Can I remove this old ducting? not sure of its purpose.


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Old 09-10-13, 09:02 PM
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Can I remove this old ducting? not sure of its purpose.

Hi DIY, I'm looking for advice on this old ducting in my 1930's (old school) bi-level home. We have just moved in and this place is full of old wiring and ducts from multiple reno's.

Duct seen here in the top right: http://i.imgur.com/N3i3AGH.jpg



So this duct is by our furnace. I'm not sure if it was an/is old air intake, or old hot/cold air flow. It runs strait up into the attic where it goose necks and ends open. So it's basically just a pipe between my basement and attic. By attic I mean, above insulation, below the roof. Not an attic room.

Is this a common installation in old homes? We are hoping to remove it all the way to the attic to remove the box that it creates in our mud room above the furnace and create more floor space.

We live in Northern Alberta, if that matters.

Thanks for any info!
 
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Old 09-11-13, 03:18 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Thanks for the pix. Which duct are you referring to? The round one appears to be an exhaust, although not code worthy. The rectangular one running up beside the air handler is your return duct, and the one on top is the plenum supply duct. The corrugated one comes from you humidifier.
 
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Old 09-11-13, 05:07 AM
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Klaut -

Ar you referring to the narrow rectangular "tin" duct high against the wall?

If that is the one, it could be an abandoned clothes chothes chute (not likely in an old school) or a trash chute that had opening above covered. There is also the possibility it is a fresh air supply to provide a positive flow of fresh air for the furnace.

I have a fresh air supply that runs from the utility area upward into the attic space above the insulation. Mine happens to be a round flrxible duct, apparently with some minimal insulation. There are very common around here. They are helpful to provide make-up combustion air for furnaces and dryers that eventually exhaust air from inside to the outside. Mine ends up exiting in the area about 6" above the floor. Mine dumps the air into a plastic bucket that helps as a break to prevent thermal siphoning of the warm air upward and out and excessive cold air inward in the winter.

Dick
 

Last edited by Concretemasonry; 09-11-13 at 05:08 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-16-13, 07:44 AM
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Thanks for the replies.
Sorry, was referring to the very top right, the open tin square. That runs strait up into my attic, then goose necks into open attic space.
I thought I might turn it into a laundry chut, but the wife wants maxim floor space where the ducting runs. So I'm looking to remove it. The furnace has a cold air intake (the black insulated piping), so I can't see any reason to connect the basement airspace to the attic.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 07:52 AM
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Like the orange in my quick MS paint here:
 
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Old 09-16-13, 08:23 AM
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The black flexible duct probably was not original 1930's construction, but was put in later.

The tin duct may have been and air duct or even a laundry chute that was closed up at the first floor and abandoned. The bottom end may have not been inaccessible when basement floor usage was altered. You could probably get rid of it or close off the openings in the attic or remove the framing in the mud room.

My laundry chute drops right into my dryer if the lid was open and has a first floor opening in a walk-in closet (now pantry) . If you get out a stud finder, you may be able to find the framing for a small door that was covered when the use as a clothes chute was abandoned.

Sealing off the tin chute at the attic level would reduce the uncontrolled make up air and thermal siphoning to/from the basement OR you could create a door opening in the floor of the mud room to use as a clothes chute if space was critical.

Dick
 
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Old 09-16-13, 12:37 PM
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Not to mention is it a fire duct from the basement directly to the attic. Close it off and seal it on both ends. I doubt your house is THAT airtight that it needs make up air from the attic.
 
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Old 11-03-13, 09:28 AM
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Thanks for all the reply's. The ducting was removed without incident. Air movement seems to be normal still. The floor has been repaired, and as a bonus we found that the chimney is bricked in all the way to the basement, so we have a nice exposed brick area.



 
 

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