Friday, September 5, 2008

Look What I Found!

It's taking all of my self control to avoid ripping the floors up right now.
Here's a picture of our cold air return (minus the grate):


Those are tongue and groove floor boards UNDER a layer of nasty carpet and a layer of plywood. They are damp in the picture, since I had just wiped the drywall dust off of them; in real life, they appear to be pine.

Thanks to a tip from a poster on the Old House Web Forums, I ripped off our cold air returns to see if I could simply place furnace filters behind these grates. Unfortunately, these returns are just drywall and studs. I'm pleased to see that my efforts weren't entirely in vain, however!


Jayne said...

Tongue and groove floors--hooray! It is very tempting, isn't it? Of course you know what I'm thinking....Tear it up! Not that that's a good idea, just that it's what I'm thinking. ;) Isn't tearing it up what got both of us into our current projects?!

Kristin said...

I vote the same as's just too tempting! I have a room that has been tounting me as well. I am holding back until we get the dumpster dropped off...oh the work ahead of us in these houses. such fun:)

Muskego Jeff said...

Why can't you put a filter back there? A filter for the inside of the vent could be cut be installed with minimal effort.

Onlinehandyman said...

I just found your blog - very interesting and well done. I am also into exactly the same stuff, but am not quite sure what I am seeing here. Am I seeing the tongue and groove covering part of the duct? If I am can't you just cut away part of the floor? And I agree with muskego jeff, can't you just put a filter back there? I would appreciate if you could clarify what we are seeing.


Jennifer said...

Jayne and Kristin~ ARGH! Too many projects in line before ripping out the floor! MUST HOLD OFF! :)

Muskego Jeff and OnlineHandyman~
I COULD, but as it is an unlined vent, the furnace is pulling air from my crawlspace, from the interior walls between the studs, etc. With allergies and asthma, it's really too much dust to be cycling through our furnace. I'd rather filter ALL of it in our furnace.

The vent goes UP, not down... the tongue and groove is simply not covering the BOTTOM of the vent; the issue isn't that it's covering it... it's that it's not covering it ENOUGH, and that it's not a static, dustfree material anyway. There is some subflooring down there, but a huge crack to the crawlspace.

We rigged up a furnace filter a few posts up that looks like it will work well.. .time will see!

Onlinehandyman said...

Interesting - I am amazed that it was left like that. Can't you do something with plywood? Are you going to tackle this now? I can't wait to see how you finish it. It was difficult to tell from the picture what I was looking at - thanks for the update. Onlinehandyman