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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default uninsulated exterior wall CAR

    I live in southeast Michigan in a 2 story colonial built in 1967. 2 of our upstairs bedrooms use stud cavities on the exterior wall as the cold air returns. There is essentially only some partical board sheathing and aluminum siding seperating the CAR and the 20 degree outdoor weather.
    Do I have any options other then major surgery to prevent the heat loss that this is most certainly causing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: uninsulated exterior wall CAR

    I think the best option you have is to relocate the air returns and fill the stud cavities with insulation. I have never seen a builder put returns in an exterior wall. Not at all a smart idea. In any event minor surgery is at least needed, but it could be more work than appears.
    Is the return high or low in the wall? How many stories?
    I could see possibly applying an inch of rigid foam on the sheathing, then covering it with drywall since the foam can't be left exposed for fire code reasons. That would leave a 2" x 16" space for the air return. Is that enough for the air return to work properly? I don't know, probably not. Then the drywall in the room would have to be repaired.
    Depending how the house is laid out, I would try to relocate the air returns off the outside wall.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: uninsulated exterior wall CAR

    Why so many car's in the first place. I don't see but one in new houses. I'd just fill the cavities in and let the cold air return through the house.

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