How not to install a return air

This was one nasty mess the closet itself was part of the return chamber filter grill located at the top of the closet they tried to block off the door but air was bypassing filter at the bottom of the door. The closet was open into the wall allowing bypass from the attic and the crawl space both. the A-coil was more than likely matted with lint. I did not bother looking just wrote it up.

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Thought that was an outhouse .

Most outhouses are two holers:D:D

This has two holes. The urinal is in the upper left hand corner, 1st photo.:shock::smiley:

Good example of what research from the 1990’s showed as reported in HOME ENERGY magazine:

"20 to 40% of air moving through the air handler did not go to or return from the rooms it was designed/intended for"

This is a big inefficiency not addressed in many house energy retrofits.

I have inspected new out of the box furnaces that were installed on existing duct work the return air plenum on the upflow furnace was touching soil in the crawl and the bottom was missing or big holes installer did not bother to look. Same with downflow with the supply plenum in the crawl. Usually more problems found with the duct work than the units themselves

As I have mentioned before, in Dec/1989, I started and headed a new subsidiary corp for a mechanical design firm. It’s initial focus was IAQ and small commercial/industrial/institutional TAB (Test/Adjust/Balancing) of HVAC systems.

I bought a duct leakage tester from England through Davis Equipment/Instruments in Philadelphia (I believe). It’s barrel resembled a small cannon with a series of finely machined nozzles of declining diameter with exterior pressure taps…they could measure down to 1-2 cfm flow!! In one situation (seniors managed care home with newly installed windows) I used the smallest nozzle to do window air leakage testing after complaints from the old folks!!

Some of the better engineers were specing main trunk air leakage rates of 3-5% of total design flows…kept the subs on their toes doing good work!!

Some companies selling blower doors now have duct air leakage testers:

http://www.retrotec.com/residential/Products/DuctTestingSystems/ModelQ32.aspx

http://www.energyconservatory.com/applications/applications1.htm

People are to trusting when it comes to things they know nothing about. Automatically assuming that the contractor will do a perfect install. Even if a permit is pulled and a inspection by the AHJ was performed contractors know that AHJ’s do not enter crawl spaces and inspect duct on a retro fit. Some of the duct jobs I have observed are simply shameful.

That is why Handymen make a good living.

What a nice way to share the odor of wet coats with the rest of the house. :roll:

Not handymen I was talking about, licensed contractors doing this kind of crap ya know the ones that we refer to;-):wink:

Probably more like a drying rack smell goes away after the moisture evaporates;-):wink:

What about the unplugged gas valve?

Gary that was on my repair list also no gas lines allowed in the return unplugged or not. I was waiting for someone to comment no mention until now thanks

Let me take a guess at this install. Furnace was installed in the closet at some time in the past and some enterprising person decided it would be a great idea to move the furnace into the crawl space. And they shortly went out of business.

You would be correct in your assumption except they installed a package unit exterior to the foundation. A lot of gas pac’s sold here especially on reto fits due to lack of interior space. Makes the crawl space a night mare usually no room for the ducts which are normally lying on the ground.:roll::roll: