How to Stop Drafts

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mullinaxjacob
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Q:

I have a 1942 1.5 story Cape Cod style home with forced air. My cold air return vents all run on the exterior walls of my house. Since the weather has gotten cold I have noticed that I am getting a lot of cold air and drafts coming from the returns when my heat is not on. I have taken the return covers off and can see the old wood siding on the exterior of my house. Is there a way that I can insulate the vents or seal them up, so that I don’t get those drafts? Also if it matters I just had a new 96 furnace installed over the summer. Thanks, Jake

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It sounds like you don't have actual return ducts.  Sometimes contractors will enclose the space between floor joist to create a makeshift return duct.  But return ducts should be acutal ducts, not wood framed cavities.  you need to have an HVAC contractor trace the route of the return duct from the furnace to each room.  If it was just framed with wood, line it with insulated duct material.  The reason youre getting drafts is because the air is blowing through the exterior wall and into that return duct cavity... and then coming right into the house!

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