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Old 2013-12-20, 12:48 AM
richyrich richyrich is offline
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Default Floor level air return near furnace

Seems I'm on an HVAC thread binge here... :-)

Next to my furnace is an air return duct that goes vertical almost to the floor and pulls in air. There's probably a proper name for this but I believe it is a code requirement of some sort?

Anyways, my question: since we moved in there was a piece of batten insulation sticking out of it, kind of blocking the end. Recently the HVAC company came around to fit a humidifier and asked "why did you do that - you shouldn't". My answer - "I didn't, I suspect your installer did"!

Anyways, anyone have any idea why the insulation would have been stuffed in there? Does it help the draw from the returns in rest of the house or otherwise help system performance? Seems like there must be a good reason someone bothered to do it??
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Old 2013-12-20, 05:57 AM
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good2know good2know is offline
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There was/is a rule that a return duct needed to be a minimum distance from the furnace - 10 ft maybe. The reason I believe was so that air flow into the duct didn't impact air flow out the chimney, or combustion air.

If this was in a small enclosed space, it could be a problem. Do your furnace and how water appliance have air sources from outside?

Suggest you ask the builder to move it. You want that to keep cold air off the floor.
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Old 2013-12-20, 06:52 AM
Halton Home Inspector Halton Home Inspector is offline
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Some people block basement returns in the summer because they want the first and second floor Returns to pull more air to the AC. However, using a chunk of fiberglass insulation is probably not the best material to do that.

Fact is, even in the summer you should not completely block that return because the AC also acts as a dehumidifier and it's a good idea to "condition" all the air in the home.

A properly installed "return" will have a "damper" in it to control airflow into the return.
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