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Dehumidifier

AGS

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They didn’t show up today but hopefully tomorrow. Another thing that somehow I didn’t even think of until now, but even besides mold issues I have reptiles that need lower humidity than what it’s currently at. I don’t know how I didn’t think of it but I guess because I’m not used to needing to pay much attention to it since the normal room humidity is usually good for them.
 

flyzipper

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What level has the humidity settled into now that you've been tracking it for a little while?
Have you also been watching the outdoor humidity to see how correlated it might be?
Have you noticed any difference when being diligent with the use of your kitchen/bathroom fans?
 

AGS

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It’s been even higher. Like anywhere from 64-67%. Last night I ran the heat and it went up to 75% before dropping to 68%.

The outdoor humidity is higher because it’s been raining. I just checked and currently its 82%. The first time it rained is when I noticed the increase however there were a few days where it didn’t rain and the outdoor humidity was in the 30’s but it didn’t get any lower in my apartment.

There doesn’t seem to be any difference in the humidity with the fans. I kind of wonder if the kitchen one even works because I don’t really feel any air flow and the humidity always increases after cooking or washing the dishes. It will go down if I open the windows but then as soon as they’re closed it just goes back up.
 

AGS

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So they said they need to clean the AC coils? I’m not familiar with that but is that something I should take Widget outside for or can he stay in here?
 

flyzipper

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It's typical to use compressed air, clean rags, and a vacuum to pick up whatever is loosened during cleaning, so that should pose no risk.

You should verify whether they'll be using any cleaning solution during the process though.

The AC coils are inside the air handler of your HVAC system, so air will be blown over the coils even when you're just using the system for heating. If you can smell a cleaning product while they're working, I'd open the windows and take Widget outside, If you turn on the fan/heat and can smell a cleaning product (if used), I'd keep Widget outside while the fan runs with some ventilation windows open until you can no longer smell anything.

Here's a visual of what's going on...


I trust it needs to be cleaned if they're saying it does, but I'm curious to see if the cleaning has a positive effect on your humidity issue, because it doesn't strike me as particularly relevant unless AC is being used.
 

flyzipper

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It’s just scaring me because of potential mold growth.
Back to this core worry with elevated humidity, I found this today...


$199 for a test kit and potentially some piece of mind?
 
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AGS

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Thanks! Yeah I’m not really sure how it relates. He did also say I should open the windows and run the fan for the HVAC (but without the AC/heat) for 20-30 minutes a day. The humidity has been lower today, about 59%. The heat has been running most days, it’s been 29°F at the lowest at night and highs only in the 50’s.

I’ll look into the test kits. I really hate mold. Something like that would have been useful a few years back, I always swore I could smell mold in my room but no one else could smell it. I looked for it but couldn’t find anything. Then when we moved I found it growing on the baseboards in the closet behind my stuff. Luckily Widget didn’t get sick.
 

Pat H

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@Pat H I think it’s really nice here. I recently moved to Tucson from Phoenix and compared to Phoenix there is so much wildlife here. It’s very quiet which I think is peaceful. No extreme weather. Phoenix has a lot more stuff to do but Tucson has a lot more hiking opportunities/other nature activities.
@AGS-- Sorry I took so long to get back to you on this.. [must have been taking an AA vacation :) ]..
I am interested in the area East of Tucson. I read that Tucson is actually cooler than Phoenix. My hubby and I are actually more interested in doing the nature activities. I like people, but prefer the peace and quiet solitude instead of hectic crowds. Other than food shopping, and the occasional thrift store we don't get into the city much.
Want this move to be our last! And DON'T want the city crowding in on us. Want to have room for my projects; being outdoors; baking; reading...
ANY thoughts from you are greatly appreciated!!! THANK YOU.
 

Pat H

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Back to this core worry with elevated humidity, I found this today...


$199 for a test kit and potentially some piece of mind?
@AGS and @flyzipper -- I would think this would be the responsibility of the apartment owners/ managers. Would one contiguous area suffice, or would each apartment need their own? Interesting posts you guys have..
 

AGS

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So that was a disaster. First they kept delaying coming out. The first time I had to take time off work since they said they couldn’t come by after i got off work. But then called to reschedule. So they finally came by on Thursday and cleaned it, no chemicals or anything. But this morning I just ran the heat for the first time since they cleaned it (I did already run it before that). The first time it had that burning dust smell again.

Then the third time it ran it smelled like fire/smoke. Like a campfire. So I shut it off. Now I guess I have to call them as an emergency because it’s getting cold and we won’t have any heat. But honestly even if they can fix it i don’t think I’d feel safe running it overnight if it can catch on fire considering they broke it to begin with. So I don’t know what to do because it’s too cold for Widget to not have the heat on. And the scary thing is it was cold last night and I almost got up to turn the heat on but fell back asleep before I could. If I had turned it on there could have been a fire while I was asleep.

