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Thread: "Return air"

  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default "Return air"

    This is a town home built in 06. There is an access panel in the garage which houses an air handler, supplied by AC refrigerant and hot water lines heated by an electric water heater. The return air space is simply using open framing of the home to draw return air. The framing passes through several walls, they are not using a joist cavity. The return air also intersects the utility room which houses the water heater (electric) at least it's not gas. I called this out for further evaluation because I just laughed when I removed the cover. Owners want to know why is incorrect. I wanted to get your thoughts.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: "Return air"

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    This is a town home built in 06. There is an access panel in the garage which houses an air handler, supplied by AC refrigerant and hot water lines heated by an electric water heater. The return air space is simply using open framing of the home to draw return air. The framing passes through several walls, they are not using a joist cavity. The return air also intersects the utility room which houses the water heater (electric) at least it's not gas. I called this out for further evaluation because I just laughed when I removed the cover. Owners want to know why is incorrect. I wanted to get your thoughts.
    Well for starters the return air is being drawn from all over the place. At the bottom of the opening you can see dark streaks from the air the is being sucked in from the garage. I'm sure that return chase is not sealed and it is sucking air from every little hole and opening.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: "Return air"

    I think someone posted the IRC sections for dedicated return air lines in another recent thread. Return air is under section 1602, depending on conditions you could probably cite, #1, 3,4,
    The bigger issues of course are the water leaks. That's a good amount of water leaking onto/into the wall. All that orange discoloration will turn black and moldy soon, get sucked into the air stream and possibly make occupants sick.
    Repair or replace unit and water lines, remove all contaminated drywall and replace, possibly repair or replace contaminated framing, remove and replace any contaminated insulation, etc, etc.
    See the dollar signs adding up. Good luck

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

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