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Fiberglass in return air


exploreparadise2
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The photos below are of the inside of a sheet metal return air plenum in a one-year-old house. It's a common practice here to insulate the interior of air returns with paper-faced fiberglass when they pass through the unconditioned space of a garage.

This example shows more uncovered insulation than most. I'm interested in how, or if, the readers would report this. I don't like it, but if the furnace filter does its job, fiberglass particles shouldn't be spread through the house.

Thanks,

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I would state that the insulation is damaged and fiberglass particles will be entering the air system and that professional cleaning and repairs to the system will be required to prevent future occurrences. Not every particle gets caught by the filter and you don't want anything to do with the ones that get through.

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That's pretty much what the edges of the sound deadening insulation looks like in just about every return air plenum that I've looked into for the past 13 years. All of the big scientific honchos agree, fiberglass is an element that bio degrades in the human body and it is not harmful to humans beyond minor irritation. I can remember one memorable series of inspections where the guy's wife would have me go into the attic and crawlspace first to see if there was any fiberglass insulation in the home. She swore up and down that she was hyper-sensitive to it and that it makes her sick. She even had a copy of Jeff Mayes book that she brought along to the inspections. As soon as she discovered that there was fiberglass in the attic or crawlspace, the inspection was stopped, she handed over a check and away I went.

She finally bought a house that had the attic insulated with cells and was uninsulated in the walls or under the floors. The return air plenum for that forced air system had sound deadening insulation that was in about the same condition as your photo. So far, it's been about 8 years. I drive by that house several times a week and they still live there. Guess she isn't as sensitive to insulation as she thought she was.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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During my years as a superintendent, the spec book on every project (i guess it was standards practice) included a statement something like this "the leading edge of all insulation inside duct work shall have a nosing".

The nosing is installed to prevent the insulation from damage.

Can the existing be removed and the ducts be externally wrapped now?

Can the filer be installed further downstream (is this a central return?)

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