Is Defective Sheetrock Damaging Your A/C and Heating System?

We are following a developing story that could have a major impact on owners of homes or buildings and their HVAC systems.  We’ll post a summary of major points (as they could affect AC and heating equipment) from news sites we have read. We also included links for those who what to read more, and will post more info as new reports come in.  Based on the potential magnitude of this story, and the fact that it surfaced much earlier this year, we find it odd that there have not been more stories in the national media on it.

Essential Points From Complaints and Reports

  1. Some types of drywall (also called sheetrock, wall board, gypsum board, etc.) imported from China and used in the U.S. during the recent real estate building boom are reported to be emitting gas or vapors that corrode metals in air conditioning, wiring, plumbing and more.
  2. Some report that the corrosion is enough to cause the A coils and other indoor components of HVAC systems to stop working.
  3. In addition to corrosion of metals, there are rotten egg smells and health complaints or concerns being associated with gases emitted from the drywall.
  4. There seems to be a connection in humidity and the frequency of complaints. It looks like humid air or moisture increases the reports of corrosion, perhaps by allowing the vapors to collect as an acid.
  5. Reports of the years the drywall was imported and used the U.S. varies. The earliest year we’ve read is 2001, but most reports say the shortage of U.S.  drywall and imports were higher starting in 2006.
  6. Estimates of the extent in the number homes and costs potentially involved vary wildly, but even the lowest estimates we have read are huge.
  7. There is already litigation in progress, and a number of agencies are studying the topic to verify the reports and determine the extent.

Recent Links to Complaints on Defective Chinese Drywall

Manufacturing.Net Oct 15, 2009

National Public Radio  Oct 27, 2009

News Release on PR Web from Chinese Drywall Center Oct. 27, 2009

Wall Street Journal Blog Oct. 27, 2009

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