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Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

  1. #1

    Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?


    Ok this is the weirdest thing we have experienced.
    On the second floor of our house and specifically our sonís room we seem to all react to something the last month or so.
    My wife feels like she has dry throat. I sneeze and cough and our son is coughing like crazy.
    This is legit happening at his room. We have noticed it the last month. Could have been going on longer.
    We go downstairs and feel fine. We leave the house and we fine. But within minutes of entering his room we both are coughing a lot.
    We havenít painted the room. We havenít changed anything in it in a while. Our room is across the hall, 6 ft door to door and nothing like that. Full bathroom between the two rooms.

    What can we be possibly chasing here? Allergies? Bad quality of air? Some sort of animal maybe has gone in our roof on his side? I legit canít make any sense out of this.

    We have aired the room by opening windows numerous days. I just bought an air purifier to see if it will do anything also (to be delivered tomorrow).

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  2. #2
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    I know nothing of your house. This is a complete guess.
    I'd start by looking for ways of water infiltrating the space.

    Look at the roof.
    Look at the bathroom in between.
    Look at windows.

    Look at anywhere water might be getting into the spaces that make up the walls. Water doesn't have to be visible in the room to be leaking into the walls and causing problems.
    I'm clearly looking for mold problems, but as I said, it's a complete guess. I know there are some mold test kits, but I don't have any idea as to how reliable they are or how well they work.

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  3. #3
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    What’s your heat/AC? If it’s central air, check the ducting. Remove the vent covers, look into the ducts with a mirror and flashlight.

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  4. #4
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    You can get an air quality test kit at home Depot or Lowe's that'll confirm or rule out mold and other natural particles.
    Also, I know my sister had an allergic reaction to certain baby supplies that were scented.

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  5. #5

    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattR302 View Post
    What’s your heat/AC? If it’s central air, check the ducting. Remove the vent covers, look into the ducts with a mirror and flashlight.
    Baseboard heat / window AC so I have ruled this out

    I’ll order one of the air quality test kits.
    I was thinking mold also.

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  6. #6
    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Mold, rodent crap, dust mites, pet dander are a few things that come to my mind.

    Is there evidence of water intrusion anywhere? Roof runoff, damaged shingles, pooling, etc.

    Any critters living in the attic ever?

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  7. #7

    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    Mold, rodent crap, dust mites, pet dander are a few things that come to my mind.

    Is there evidence of water intrusion anywhere? Roof runoff, damaged shingles, pooling, etc.

    Any critters living in the attic ever?
    guessing no on all these but I could be wrong.

    Order a mold/air quality kit...

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  8. #8
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    interimly a HEPE air filter/ purifier could help.
    I'd check all the crevices of the room. all pile of clothes that havent been touched. ( mold milder can grow in between the clothes.)
    Probably launder all the clothes/ bedding as well

    crawl up in the crawl space as well, check the windowsills/ caulking, even check the wax ring under the toilet in the bathroom ( could leak water)

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    hmmmm......

  9. #9

    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Ok so I have a thermometer and humidity meter in the room. Humidity is usually 30-40%
    We also have been using an electric oil radiator in the room for him.
    What I noticed yesterday for the first time is I felt the air too dry. Humidity was showing 34%
    So I shut it off. He slept fine with no cough at all. Wife said the other night when it was warm and we didn’t turn it on he also slept all night with no cough.
    Not sure if I’m making shit up in my head but that is the only factor that has changed that I caught on to.
    Still doing the mold / air quality DIY tests

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    interimly a HEPE air filter/ purifier could help.
    I'd check all the crevices of the room. all pile of clothes that havent been touched. ( mold milder can grow in between the clothes.)
    Probably launder all the clothes/ bedding as well

    crawl up in the crawl space as well, check the windowsills/ caulking, even check the wax ring under the toilet in the bathroom ( could leak water)
    Have one of the small ones. Didn’t seem to do anything.

