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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    1

    HVAC Return in wall

    I have a mostly commercial industrial background, but have installed a few full systems in residential applications. We are currently bidding on installing new HVAC system as retrofit. The home is 2 story, and the first floor system air handler will be installed under house in crawl. Other contractors have recommended to the customer that the return be installed inside the wall. I honestly don't understand how this can be done without compromising the integrity of the wall and or structure. Do you drill holes in board at bottom of wall, or cut the whole board and them re-support? I honestly would have thought installing the return in the floor would be better. Any experienced suggestions would be great, Thanks to all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    N.E. Ok.
    Posts
    1,371
    You are right it's a bad idea.
    Maybe they have a cavity under the stairs that you can penetrate and put the proper sized return pipe and grill on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Edna Bay, Alaska Highest concentration of black bears in the US
    Posts
    623
    If you do it this way, cut out the plate and the sheeting. Cut and head one stud if needed and trim with plaster ground. At least thats the way I used to do it when I still did install.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,744
    Quote Originally Posted by RVAHVACnerd View Post
    I have a mostly commercial industrial background, but have installed a few full systems in residential applications. We are currently bidding on installing new HVAC system as retrofit. The home is 2 story, and the first floor system air handler will be installed under house in crawl. Other contractors have recommended to the customer that the return be installed inside the wall. I honestly don't understand how this can be done without compromising the integrity of the wall and or structure. Do you drill holes in board at bottom of wall, or cut the whole board and them re-support? I honestly would have thought installing the return in the floor would be better. Any experienced suggestions would be great, Thanks to all!
    Right. By putting the return "in the wall" we incorperate a filter grille so the HO doesn't need to go below to change the filters.

    They will lose some room in a closet, or as mentioned, under the stairs is also a good place.

    I've done it both ways.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grottoes VA
    Posts
    5,856
    Not all walls are load bearing, so putting the return in the wall can be done very easily without losing wall integrity. For a 20x20 return you only lose one stud which can be supported very easily.
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

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