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ponch37300 02-14-2009 04:56 PM

cold air return
I knocked out a wall that had 2 cold air returns in it, one on each side. I framed up a knee wall and need to replace the cold air returns. Don't have much experience doing heating. Can I put both returns in the same stud cavity? Also for the return I just cut the floor out and the drywall and put a peice of sheet metal to block off the top? Thanks for any help with this.

yuri 02-14-2009 05:31 PM

That works just fine.

beenthere 02-14-2009 05:39 PM

Using the same cavity for both returns, limits the amount of return you can draw from the rooms.

A single wall cavity, is seldom big enough for one room, let alone 2 rooms.

ponch37300 02-14-2009 05:53 PM

Is this just because the 3 1/2" x 14 1/2" whole going threw the floor doesn't let enough air flow threw it? Thanks for your help

beenthere 02-14-2009 07:11 PM


It can only handle x amount of air.

ponch37300 02-15-2009 06:49 PM

Alright, I am putting the returns in 2 different stud bays. This is in a knee wall that is 2x6 framing. I couldn't find any metal plates made for "caping" off the stud bays above the returns. So can I just use a piece of 2x6 for the top? Also when I cut the bottom plate out do I just cut the whole thing from stud to stud out? Thanks for your help

beenthere 02-15-2009 07:08 PM

A 2x6 plate is fine.
Make sure you caulk around it, to make sure its air tight.

NO. DO NOT cut the whole 2 x 6.
But, if you do, by accident. Use a framing plate to rebrace it.

ponch37300 02-15-2009 07:42 PM

Beenthere, Thanks for the help. What is the best way to cut the bottom plate and how much should I cut out? Most of the returns I've seen in 2x4 walls have had the whole bottem plate cut out in between the studs. Thanks

beenthere 02-15-2009 09:49 PM

I sawzall them.

In the old days, we cut them out completely.
Not really allowed by code anymore.
Some places make us use a braze plate, no matter what when we cut a return through the cavity.

I try to leave a " on the 2 x 6, and an inch at the ends.

ponch37300 02-15-2009 09:55 PM

Thanks for all the help Beenthere.

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