Insulating cold air return


Old 01-22-02, 12:45 PM
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Insulating cold air return

I have an unheated garage underneath my living area. There is insulation between the floor joists, but two cold air return ducts run through the garage. These ducts are comprised of a piece of sheet metal running along the entire length of the floor joists so that the joists themselves are the sides. What is the best way to insulate these returns?

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Old 01-23-02, 10:36 AM
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Is the insulation and sheet metal exposed or does it have gypsum board covering it?

First of all most building codes require a "fire separation" between a garage and living space. If your local code doesn't, I would do it anyway for safety sake!!! The fire separation is simply a matter of installing a layer or two of fire-rated gypsum board on the survaces that ajoin the living space.

You could easily add a layer of foam insulation that would benefit the whole floor as well as the return air ducts. Just make sure you use the appropriate length screws to compensate for the thickness of the foam insulatation when you attach the gypsum board.

DO NOT leave the foam as the exposed ceiling!
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