When we complete energy audits, we usually come across high duct leakage after we complete our tests. The #1 reason is because of a leaky return cavity (usually where you change out your filter). In this return, you can see the open floor joists.
Have you ever felt around your return air grill when your unit kicks on? It’s sucking air, right? That’s because the air inside your home is cycling back into your duct system. Well, in this project where the return is open to stud cavities, the air being sucked in is not only traveling back through your return ducts but into the floor cavities, where it doesn’t need to go.
This is bad because you are now paying for air to condition between your floor joists!
And it allows dirty air to be sucked through the HVAC system.
Here is the before picture:
Having open stud cavities can cause poor air flow and also restrict the coils from cooling properly in the summer. Together, these two issues will demand more work out of the system and will raise bills, decrease the life of the HVAC system, and poor air quality inside your home.
So to fix this issue, we simply blocked off and sealed the open stud cavities so the air is traveling directly to the duct system.
Here is the after picture:
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