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Chemical Odor from New AC/Heat Pump Makes Me Ill

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I have bug spray like smell coming out of a brand new AC heat pump system, through new ductwork. I never use any poisons in the house or attic. What is the culprit in my system? It causes my head to spin and my heart races as soon as heat, cool, or fan comes on.

By Sherri from Casselberry, FL

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By ConcernedAboutIAQ02/10/2011

Hi Sherri,
it sounds like you may be chemically sensitive. I would look into MCS and maybe getting an air purifier with activated carbon that can adsorb chemicals, gases and odors. Some companies have special units for MCS and other indoor air quality concerns. You can also suggest to the company that installed the new system that they can use industrial air purifiers during the process so that this does not affect other customers.
Hope you feel better soon.

By Cindy [3]02/06/2011

Hello Sherri, just a warning but what I'm about to write will be considered controversial (been through it myself) so don't take my words as gospel, but use them to continue your own research for your own best interests. Don't assume the world will change to meet your needs, but know you can find ways to adapt: I highly suspect you are dealing with chemical allergies and although I wish you well, a lot of folks will call you crazy and dismiss your concerns. For the record, I don't think those that choose to dismiss your concerns are bad people, they just can't comprehend such and dismiss your concerns out of innocent ignorance to the reality of chemical allergies.

If no one else in your home is experiencing the same discomfort as you, chances are it is a chemical allergy. (If others are experiencing the same, then do contact the contractor and proceed from that point.) If it is just you, then first you must find a doctor that understands and can treat chemical allergies. Personally, my doctor prescribed Claritin (the generic drug name is Loratadine) when it was still a prescription drug and it still works for me as an over the counter product, (but there may be something better now available so do find an understanding, allergy aware, doctor to recommend such.)

I went through years of not being able to walk into new construction or remodeling areas or even a home or business with new carpeting without feeling like I was going to faint, become short of breath, or fear my heart palpitations would lead to a heart attack. Friends and family alike would just shake their heads and roll their eyes, and treat me like I was an over dramatizing wanna be actress. :( They weren't trying to be mean :) but they obviously thought there was some flaw in my character that demanded special attention. I rather learned to ignore their reactions and find reasons to suggest I meet up with them later as I rushed for fresh air.

Took a friend I found several years later to first recognize that I was displaying the symptoms of going into anaphylactic shock to suggest I was having an allergic reaction. Shortly thereafter, a doctor confirmed my chemical allergies to industrial strength glues and adhesives.

Even after the diagnosis, I've had professional contractors tell me the "smell" (it's not a "smell", it's a physical reaction for one with these allergies) will go away, soon. True in some circumstances, not true in others. To this day there are still places I visit that were remodeled or constructed over ten years ago that I can't stay in unless I have one of my allergy tablets. Again, these folks weren't lying to me, they were (and are) just innocently ignorant of the implications of chemical allergies.

In summary, if your contractors assure you the work was done properly, find a compassionate doctor to discuss the possibility and treatment of chemical allergies. It will still be a pain in the back side to have to take medication, but oh so much better than feeling like you are going to drop on site! Good luck and healthy wishes!

By frances [1]02/06/2011

While the glue may be the culprit, I am concerned about the physical symptoms you describe. I would shut off your system and contact the company that installed it immediately. If this is making you sick, it is a serious matter.

By audi [2]02/06/2011

Since everything is new it is probably the glue in the duct work. It's a contact adhisive with anti fungal in it. It will go away over time. I asked hubby he is a ac guy and electrician.

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