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List of Simple Questions

On the List of Simple Questions page and on the others alike (see links to them below), you can find answers to all spectrums of issues this website is dedicated for!
If your search engine sent you to this page that means, that a similar question was asked before and you will be able to find the correct answer that you are looking for.
Some of the questions are simple enough and you can find answers right here on this page.
The others are more complicated and I provided links to the pages on my site where you can find free information.
For the third part of the questions that are not that simple, as you may think, I provided links to the paid pages or books on my site.

So, please scroll down, find your question and good luck!

Are there photos for how to support HVAC duct insulation?
You can find a lot of information about ductwork on this page or below.

Ductwork Insulation

Before insulating, seal all gaps around drives, pipe connections and take-offs. The best stuff for the duct seal are special mastics or duct sealants. Do not use aluminum tape – it will not stick to the old ductwork because it’s covered with dust.
It does not matter where to start – from the end of a duct trunk line or from a plenum, but maybe it's better to start from the end because when you reach to the plenum you will be much more experienced insulator than you are now.

Can a cold air return air duct have openings on multiple floors?
If it's serving multiple floors then it must have these openings.

Can a dryer vent be installed downward?

Can a person use a four inch thin wall sewer pipe as a hot air duct for a furnace?
Well, maybe, but what's wrong with the sheet metal pipes?

Can a piece of paper in my heating duct cause a fire?
No, I do not think so.

Can air conditioner condensation lines run through downspouts?
Well, if its fake downspouts, designed for this purpose then yes.

Can condensate pump discharge into waste line?
Yes, but you should use a P-trap first.

Can exhaust duct be placed between studs?
Yes, if it's oval B-vent, or if it's round B-vent in a double wall.

Can I close my fresh air return on hot days?
Yes you can, get more info on this page or below.

Save Energy by Closing Cold Air Return Grills

As everybody knows the cold air sinks down, but the warm air rises up. For example in the summertime, when warm air fills your house you have to run it through A/C coil to cool it down. As your A/C unit picks up warm air from the ceiling, it will be replaced by cool air coming from the supply vents. This set up also helps you to save some energy because A/C unit is working more efficiently! (Watch the video below)...

Can I just install ductwork in the crawl space?
As soon you are able to crawl under there you can do it!

Can I use a 4 inch duct pipe for microwave vent?
No, it should be at least 6".

Can more insulation be added to air duct in attic?
Yes, but you have to provide a vapor barrier.

Can you adapt 13 by 20 furnace plenum into 14 by 16 plenum?
Yes, learn the way how to do that on this page or below.

How to Make Transition from Your New Furnace to Old Plenum with Hand Tools

If you are making a transition for a new furnace you may need to learn this simple technique!
There are 20 pictures on the page. Price $1.00

Can you close the cold air returns in the basement?
Yes, in the summertime if there is low humidity.

Can you place cold air returns high on the walls in the basement?
Yes, you can, but better to place them low.

Can you use a flexible exhaust duct for hood fan microwave connection?

Can you use ductwork to exhaust an attic fan?

Disconnecting ductwork to heat basement.
You shouldn’t disconnect any ductwork, just tap in a register.

Do houses have vent fans that make noise?
Yes. But you can purchase a very quiet one on the right.

Do you have to clamp and tape a rigid metal duct for kitchen hood?
Yes, but you can use sheet metal zip screws as well.

Do you need new ductwork for a new furnace?
Only if it's undersized.

Do you put cold air returns on exterior or interior walls?
You may put it where it fits, but better on the interior walls.

Does an air leak in central air-conditioning make a whistling sound?
Yes, it might.

Does closing off register in unused rooms affect system efficiency?
Yes it does, unless you do it right way. Learn how to do it on this page or below.

Save Energy by Closing Supply Registers

The basic idea behind this – you have to close supply vents in the rooms, which you do not use and it will conserve energy, and save money. I tried to do it in my house and I have discovered the fact that if I’m closing all vents which I’m thinking are unnecessary at the time I will spend even more energy than before. So, what do you have to do and how?
My idea, and after you read this chapter you can try it in your house, is – you have to create such an environment around your thermostat that it faster shuts down the furnace...

Does HVAC duct need to be insulated in basement that is climate controlled?
No, it doesn't.

Does power need to be turned off to change air conditioner control panel?
Yes, unless you are on the suicide mission!

Does shutting a vent in 1 room help push air to furthest room away with an air conditioner?

How can I block off forced air heating vents?
The best way is to block it with a piece of plywood. Learn how to do it in Chapter 60. Correction of Mistakes from my Ductwork Installation Guide.

How do I install furnace venting in my house?
You may learn it in Chapters #29. Venting of Furnace and #49. Venting from my Ductwork Installation Guide e-book or below.

Venting for Furnace

This guide does not designed to explain how furnace is working, its design, electric diagram, etc. Here I am considering only what is necessary to know to be able to perform installation of the heating system, but not its service.
Therefore, it is enough for you to know, that for venting of the 80% efficiency furnaces you should use the B-vent pipes, and for 90% + efficiency furnaces - PVC pipes.

