Fairly odd Central Air Question

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-18-17, 01:08 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 441
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Fairly odd Central Air Question

Hi all

So, last year, we used the (Lennox) central Air in our house without any perceived issue.

This year, something rather odd is happening. It smells almost like old ash from our fireplace is somehow getting in to the AC. When it runs, we get a sooty/old smokey smell throughout the house.

"you get used to it" after a few minutes, but it is annoying.

We did have a bunch of work done on our chimney (condenser is VERY close to chimney) last fall-- relined, rebuild chimney from roofline up for one side/flu. We have two flus, the one for the furnace had intact terra cotta liner, the fireplace flu was disintegrated--thats the side that was relined.

Any idea how to track this down? We havent had a fire in months. And the fireplace is cleaned out.
 
  #2  
Old 05-18-17, 01:16 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,761
Received 1,321 Votes on 1,221 Posts
The condensor is the unit outside. No air is exchanged from outside for this unit. The condensor fan just cools the compressor and condensor coil.

Any smell in the A/C system would have to be getting in the return side of the ductwork.
 
  #3  
Old 05-18-17, 01:35 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 441
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
that makes sense... But this smells almost like its pulling air from inside the chimney! very weird.
 
  #4  
Old 05-18-17, 01:39 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,761
Received 1,321 Votes on 1,221 Posts
Maybe it is.

Where is the air handler in reference to the chimney ?
There would have to be a smell of smoke where the leak in the chimney was.
 
  #5  
Old 05-18-17, 08:02 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 441
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I need to google what an air handler looks like, lol.
The furnace is in the basement, right in front of chimney
 
  #6  
Old 05-18-17, 08:36 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,761
Received 1,321 Votes on 1,221 Posts
Ok... you posted in the A/C forum which means just A/C.... no furnace.

Your furnace is your air handler. The blower inside is for both heating and cooling.
So if the furnace is right in front of the chimney then it could be picking up a smoke smell but for that to happen you'd need to be able to smell the smoke at that location also.
 
  #7  
Old 05-19-17, 07:18 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 441
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I think I am beginning to sort this out.

I had the HVAC guys move a return from below the window near the fireplace to the floor-- as I had a sectional couch being moved in and the chaise part would block the return.

The return is now very close to the fireplace. Even with the glass doors closed, I wonder if its pulling air down from the chimney and into the HVAC system. I may get a cap to see if it makes a difference.
 
  #8  
Old 05-19-17, 11:39 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,761
Received 1,321 Votes on 1,221 Posts
The return is now very close to the fireplace. Even with the glass doors closed, I wonder if its pulling air down from the chimney and into the HVAC system. I may get a cap to see if it makes a difference.
That sounds like the source of your smell.
 
  #9  
Old 05-19-17, 11:50 AM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 9,029
Received 75 Votes on 68 Posts
I have a similar problem. If I haven't cleaned out fireplace before I turn A/C on I get the ask smell. If I leave fireplace doors open. One of the return air vents is located in same room so air is drawn in through chimney and through room. Fireplace clean and doors closed no smell.
 
  #10  
Old 05-19-17, 11:59 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 441
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thought I posted the pic for this

 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: