House with Downdraft System but no Ductwork
LESLIE: Karen in Michigan is calling in with a heating and cooling question. What can we do for you?
KAREN: Yes. I am looking at a house that has a forced-air downdraft furnace.
KAREN: And when I was checking out the house, I pulled up the vents on the floor and all the vents do not have any ductwork underneath them.
KAREN: And it’s a crawlspace underneath, so it’s like a modular.
TOM: That’s a little strange.
KAREN: And it’s got a 3-foot crawlspace so I’m wondering how hard it’s going to be to try and put ductwork in this place.
TOM: Pretty hard. So let me get this right. So this – it sounds like it was unfinished. Because a downdraft system is not unusual but it pushes the air down to a duct system and then comes up through those registers. So you’re telling me you have registers but you have no ducts?
LESLIE: But could it just be venting for the crawlspace? Would you do that?
TOM: I don’t know. That makes no sense.
LESLIE: I don’t know; I’m just trying to understand what’s going on here.
TOM: Yeah. Karen, you need to have an HVAC contractor look at this and give you an estimate for the work. It wouldn’t be hard; 3 feet is plenty of room to work in, to do that.
LESLIE: Especially there’s so many flexible ducting options.
LESLIE: You don’t need something rigid. So they can work without having to, you know, do major construction.
TOM: Alright. But you need to do that. Did you have a home inspection done?
KAREN: No, we have not yet.
TOM: Well, that’s another thing that you ought to think about doing. I’d start with a home inspection and let the home inspector look at it. Get this documented into a report because this is definitely something you should be negotiating with the seller.
KAREN: Alright. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Karen. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.