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jodil

Return duct not connected to furnace

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Maybe this is a normal design but i have not seen it and wanted yalls feedback.. 1989 electric furnace in a tiny basement closet. Return on the left is not connected to the furnace, filter is located at hte bottom of the furnace.The entire house (including inside the electrical panel) has excessive dust everywhere and the furnace closet area was very dirty... The owners could just be pigs, I dont know... Any thoughts?

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Was their a cut out/access on the furnace(return) for that return duct? When the unit was running where was it drawing air from? The dust could be as a result of the air not being filtered prior to venting at the registers.

V/R

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Maybe this is a normal design but i have not seen it and wanted yalls feedback.. 1989 electric furnace in a tiny basement closet. Return on the left is not connected to the furnace, filter is located at hte bottom of the furnace.The entire house (including inside the electrical panel) has excessive dust everywhere and the furnace closet area was very dirty... The owners could just be pigs, I dont know... Any thoughts?

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That's the laziest, least expensive way to draw return air into a furnace, but there aren't any rules against it.

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No there is no cut out access. The bottom of the furnace is cut out and there is a filter installed at the very bottom. The furnace has legs to allow the bottom of the furnace to be elevated and draw air from the closet where the return ends. I shut the door (which is solid) and felt the suction from outside the closet. It just didnt look right to me.

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Jodi,

Do you have a copy of the IRC? Check section M1602.2 Return Air, it states that Outdoor and return air for a forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the following locations: 4. A closet, bathroom, toilet room, kitchen, garage, mechanical room, furnace room or other dwelling unit.

The unit in question is located in a closet and pulling return air from that location.

V/R

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And if you're gonna talk southern, you must learn that the correct spelling for y'all is y'all.

Not just that, but Ms. Jodi asked for "yalls" input. The correct spelling would be "y'all's." Or, this would be simpler: "All y'all please chime in on..."

WJ

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Jodi,

Do you have a copy of the IRC? Check section M1602.2 Return Air, it states that Outdoor and return air for a forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the following locations: 4. A closet, bathroom, toilet room, kitchen, garage, mechanical room, furnace room or other dwelling unit.

The unit in question is located in a closet and pulling return air from that location.

V/R

Except that there's an exception for those that don't need to be vented under M1801.1 - this is an electric unit.

Jodi,

The house is dusty partly because the return air system isn't hooked in. Instead of all that dust in other parts of the house getting sucked into the return air and then filtered out, it's just settling out everywhere. The way this is done, they're going to have pretty unbalanced heating in the home.

Someone did a DIY installation here when they replaced a furnace and didn't know how to properly fabricate and connect the return air duct when the inlet location was different from the previous furnace. It's a lazy man's way of doing things; there should have been a proper connector fabricated there so that they'd get properly balanced heating in that house.

I'd write that the return air plenum is missing from the left side of the furnace and that one needs to be installed even if that means having it fabricated by an HVAC tech.

Man, you sure seem to have more than your fair share of jackleg Daryl, Daryl and Daryl's up there.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hi Jodi,

I'm going to paste a comment I received via an Active Rain email from a fellow that kind of wore out his welcome here with the moderators a while back. I'm not entirely convinced you'll find it useful, and I don't necessarily agree with what he's saying (which (I think) is that the installation is fine the way it is), but he's allegedly in the HVAC trade, so I'll make the one post but that's going to be it. If you want to contact the guy go track him down over there please.

--------------------------------

Message details:

From: Energy Star

Email: noname@gmail.com

Subject: furnace with no return (Sent via Activerain)

Mike, That is perfectly fine.

*****The HVAC forum has a post about a furnace with no return. ****

I would also like to thank you for all the nice remarks you left for me. It would have been nice to still be a member. I could have been a positive contributor on the forum. I wish I had the opportunity to say my last words. But, instead I was cut off.

Have a nice night.

ps, be sure you share this info with all! I know I'm missed. ha ha , night

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike,

I was using the 2003 IRC but cannot find the exception under M1801.1. I referenced Chapter 16, Duct systems, return air(1602.1). I was thinking that since it was installed in a closet, that was part of the code. Is this section limited to gas furnaces?

V/R,

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Hi,

Robert, the exception is in M16 and says that those that don't require venting per M18 and M24 are exempt. That's what I was referring to.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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I'm still not clear about whether there's a grill in the closet wall or door. The thinking--if there's a means by which the furnace can draw return-air from the rest of the house--is that the closet functions pretty much as a trunk duct. Negative pressure almost instantly builds up in the closet, and then begins sucking air--again, if there's a grill--from the rest of the house.

If that describes Jodi's set-up, it's allowed, but still lazy and not very efficient. That's why Energy Star said the installation was okay.

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No.. again there is NO grill on the door and i didnt see a problem with that because of the electric furnace. And one of our biggest HVAC Co.s here installed this furnace, their install tag is still on the front. Yes, lots of shady workmanship up here. Makes for a very interesting learning experience...

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If the duct on the left side is the return duct, the room the a/h is in now is a "RETURN PLENUM". Every thing in the room must be plenum rated and the room should be sealed 100 percent. Cracks anywhere will let air in. The return air should only enter through the return duct. The dirt is in the house, the a/h only blows it around. FILTERS!

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