because I don’t know if the stick in there seen at the far left is a ‘load bearing’ stick. Trying to take it out causes resistance, and I don’t know if the unit above would come crashing down if I did that. I’m assuming that is where the filter goes but they just stuck a stick there to hold everything up. I don’t know.
My apartment is great.
I talked to maintenance (usually maintenance is good). But in the time I’ve been living here every 3 months or so they put notes on all the doors saying they are going to change the furnace filters. So in the time I’ve been living here they probably have not only put in the filter, they never even bothered to fix the fact that I can’t put one in. Not only that, no one bothered to tell me.
That is assuming that that slot I found was where the filter goes, I’m guessing it is.
They are doing weekly maintenance this week on the entire complex, and I told them on tuesday about this problem. So come friday when it isn’t fixed (if they haven’t fixed it yet I doubt they will) I will go back into management and talk about it on saturday. This isn’t a cosmetic issue, I’m having health problems because of this.
Yeah, it certainly looks like that’s where a filter could go, but I’ve never seen one that sits horizontally like that. Which means nothing - you may want to PM raindog or someone to see what he thinks. But you should have some kind of easily replaceable filter if you’ve got central AC.
As a wild-ass guess, the U-shaped piece that should have been on the other side rusted out, and they just tossed in that piece of wood to keep the thing from falling down.