How cold is the air suppose to be coming from your vents in an apartment complex?
There should be 20*F difference between supply and return.

How do to drill through brick for microwave vent?
First off, buy a power/hammer drill, sledge hammer and a chisel just like you see them on the right. Secondly, please visit the "Split Level Ranch Remodeling" page, there are some useful pictures dedicated to this issue. Also you may find complete installation instructions on this page or below.

Kitchen Exhaust

There are three variants apply to the kitchen’s cooking fumes removal:

Let’s consider them all one after another.
Kitchen hood is a cone-shaped design (P. 1) with a fan inside or, sometimes, outside of the house.
During Rough-in:

How far do you install a home thermostat from cold air return?

How far from humidifier do you install sensor?
A humidistat should be installed just above a humidifier on the cold air drop.

How long should I wait after hosing an outdoor air conditioner before starting again?
You can do it while it's working.

How many air returns do you need for furnace to function efficiently?
As many as possible.

How many cold air returns do you need for small house?
As many as possible.

How many cold air returns should I have?
You should put at least one in every bedroom, living room, great room and so on, but not in a kitchen and bathrooms.

How many feet long the exhaust dryer from outside normal.
Should not be longer than 25 feet total.

How to attach ducting to furnace.
At first, use a plenum...

How to cool hottest room in the house?
Well, this is a difficult question, you can find a lot of useful information on the web, but better ask me here on this page, because you may be confused with general information on the other sites!

How to cut into ductwork?
You can learn it on this page or below.

Tap Take-off into Existing Duct

In this chapter, I will explain how to tap a Take-off into existing duct and how to do a basement heat run.
Step #1 – Tap a Take-off into a duct
In order to cut a take-off in you have to:

How to fasten a duct to a toe kick?
You can buy a chapter from my Kitchen Remodeling Edition and find it out for yourself or below.

Toe Kick Heat Installation

Step #1: Locate openings in the cabinet and in the floor.
There are a few ways how to locate these openings. In the case if you are already removed finished flooring the easiest one is...

How to install a furnace humidifier in a down flow furnace and no cold air return?
What do you mean no cold air return?

How to install air and heating ducts to an attic?
You have to run it in the shaft.

How to install cold air return and how to cut top plate?
You can learn it in chapter 9. Oval Stacks Installation, Oval Stack in Exterior Wall from my Ductwork Installation Guide. And in order to do that you may need to purchase a saw-zall, see one on the right.

How to install return air duct in wall already finished.
It’s a good question; you can learn how to do it on this page or below.

Cold Air Return Installation

If you have relatively recently built your house most likely all the returns in your house are high-rise wall returns. In order to add low returns you have to locate those stud spaces that are already in use for high-rise wall returns and cut out 14” x 6” openings 6” – 8” above the floor...

How to install vent for HVAC?
You can learn it on this page.

How to insulate furnace fresh air intake?
Insulate it with sleeve insulation.

How to insulate round ductwork?
You can learn how to do it on this page.

How to make your own ductwork?
First off buy a sheet metal shop...

How to properly use the combustion air inlet on combustion heater?
You can learn how to do it on this page or below.

Installation of Combustion Air Intake

As you understand, it is very important to have a combustion air intake also from energy saving point of view, especially if you have a mechanical room. The idea behind this is you are not using the conditioned air as the combustion one. In addition, it is important to bring the combustion air to the water heater or furnace as close as possible.
In order to better organize an explanation of the execution of this project I would like to divide it into several steps:
Step #1 – Find a spot on the wall where a combustion air intake should be terminated...

How to put ductwork together?
You can learn it on this page.

How to put heating ductwork together?
You can learn how to do it on this page.

How to replace duct register?
A drill, a drill bit, hands, brains...

How to replace ductwork from floor to ceiling?
I have several chapters in my Ductwork Installation Guide e-book; just pick one or two of them!

How to replace ductwork in attic?
Just read Chapter #55 from the Ductwork Installation Guide or below.

Air Handler Installation

...When all registers are fastened, it is necessary to connect flexes (International Code) to the Take-offs (P. 397).
In some parts of the country they allow you to lay flexes right on the attic's (P. 396) floor, when in the others, they make you suspend them to the rafters with 1 ½” wide metal, plastic or fabric straps (see P. 391 and P. 392)...

How to roughing-in vent for microwave over stove install?
Buy this chapter from my Kitchen Remodeling Edition and find it out for yourself.

How to seal furnace return?
Just read Chapter #18 from my Finished Basement Edition.

How to stop cold air from dropping to basement with a/c on?
Close the basement door off.

How to tell if your a/c ductwork needs to be sealed?
If it's not already sealed, then it should be sealed.

How to test to see if condensation pump is working or clogged?
Pour some water in it.

How to vent kitchen exhaust system through attic in cold climate?
Just like in any other climate, but insulated.

I am attempting to replace my current thermostat with a Trane XL824. After reviewing the wiring instructions I am having a hard time determining exactly how to wire this thing. This thermostat seems to have more than one option for each of the wires so I'm a bit confused. I have attached a picture of the old thermostat with its current wiring and a picture of the new thermostat's terminal connections. There are literally 15 pages of optional wiring diagrams in the manual just for a heat pump, which we unfortunately have, each covering different configurations, various air handlers, etc.

