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Furnace Filters

Project Report > Poor Filter Maintenance

Work #: 103037

HVAC Intake Screen Extremely Dirty

General Information

  • Building was recently renovated to be used as a child care facility.
  • Upper level rooms contained open ceilings which were a part of a larger, single air space above the entire upper level.
  • Two HVAC systems were visible in the open ceiling area.

Furnace / HVAC

  • Furnaces noted in upper level appeared to be high efficiency, sealed combustion units.
  • Technician was unable to determine actual ventilation due to inaccessibility of the HVAC units.
  • Visual inspection of the units revealed a piece of screen installed over an intake duct opening.  Screen was caked with dust which appeared to be thick enough to possibly cause airflow restrictions.


  • Recommend having all ducts and HVAC units professionally cleaned.
  • Recommend having all HVAC filters serviced and replaced where necessary.

Upstairs Bathrooms:

  • Ventilation Fan in bathroom is very noisy and may appear to be close to failure.
  • Grill of ventilation fan is extremely dirty and requires cleaning.
  • Strong fecal odor present when entering bathroom.  This appears to have been caused by a dirty diaper left in a garbage can.
  • RH: 67%     Temp: 70 deg F.     CO2 = 824 ppm     CO = 1 ppm


  • Recommend cleaning and/or replace the ventilation fan in bathroom wall.
  • Recommend disposing of dirty diapers into a dedicated sealed disposal bag and empty every night.


  • Strong odor of breaded chicken tenders present due to the inspection being conducted near lunch time.
  • Ventilation hood and fan is present and functional over the stove.  Fan was not in use at the time of inspection.
  • Kitchen was occupied and in use during much of the inspection which limited the inspectors access to many areas.
  • RH: 45%     Temp: 73 deg F.     CO2 = 911 ppm     CO = 1 ppm


  • Recommend conducting a thorough cleaning of the kitchen to minimize any potential locations where offensive odors could be generated.
  • Recommend use of the ventilation hood whenever cooking.
  • Recommend operating the ventilation hood and closing the door overnight to determine if the initial odor present when entering building is coming from the kitchen or not.

 Upstairs – Great Room

  • Walls and ceiling were scanned using a thermal imaging, infrared camera to determine any areas of temperature differential which would indicate moisture intrusion, missing insulation and/or other structural defects.  Several locations were noted on exterior walls where insulation appeared to be minimal or missing.
  • RH: 41%     Temp: 70 deg F.     CO2 = 755 ppm     CO = 0 ppm


  • A previous moisture intrusion event had occurred in the sprinkler room.  Water damaged materials appeared to have been removed and patched up.
  • Slight water stains were noted on the concrete wall behind the washing machine.  This appeared to be from the previous moisture intrusion incident.
  • Threshold to sprinkler room was very spongey and, when stepped on, moisture was squeezed out onto the concrete floor.
  • Elevated moisture levels extended approximately 1-2 feet into play room from threshold.
  • Technician suspects moisture is a result either from the previous water intrusion issue or may be a result of a spill/overflow from the washing machine.
  • Dust levels appeared to be much lower in the base ment area.
  • Walls and ceiling were scanned using a thermal imaging, infrared camera to determine any areas of temperature differential which would indicate moisture intrusion, missing insulation and/or other structural defects. No areas of concern were noted.
  • Technician suspected a third HVAC system behind a closet door.  Unit was not inspected due to the door being locked.
  • RH: 36%     Temp: 70 deg F.     CO2 = 853 ppm     CO = 0 ppm


  • Recommend removal of water damaged floor tiles in front of door to sprinkler room.

Main Level

  • Heavy dust was noted on many unaccessable surfaces (tops of walls, door jambs and ledges)
  • Dust patterns were noted on surfacing paper of attic insulation. Dust was heaviest around cuts for joists and plumbing perferations.
  • Dust was also noted around openings for large roll up doors.
  • Suspect much of the dust is being generated by ongoing road  and building construction projects nearby.
  • RH: 39%     Temp: 70 deg F.     CO2 = 860 ppm     CO = 1 ppm


  • Recommend air sealing around all perferations to the exterior.
  • Recommend regular dusting and servicing of the HVAC filtration unit.

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