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Old 01-08-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
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Air Return Vents?


I'm in the process of attempting to add an air return at the central point of the upstairs of my house. Due to the open concept, their is only one non-perimeter wall that extends from the basement to the upstairs. I'm building a return through the joists of that wall. The problem is, the wall is only 1 and 1/2 inches thick as seen here:



What I'm trying to figure out is how to connect the exit in the basement to the return vent. Here is is the joist outline on the below ceiling where I can cut and connect a vent:



Here is the space between that point and the return. I don't think I can cut through that big board.



What can I use to connect this properly?

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Old 01-09-2011, 07:51 AM   #2
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Air Return Vents?


You would have to get a sheet metal duct built that would be open with flanges that connect to the "box" that is formed by the joists, and the 2x6's between them. This duct would basically be something that you could have a local sheet metal guy come in and measure and then build. As for the space in the wall, I would just place the cold air return on the floor, which is how mine is, since it is a older home that originally had a Octopus Furnace in it.

BTW, why is that wall only 1x2? Was this added in by the orig. homeowner? Structurally, it would not be sound, compared to a 2x4 wall.

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Old 01-09-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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Air Return Vents?


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You would have to get a sheet metal duct built that would be open with flanges that connect to the "box" that is formed by the joists, and the 2x6's between them. This duct would basically be something that you could have a local sheet metal guy come in and measure and then build. As for the space in the wall, I would just place the cold air return on the floor, which is how mine is, since it is a older home that originally had a Octopus Furnace in it.

BTW, why is that wall only 1x2? Was this added in by the orig. homeowner? Structurally, it would not be sound, compared to a 2x4 wall.
It was added by the original home owner yes. I think it is more of a filler wall. The whole wall is really two walls in one. The first wall is double the width and much older. I think during a reno they added this to partition to enlarge the kitchen.

As for the basement. I've been 'thinking' of maybe sheet metaling that one joist down there off, then cutting a hole for something like this http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/s...k=P_PartNumber which I could use a flexi duct to connect to the other return? How much does it typically cost for having a sheet metal guy come measure and build what I need as you suggested?

Why put the return on the floor? The issue is the upstairs is extremely hot in the summer due to heat rising and having no where to go. I figure at the top would suck down the most hot air to reheat and allow the rooms upstairs to fill up with cold air.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:19 PM   #4
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Air Return Vents?


Once you cut through to the basement, use sheetmetal or aluminum to cover the joist, tap into the bottom with one or two 5" elbows to 5" round ducting, then run the round over to the rectangular return duct and tap the rounds into the side of the rectangular. Much more cost efficient and will accomplish the same thing.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:37 PM   #5
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Air Return Vents?


I was trying to think of the same way, but it came out as I had typed it.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:41 PM   #6
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Air Return Vents?


Whether it is on the floor, or on the wall, it is really your choice. How many Cold Air returns are there upstairs now? I have a 850sqft Bungalow, and we have one in the far corner of the Living Room, and one in the far hallway corner by my son's room, and both together are more than sufficient for our place, since it was a retro from having the old "Octopus" furnace. They measure around 2 ft x 18 inches for our's.

As for the wall, you could probably drop it later on. As for both walls together for the cold air return, what is on the other side that you want to put the hole in the wall for the return? If nothing in that joist bay & between the studs on the other wall, you may be able to use the deeper space for the return.

Last edited by gregzoll; 01-09-2011 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:01 AM   #7
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Air Return Vents?


Thanks for the advice.

The upstairs gets REALLY hot during the summer. The hot air just festers up there, where the basement is freezing, and the main floor is chilly->comfortable. I've tolerated it, but my first baby is arriving in the summer and will be sleeping up there. There are currently zero returns, and I can only find one on the main floor. My house is a small two and a half story (1700sq feet including the basement, which is finished).

The other side of the wall is the stairs, on every floor, so there really isn't room besides what is here. I've decided to run the duct up two joists. I still haven't decided how to run the ducts in the basement yet though. Home depot is annoying in that it doesn't even carry flat sheet metal. :|

Last edited by ExpFist; 01-14-2011 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:22 AM   #8
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Air Return Vents?


Run the return in the basement in 7" round. Will just need to go under the blocking. And then back up inside the joist space.

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