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Old 08-15-2008, 04:30 PM   #1
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


Here is a picture of the return air circuit. The air handler is right behind it on the other side of that wall. It is a straight shot but what would be the best way to go around the windbrace. All of the other duct work is done with the exception of this. Thanks.

Here is a pic of the air handler too. Do they sell the duct work almost ready to install?
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Last edited by twilightcall; 08-15-2008 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:43 PM   #2
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


Cut out the windbrace. Have you talked to the mechanical inspector yet? Just wondering if your showing a flex off the top of the furnace, or is there a short piece of metal duct there? Was also sort of curious about the wooden stand, where the return is.

Codes vary from location to location, in Michigan we are not allowed to flex a plenum, or use combustible material for a stand, or return duct. Flex duct is a wonderful material, when it is used properly. Excessive lengths of it restrict airflow, and create more problems than its worth.

Adding the drywall should eliminate the need for the windbrace.

Last edited by 8 Ball; 08-15-2008 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


Wow! This is not a good start to your install. That hole dosn't look anywhere near large enough for the return air on that system. Also the hold from the air handler side looks higher than the platform.

Do yourself a favor and get this done right by a pro. It will never work right as it is now.
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:12 AM   #4
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


The filter for the air handler is at the very bottom of the air handler not directly behind it. So that is why the air handler is raised. It is a 2 ton unit in a 900 sq ft house, how big should the return be?
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:24 PM   #5
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


8ball: Why are you recommending removing the wind brace? Seems to me a needed part of structure.
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


Windbraces, by definition provide lateral bracing to roof trusses. Open trusses require this support, once drywall, or gypsum board is added to both sides of the truss, and nailed properly, the drywall provides the support.

Lets keep in mind that it would be imposible for this gentlman to remove the entire brace, he will only be removing a small part of it. That wall will be stronger than originaly designed.

Granted... most discussion re. windbrace vs. drywall have focused on exterior wall construction, but I dont feel the I.C.C. will have a problem with this.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


What static pressure are you designing your system for? That would help me tell you how big the duct should be.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:59 AM   #8
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 Ball View Post
Windbraces, by definition provide lateral bracing to roof trusses. Open trusses require this support, once drywall, or gypsum board is added to both sides of the truss, and nailed properly, the drywall provides the support.

Lets keep in mind that it would be imposible for this gentlman to remove the entire brace, he will only be removing a small part of it. That wall will be stronger than originaly designed.

Granted... most discussion re. windbrace vs. drywall have focused on exterior wall construction, but I dont feel the I.C.C. will have a problem with this.
No offense intended 8 ball, but this is bad advice.

I would never advocate or allow removal of the windbrace. Yes, the sheetrock will lend rigidity to the wall system once installed, but the fastening requirement (length and spacing of fasteners) is much different in a shear wall than it is in standard drywall application. Many interior braced walls are screwed at 3" or 6" centers, which greatly exceeds the 8"/12" spacing of an average hanging job. Normally when diagonal wind bracing is installed, the sheetrock is not part of the system.

Furthermore, cutting part of the wind brace out completely removes its effectiveness. The idea of a diagonal wind brace is to transfer lateral loads in line with the wall from plate to plate, since the studs (and sheetrock) alone cannot satisfactorily do it alone. Cutting out a section of the brace absolutely interrupts the load path and destroys the brace's ability to function.

The framer may have added it out of habit, but he might also have added it because it is needed as part of the home's braced wall system. I wouldn't cut into it.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:38 PM   #9
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


THEKCTERMITE has a valid point. I would truly regret giving bad advice.

Call and ask you local inspector before cutting out any structural support.

I apologize.

Last edited by 8 Ball; 08-18-2008 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:58 AM   #10
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


keep in mind that that return setup can be a bit loud haveing a return box/platform setup so close.

Last edited by coolmen; 08-21-2008 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:29 AM   #11
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What is the best/easiest way to duct this return air?


You are going to need 150 SQ. IN of free area for your return to work properly. So if the hole in the wall with its bracing doesn't equal 150sq,in you will need to open up the hole.
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