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Air return ducting

My HVAC person is telling me that they have to cut the 2 2X4 plates that run along the center wall of my house such that they can use the space as a cold air return. The said that they would only cut between the floor joists and not cut th joist, but from a structural perspective this does not sound right.

Is this the only way to get the cold air return from the bastment to the second floor?

The supply run is going to go from the basement and shoot up to the attic on a back wall and then down from the ceiling.

Re: Air return ducting

Sounds a little sketchy...I don't think it would cause a significant structural issue...a fire issue is what I would worry about. If a fire started in the basement, it would now have a direct, unobstructed path all the way to the second floor. I know a lot of places have outlawed using wall cavities as return ducts for this reason. I would think running the return duct along with the supply duct along that back wall would be the smartest approach.

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