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Minich 03-12-2012 10:06 PM

DIY disaster, or totally normal?
I'm peeling up 1x boards in my unconditioned attic (3rd story of a 1921 Foursquare) to add insulation. In the process, I found what appeared to be metal ductwork in one spot, spanning two rafters for maybe 6 feet- which I found surprising because I know this house pretty well now, and there are no vents in that area, and only one return several feet below the finished ceiling (2nd story) below.

Here's what I discovered:
The air return previously was lower. This is clear because I looked into the return shaft and the metal ductwork heading to the basement disappears about 3 feet lower than where the return is now. The ductwork "extension" is just the wall cavity. The cavity extends all the way to the attic.

What's MORE puzzling is that the air vent that runs in the wall cavity next to the return has ALSO been extended, up to the attic: and someone went to great pains to cut large 2" holes marching down the center of a rafter so that air could travel from the vent line to the return line.

This is stupid, right? Or is there something I'm missing? I'm planning on blocking both cavities to prevent this circulation, unless someone tells me there's a reason for it.

Minich 03-12-2012 10:10 PM

I might have been a little confusing: the actual vent and return registers are in the 2nd-story level, and the attic where I found the top of this mess is the 3rd floor. I opened up the metal with aviation snips because I started to have serious doubts about why it was there- which is how I can describe what was within the upper ductwork.

plummen 03-12-2012 11:01 PM

Pictures? :)

Minich 03-13-2012 08:39 AM

I would if I could. I was using a mirror and flashlight. Only have my camera phone and it was a blurry mess.

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