@Pat H Yes Tucson is definitely cooler and also gets more rain. If you love outdoors this is definitely the place.
 

AGS

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Update. I called emergency maintenance and specifically said this was a different burning smell than the dust burning off. They brushed it off and said I need to turn the heat on at full blast to burn the smell away. They said it was because of the chemicals used when cleaning. Except they didn’t use chemicals and I made sure of it.

I don’t know if this was a dumb decision but I took Widget outside in his carrier and did what they said. Well the apartment filled with smoke so I called 911. They cut the power to everything and said there’s an electrical issue but it’s safe to go inside except for the smell for Widget. I have 3 fans going pointed towards the open windows and the air purifier on the highest setting. But it’s taking a long time for the smell to go away. My brother said he can come get me and the animals but he lives 1.5 hours away and he has birds himself and Widget has chronic giardia.
 

flyzipper

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I'm sorry that getting this resolved is proving to be such an issue for you.
3 fans going pointed towards the open windows
Depending on wind direction (if any) try to work with that natural breeze -- use fan direction to enhance it.

You'll want at least one of your fans blowing in, to help draw in fresh air.

Don't forget your kitchen and bathroom fans too.

Fresh air ventilation is about creating a pressure differential and your kitchen and bath fans should help with that -- as they exhaust air out, it decreases pressure inside your home and to maintain/restore the pressure equilibrium, make-up air will be drawn in via your open windows (path of least resistance actually).
 

AGS

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After all this that should have been my first thought but I’m just overwhelmed. I’ll go do that now. That’s not tied to the HVAC at all though right? I know Im not supposed to run that, although I also don’t think it’s possible since they said they disconnected everything.
 

AGS

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I’m still coming down from that panicky feeling and Widget is too. They literally could have killed my pets with that advice. I don’t even know why I listened. I mean I took Widget outside of course but if it had turned into a fire that still could have been bad and we would have had to find somewhere else to stay. Still no word from the front office, they might be closed for New Years.
 

flyzipper

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You've got this, and you're doing right by Widget and yourself.
That’s not tied to the HVAC at all though right?
In most cases, it would be extremely unlikely for the kitchen and bath fans to be tied into your HVAC system.
 

AGS

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Well I’ll try because I think if they are they probably won’t even turn on.

Widget is a brave bird, way braver than I am lol. I think if he couldn’t tell something was up he may even like going outside with his new carrier. He seemed okay until the fire truck showed up and was quite noisy.
 

AGS

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So this is also fun. I honestly don’t know what to do. I don’t even blame the maintenance guys themselves because there’s no way someone can be expected to be an expert in 73839 types of household repairs. But I can’t trust them to fix the AC unit and I don’t know that they know how to clean this either. If they don’t fix the HVAC properly it could catch fire while I’m sleeping. Even if there are no issues I’m never going to sleep properly with that fear every night. I’ll probably have to take Widget outside when they do that because if they test it and the place fills with smoke again. But it’s getting too cold to just sit outside with him for hours and Airbnbs/hotels are hundreds of dollars now. Then for the mold he will also have to be outside but if they don’t clean it professionally that will be floating in the air for who knows how long. And this is all assuming Widget’s not already sick. I don’t know if he can survive that and I can’t survive losing him.

Do you think the AC/heating issue and the mold/humidity are enough to be asked to move into a different unit?
99D97B57-9016-4475-8CCA-83A853D15A65.jpeg
 

Pat H

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I think you could/ should request to be moved-- they pay the costs or supply the labor from their staff. [keep track of your valuables].
AND they should pay your hotel until the problem is solved! Might want to check your rental contract, or w/ a lawyer..
I feel for you!
 

AGS

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Unfortunately they won’t do any of that. In my renters insurance it covers about $25 a day which wont help at all for a hotel. They wouldn’t even let us stay in an empty unit so we sat outside. They fixed the AC/heater but I still haven’t used it. It’s not cold, it’s actually pretty warm and I may test out the AC tomorrow.

@flyzipper Sorry to bother but what do you think about the safety of this one? It says semiconductor refrigeration technology. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09GFGSX87/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A2UFJNJ76O6J9X&psc=1

I know it’s very cheap but it has decent(sort of) reviews? I’m not expecting a miracle from it but even if it just went into the 50’s. Mainly I just want to know about safety because as far as efficiency it would be easy to return if it doesn’t work. If it does work it would also be affordable to get 2, for my room and the other space.
 

flyzipper

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Sorry to bother but what do you think about the safety of this one?
No bother, but I'll check tomorrow when it's not so late here.
 
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