Odor from Neighbours Unit travelling through vents

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Posted by: from
1/12/2011 at 4:05:36 PM

I live in a semi-detached home and have an issue when the neighbor is cooking the odor is coming into my house through the kitchen vents and upstaris in the washroom vent and return air vents. What could be done to solve this? I called the builder and home warranty and they say they cannot do anything about this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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Glenn in Scarborough
Date/Time1/13/2011 at 11:57:58 PM

Does this happen only when your HVAC system is on? If so, it is very likely that your system is starving for air, so first you would need to determine that you do have enough return air (RA) for your home.

2nd, take a closer look at the RA ductwork. If your RA opening is against a shared wall or if the joist lining goes right up to the shared wall then it is more than likely not sealed there, and that would allow your system to suck air from the neighbor even through the tiniest crack in the wall. If your basement is not finished this will be very easy to see. Any of these items can usually be fixed easy enough.

If the odor is coming through all the time, even when your system is off, then it will be harder to narrow down. One thing you might try is to leave your furnace fan on for a few days and see if that helps.

Feel free to call if I can help with any duct or HVAC issues.

Glenn at City Duct Cleaning Inc. (416) 293-1800.

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Yasser in North York
Date/Time12/13/2011 at 1:13:04 PM


I live in North York too .. and I have the exact same problem. We just bought and moved into this semi detached home 2 weeks ago. Food smell from next door is coming in to our house through the heating vent and through the vent above the stove top. Its getting into my head and I smell that everywhere I go.

I spoke to my neighbor and he said he never had this complaint before.

The furnace was renewed 4 years ago -- it is a mid-efficient model.

What do you say?



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