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Thread: Duct work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Duct work

    I have a circa 1961 split level that has large galvanized duct work in the basement that goes up through the ceiling in the laundry room on the next level then up behind walls to the rest of the house including upper levels. I have several questions:
    (1) can I/should I replace it to create greater ceiling height in basement and laundry areas?
    2) If replaced with smaller duct work, does this provide same as/or greater efficiency?
    3) If I stay with current/original system, is there some way to put in a "dropped ceiling" around it? (Basement area is 11x11 with 1/3 ceiling space occupied by duct work and laundry area is one level above,7x11 with most of ceiling space covered by duct work).
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Duct work

    Quote Originally Posted by Spring Mile View Post
    I have a circa 1961 split level that has large galvanized duct work in the basement that goes up through the ceiling in the laundry room on the next level then up behind walls to the rest of the house including upper levels. I have several questions:
    (1) can I/should I replace it to create greater ceiling height in basement and laundry areas?
    2) If replaced with smaller duct work, does this provide same as/or greater efficiency?
    3) If I stay with current/original system, is there some way to put in a "dropped ceiling" around it? (Basement area is 11x11 with 1/3 ceiling space occupied by duct work and laundry area is one level above,7x11 with most of ceiling space covered by duct work).
    Thanks
    (1) --- that depends on how and what can be done. Though the cost might be prohibitive to alter the ducting. You should have a HVAC professional evaluate the situation and give you recommendations and an estimate.

    (2) --- no! Smaller duct work will reduce it's function and it's efficiency.
    It may be possible to reconfigure the shape to maintain the same volume but have a lower profile. You need a HVAC professional to do this.

    (3) -- Usually a bulk head is framed around the duct work with a drop ceiling system installed on the horizontal part of the ceiling --- even the bottom of that bulkhead. The vertical part of the bulk head can be any finish material you wish --- drywall , wood panel , t&g pine , etc.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Duct work

    I've seen many houses with a dropped ceiling around the duct work (finished basement, obviously). A great thing to do is insulate the ductwork. a lot of split levels built between the 1960's and late 1970'had no insulation installed, so the duct work is seldom insulated. A yearly duct cleaning and insulation application will keep things going for a while. In terms of size reduction, you'll find that small square duct work was experimented with in the 1950's and 1960's. (from what I've seen in certain buildings) so with new duct work that has a larger standard size, it would be difficult to really reduce the size. But then again I don't know how large your ductwork is. Hope that helps.

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