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Old 07-14-2013, 11:33 PM   #1
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Replacing ductwork after a house fire

Hi all,

I had a house fire this past winter that led me to gut the house and start fresh with everything. One of my biggest concerns and home components is my hvac system. The fire mainly produced a lot of heavy smoke and soot, which damaged/ruined everything in the house. To give you a visual on the house layout...I have a one story ranch, roughly 1200 sq ft, with a full unfinished basement. My furnace is a Trane and is about 6 years old and all of the ductwork is original.

What I am looking to do is basically tear it down and replace it exactly the same way it was. The whole system is sheet metal and would replace it the same way. I am very handy and extremely resourceful when it comes to doing projects. Some of the questions I have are:

Has anyone here replaced there ductwork? If so, what kind of issues did you come across that would benefit me as a first timer?

Is this a project that I could do on my own, other than having an extra set of hands helping me? I would contract out having my furnace professionally cleaned and serviced.

Also, I am adding foam insulation to my entire house envelope and will be adding an air handler to help with the exchange of air.

Any and all questions, concerns and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 07-15-2013, 06:03 AM   #2
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A few pictures so the guys can see what you have and get an idea on how complicated your system is would be a big help.
In some cases some of the parts need to be custom made and a DIY is just not going to have the tools to make them.


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Old 07-15-2013, 06:39 AM   #3
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When the ductwork is installed in new construction, they start at the furnace and end up at the registers. I would remove the ductwork and wash them to get the smell out then reinstall them. Unless they got burnt. Start at the registers and work your way back to the furnace. The only thing you might need to buy is the Drive cleats that put the rectangle duck together.
You might be able to save the olds ones. Home Depot has those and they have the tools.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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If you are replacing the ductwork then I would contact a local tin shop. They would be able to make all of the ductwork for you and you can then put it together and hang it. I am sure they could also provide the drive cleats and any custom items you may need.

As far as your furnace, is it gas, oil or electric? The reason that I ask is because if it is gas you may have to overhaul the system because the gas valve was exposed to fire. With anything that generates intense heat like that, it can damage your safety controls and contactors and switches. Even if the unit appears fine there still could be problems. Any reason you aren't going to replace the furnace? If there was heavy smoke and soot damage to the house you may have odors from your existing furnace when it runs. If you have the money to do it, why not replace the entire system while you can afford to do it?
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:44 PM   #5
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Is your furnace a 80% efficient furnace that uses inside air for combustion, or a condensing furnace that uses outside air for combustion. If it uses inside air. You will need to provide a combustion air intake for it.

If your going to replace the duct work. before you do. Are there any rooms that didn't heat as well as you would have liked them to. If so, now is the time to fix the duct work problem.
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