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House with Downdraft System but no Ductwork

  • Transcript

    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.

    TOM: OK.

    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.

    TOM: Right.

    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?

    KAREN: Correct.

    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.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: You don’t need something rigid. So they can work without having to, you know, do major construction.

    KAREN: OK.

    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.

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