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Black sooty dust everywhere in house after new gas furnace installation

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Louise Mcclenathan says:

New Ducane gas furnace installed 12/7/08. Cost $2,315, experienced furnace installer. Next a.m., black sooty dust everywhere in house. Homeowner having trouble breathing, mouth dry every morning, despite room humidifier.

Furnace installer has come back 3 times and put filter paper under and behind each wall or floor heater. Homeowner (me) had ducts cleaned out 4 years ago, using oil furnace, then 40 years old.
Still fighting dust, and having breathing problems.

Nailed furnace installer and he admitted he hadn’t rolled the metal liner down from roof — stubbed in as much as he could from bassement level. Also, he never inspected chimney in attic before installation. I’m still waking up with headache, dry mouth, and breathing problems (have asthma, but only slight). House 82 years old. Never had problems with 45 year old oil furnace (Health-Air Victory Lo Boy Furnace – Cost $1,000 in 1963 to install! Blew up cool air from basement inb summer.

Can you help?
asked in Heating System by darekrudy (21,730 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi Louise

I’ll try, but without “touching” it, it’s a pure guess work. I don’ have any idea about your furnace installation an location (up-flow, down-flow, horizontal, attic, basement, crawlspace), but there are a few things that might be causing that soot / dust.

  1. If your new furnace has been installed in the same spot as the old one was, and the blower compartment is sitting directly on the floor, there might be a bottom closure plate missing (furnaces often come without it and installers forget to order and put one in – safety hazard). Without the plate, your furnace might be sucking everything from underneath and blowing it through the house.
  2. Your old oil furnace could have a lower speed blower, or simple weaker one. After duct cleaning, there was still plenty of loose dust particles on the duct walls, and stronger blower might be picking it up. Also, air ducts might be too small for the new furnace.
  3. One of your return air ducts might be open in some concealed space (attic, crawlspace)

I don’t think that this has anything to do with the chimney, unless its base (clean-out door) is open next to the open blower compartment… but make sure that the new liner is secured to the new furnace vent pipe, sealed at the top of the house brick chimney and you have a cap installed.
Let me know

answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)