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Jonsey5484 12-20-2010 02:09 PM

Central Air Duct - To Insulate or Not to Insulate?
Hi all,

I have been searching the internet high and low for an HVAC answer and have not been able to find any definate ones. I am hoping that someone here can help. Thanks in advance.

I am in the process of finishing my basement and I have to box in my beam and duct work. I have the beam and duct work framed in and was wondering about condensation. I live in SouthEast Wisconsin so we do not deal with a great amount of humidity, or at least that is long term.

Will framing in and drywalling over my duct and air return cause it to condensate?

The duct and air return are not insulated at all and never have created condensation. Of coarse, since this is a DIY project, everyone (mostly family) has an opinion on how it should be done. So far it is 2 to 1 not to wrap the duct. 2 have said that they never wrapped theirs and have not had a problem. Additionaly in my searches online I saw that wrapping your existing duct work that does not condensate may cause the reverse effect, fact or fiction I don't know (it's the internet).

I am leaning heavily towards leaving well enough alone and drywalling it in without insulation. And hope I am not tearing out drywall later.

Any educational insight on this would be much appriciated!!!

cnick 12-20-2010 02:34 PM

i service furnaces for a living and i have not seen a vent manifold or return air duct insulated unless it passes through a non heated part of the home such as an attached garage etc.
so my suggestion would be it's not necessary unless it falls into that criteria.

Jonsey5484 12-20-2010 02:43 PM

Thanks cnick. It does run the width of the house along the beam in the basement which currently has no heat. Like I said though, I have never noticed any condensation.

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