Back to Home

Active Questions

What could this black soot be thats coming out of the air vents?
Diet & Health / 8:59 PM - Sunday February 01, 2009

what could this black soot be thats coming out of the air vents?

okay so my grandmother has a really old home, and the air vents are producing this black sooty residue. It has turned the metal vents completely black and around her ceiling too. Im worried its becoming harmfull for her health. any help? It would be greatly appreciated :)

- Asked by confusedabouthim, A Hip Hop Girl, Female, 22-25, Dallas, Who Cares?

Read more about the Rating System


You need to go to Home Depot and get a mold test kit,they are less than 8.00 and see if it's black mold.It can kill you and if the state finds out it is,they will condemn her home.Also check your Insurance papers and see if it's covered by her homeowners.They have a chemi they used for the Katrina homes in N.O.You may look online to see how to get your hands on some of it.She needs a purifier for now.Change all the filters and I'd even take some cheese cloth to put over the vents as well.If it's black mold,it can kill her.Let us know what you find okay?

- Response by beachy, A Trendsetter, Female, 36-45, Technical

Rating Received:


We had this once and the term they used was the furnace 'backfired" - get all of the filters replaced and get her heating system a tune-up. It can let out a big cough and ruin lots of her belongings with a heavier coat of black soot, and the gasses it is releasing could be unhealthy.

- Response by monana, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 56-65, Who Cares?

Rating Received:

Community Rating: Community Star

Have your heating plant checked out by a proffesional
its either an exhaust problem or incomplete combustion

- Response by vank356, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65, Technical

Rating Received:


that's not good.....basically the exhaust...residue from burnt gas or oil is venting into your house...you need to have someone look at it....it probably as a funny smell when the heat kicks on....

- Response by themamu, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


im guessing it is!
gas heat? maybe a way too old gas furnace.
electric heat? might be mold or ......couldnt tell ya, but that would be weird.

have a heater guy out there to check it out asap

- Response by teach123, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Teaching

Rating Received:


I would get a repairman in their pronto. There must be something within the heating system that is causing this exhaust. If it is causing the metal vents and ceiling to become black, it is doing the same to your grandmother's lungs. It may be a simple fix like new air filters, but I would call tomorrow.

- Response by zibet58, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Teaching

Rating Received:


Not sure hun .. However u said yourself could cause health problems and damage the home.. Id have it looked at if I was u . Better to be safe than sorry.

- Response by berri, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, New South Wales, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


This is very dangerous and should be inspected immediately. If there is no way for that to happen now. Get your grandmother to stay out of the house until it is inspected or the heat is not used at all.

- Response by bford7, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Financial / Banking

Rating Received:


This often happens with oil furnaces when they develop a crack in the system. If the system is oil, you may have a cracked heat exchanger. If it's gas or electric, it probably needs a tune up. Either way, it can be serious as the soot can be harmful to breathe and can damage furnishings.

- Response by chessplayer, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Administrative

Rating Received:


its dust and there is really no much u can do with it except clean it off. I get it around my vents in my apartment. I just wipe it off.

- Response by phenomenal1woman, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Chicago

Rating Received: