Return Ducts

December 13, 2021

I’ve now gotten the return ducts mostly in place.

The squares I removed were covered in closed-cell foam, which was an unfortunate waste.

First I had to open wall for the return vents.

I foamed in the duct board boxes from both sides, which sealed it and secured it very well.

Next, I constructed a box out of duct board for the ERV and dehumidifier returns.

Mastic was used to seal up any corners or seams that might leak.

It just barely fit, still allowing the ERV to be opened up for servicing.

I painted the inside of the duct collar black to help hide it from view through slots in the vent cover.

I then made a similar box for the air handler return.

This was much lower-profile box to make space for the duct elbows.

This one will use a round rigid duct to connect to the return plenum.

I also got a straight run of 14 in. duct, but ended up not needing it for this particular job.

This required ordering more duct parts.

I used mastic again on all seams to ensure no leaks.

The final result is an intentionally indirect path to the air handler, designed to reduce sound transfer.