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  10. #10
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    For many years we had to run humidifiers in the kids rooms during the winter months due to many of the symptoms you mention.

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  11. #11
    Lifer snwbrdr435's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    I think you may have figured it out. Humidity can play a huge factor on respiratory issues on both sides of the spectrum of it being too high or low.

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  12. #12

    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    I’ll take low humidity over mold any day - let’s see how tonight goes

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  13. #13
    Lifer LuvDog's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    That’s really low for humidity.

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  14. #14
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    For many years we had to run humidifiers in the kids rooms during the winter months due to many of the symptoms you mention.
    Quote Originally Posted by snwbrdr435 View Post
    I think you may have figured it out. Humidity can play a huge factor on respiratory issues on both sides of the spectrum of it being too high or low.
    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    I’ll take low humidity over mold any day - let’s see how tonight goes
    We were chasing demons with my middle daughter for a couple years (winters, really). It got to the point where they were going to insert one of those drain tubes in her headbone to help drain fluids & shit. At our appointment just before with the ears, nose & throat specialist just before the procedure, the very first two questions they asked were how we heat our home and do we run humidifiers. Once we got past that, they wanted us to try a humidifier in her room. Nothing fancy, no additives - just a plain old cool mist humidifier. After two years of chasing that shit, she cleared up after literally a few days with it in her room.

    Fast forward to the youngest (they're about 6 years apart). A few years in a row he'd get a nasty case of Croup Cough. Totally forgot about the humidifier thing. Sure as shit, at his annual that forth year, his physician asked the same questions about heating & humidifiers. Yup, dug it out & filled it and ran it religiously. Never had the problem again.

    Now as soon as we fire up the woodstove, we break out the humidifiers. We have appropriate sized ones in the bedrooms & main living room. The biggest bitch is trying to find filters after the units have been on the shelves for five years or so.

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  15. #15
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Anne's been having issues that she thinks is something in the air, my fear is a cracked heat exchanger in the oil furnace, it is 36 years old, but our smoke/CO detectors only go off when I cook. I'm not having the issues, but I use a CPAP, so I breath thru a HEPA filter when I sleep

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  16. #16
    Member PurplePackage's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    If you ask a pulmonologist, they will tell you that there are 4 parts to healthy air:

    oxygen
    humidity
    particles/pollution (pet junk, plant junk/pollen, mold, and dust)
    radiation

    I assume you don't live on the top of mountain and have decent oxygen supply.
    Humidity can be monitored with both Realtime and historical data. Find out how low the lows get, how high the highs get, and when and what causes them. You want 50% for sleeping but some can get away with +-20% and be fine.
    Particles are hard to check, but you can do a before and after with a HEPA filter: After running it for a few days determine the filter's reduction in flow.
    The easiest thing to check for is radon, and you should check for radon if you want to live a long life.

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  17. #17
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Quote Originally Posted by LuvDog View Post
    Thatís really low for humidity.
    Ha. We are routinely sub 10% humidity here. No health issues, but my acoustic guitars suffer without humidifiers.

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  18. #18
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Quote Originally Posted by gixxer72 View Post
    Ha. We are routinely sub 10% humidity here. No health issues, but my acoustic guitars suffer without humidifiers.
    Holy shit! My skin would be falling off my hands in that environment.

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  19. #19
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    Holy shit! My skin would be falling off my hands in that environment.
    I drink approximately a gallon of water per day, way more than I ever did in New England. Its a bit overcast today, so humidity is up to 14% at 90 degrees. Super dry!

    On the upside, nothing is ever moldy.

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  20. #20
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify issue with air quality or similar?

    Quote Originally Posted by gixxer72 View Post
    I drink approximately a gallon of water per day, way more than I ever did in New England. Its a bit overcast today, so humidity is up to 14% at 90 degrees. Super dry!

    On the upside, nothing is ever moldy.
    Always found it interesting when hiking out there the sweat would just evaporate instantly and leave a salt layer. Never got that soaked feeling.

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