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Return Air


Mark P
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This is the view of a return air duct in new construction. There are 2x4 on two sides, drywall on one side and fiberglass batt insulation on another. This is an interior wall so I’m not sure why it is insulated. The chase runs from the 2nd floor down to the basement. My gut feeling is I don’t like it because of the fiberglass, but the more I think about it, considering there is a filter that would catch any fiberglass fibers; I can’t say it is wrong. I thought is should be lined…

My question is what are the industry standards for return air? What is your opinion on this? Would you write it up?

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What about the constricted air flow caused by the batt bulging outward(or is it bulging inward)?

I once had an employee who read a warning label and said something like, "Fiberglass insulation has been proven to cause cancer in the state of California. It's a good thing we're installing this stuff in Kentucky instead of California."

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Call it, Randy,

Quadrant just settled a big class action over in Issaguah. The HVAC guy had forgotten to install supply ducts over some garage ceilings that were the insulated floors of the house above. After a few years of nasal discomfort, someone figured out what was going on and a bunch of homeowners hired a lawyer. Quadrant had to buy back 15 of those houses and repair the rest. Myself and another local inspector got hired by Quadrant to reinspect all 15 of those homes before they were put back up for sale.

You don't want to be that guy.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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OK,

I made a mistake; it was Mark that made the initial post, not you, Randy.

The houses at Snoqualmie Ridge had registers and boots at one end of the joist bay and the supply stubout from the plenum at the other with nothing in-between. Air was pushing through that insulation and pushing fiberglass particles into those houses for years. The occupants were experiencing nasal discomfort, itchy eyes, etc.. When they finally discovered that for years they'd been breathing air laced with fiberglass particles, harmless or not, they were po'd about it, got a lawyer and sued. Quadrant fixed most of them but some homeowners opted to get out of those houses and Quadrant bought them back.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Thanks all.

I could find nothing in the IRC or anyplace else, so I made the following comment in my report.

"The return air chase from the 2nd floor hallway down to the basement has fiberglass insulation on one side. This is not a typical building practice and I don’t know why it was done, unless it is for noise dampening? This is an interior wall so insulation is not necessary. My concern is that the air moving through the chase will pull fiberglass particles into the house, which could aggregate nasal passages, cause itchy eyes, etc. Since the insulation is not needed have it removed. This is strictly my opinion and I cannot provide any supporting sources."

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Hi Mark,

I sincerely hope that you didn't put "aggregate" nasal passages in the report. I'm sure you meant to type aggravate. However, if you did intentionally type aggregate, please send me a photo of what someone looks like after their nasal passages have been aggregated. [;)]

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Originally posted by AHIS

Uh, yea I meant to type it that way...

God! You guys are like worse then my wife - nag nag nag.

"Yes, Dear I'll fix it"

Hey, Mike went to the trouble of pointing out the difference between the noun "aggregate" (as in little rocks) and the verb "aggravate," (as in annoy). And he didn't even mention the change of verb tense in sentence 2, along with turning a statement into a question.

Alas, the invention of quill and ink created a world in which even the punctuation marks matter.

Grammar lessons and nagging aside, I wonder if taking out the fiberglass might turn out to be a semi-big deal. It's like asbestos, in that disturbing it can make things worse...

WJ

Hi Walter,

I appreciate Mike's editing and input - that was just my attempt at humor.

Regarding removing the insulation - it is brand new construction and no one is living there. I think removing it would do nothing more then was done when it was put in a few months ago.

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