Leave Rh to RC jumper in place. connect red wire to RH or RC, yellow wire to Y1, orange wire to O, green to G, Black to C, and white wire to W1. Then read the install manual to set up the thermostat for proper operation.

I shut off furnace but still making loud noise.
What kind of noise? And please stop eating these beans!

In a single story building, if your supply registers are installed in the floor, what type of furnace are you typically using?
Up-flow furnace in the basement or in the crawl space or down-flow furnace if it sits on the first floor.

Is condensate water from heat pump poison?
I do not think so, but beer is much better!

Is it safe to place insulation over an air handler?

Is there any heat loss through bath fan?
Yes, of course! Learn how to reduce in on this page or below.

How to Save Money on the Bath Fans

For the last 25 or so years, the bath fans have been set in the building code and if your house not much older than that most likely that you have a bath fan in every bathroom. Of course, it is very important to have them. You can find a lot of information about how important to have them in your house, such as: “Moisture can be a problem in the bathroom. It can cause paint to peel, doors to warp and the accumulation of mold spores. A simple exhaust fan can greatly reduce or eliminate the many problems created by excess moisture”. However, believe me, nobody tells you that through the bath fan you loose a lot of the conditioned air!...

Make a furnace plenum out of what?
Sheet metal, ductboard.

Need to increase indoor temps to 88 -95F. Got a nasty VOC issue and I need to do a bake out. I'm in central Texas with temp in low to high 90s with dew points between 69 -73.
Want to get the indoor temps up before using out side ventilation to keep indoor RH<60.
Question: Can I run the heater of my heat pump when out door temps are in the low to mid 90sF. My starting indoor temp will be in the low 70s at about 45 - 50 RH. I'm concerned about damaging my heat pump.

If you can run heat strips without running compressor there should be no harm done. Otherwise, don't heat in hot weather with heat pump. In hot weather, if you need to heat house up but keep humidity low, turn off a/c, leave windows closed, and rent a beefy dehumidifier used to dry out structures after flooding events. The building will heat the house due to solar gain from roof, windows, and walls. 

Should condensate pump have water in the lines?
Yes, it should. In some older models, it must.

Should I get a window unit for room above garage?
Well, try to contact me first on this page.

We have a ceiling register that is over our bed and at times we want to completely close this while we sleep. However, this is a standard home depot register and when it is closed it whistles loudly (when closed, you can visually see cracks so you know that the air is going to leak through, similar to all the other registers that came with the house). Are there any registers that completely seal off the air flow?                                                                                                                                                                               Simply get a magnetic vent cover to block a metal heat register. You can find these at hardware and other assorted stores. Before purchasing, check the size, quantity and thickness or other features. If it fits the register precisely, simply align it and slap it in place, over top the vent. Usually it will require trimming with scissors. Unscrew the register, place it on top of the magnetic material, and trace around it for a cut guide.

What a material needed for adding a flex duct to an a/c return?
Tap-in collar. Just like one on the right.

How to calculate offset situated between two existing ducts?
Find an answer to this question here on this page.

What are you supposed to set your air on to conserve energy?
Buy my Energy Saving Edition and find it out for yourself.

What causes fart noise when ac kicks on?
Just pull your dog out the duct.

What causes whistling in ductwork?
Lack of returns and/or supplies, undersized ductwork, oversized heating or/and cooling equipment.

What does it mean when you hear a popping sound from your furnace room?
It probably is your gas popping, call to an HVAC company, it could be dangerous!

What exhaust option should I use for my microwave?
There are quite a few of them, check them out on this page.

What happens if your basement doesn't have cold air returns?
It won't be heated properly.

What is a fresh air intake?
There is enough info on this page or below.

How to Use a Fresh Air Intake

...As people make their homes more energy efficient by sealing cracks, adding insulation and doing other things to prevent heat loss, homes can become starved for air...

What is ductwork in basement?
Just look at the big metal thingies hanging off the joists - they named it ductwork!

What is ductwork replacement?
Well, it is just ductwork replacement.

What is equivalent length of 4-inch 90 degree galvanized duct elbow?

What is minimum distance between exhaust duct and fresh air intake?

What is the best way to cut heat duct for basement?
With a pair of snips. And you may use two types of the snips, just look at the right.

What is the life expectancy of ductwork under a house?
It depends on the level of humidity, insulation and condensation.

What is the proper installation of supply and return registers?
You can learn it in Chapter 52. Registers and Grills Installation from my Ductwork Installation Guide e-book or below

Registers and Grills Installation

Registers and grills are mounted when in a house the drywall is nailed and taping and sanding are already done. You should pay a special attention that the sanding is actually done.

What is the recommended gauge material for laundry exhaust duct?
30 gauges.

What should the furnace fresh air intake look like?
It's insulated duct run from exterior to the cold air duct.


What size ducting should I use to vent a bathroom fan?
Insulated 4" flex. Just like one you can see on the right.

What type of mechanical ductwork is needed for kitchen?
Sheet metal ductwork plus rigid aluminum flex. And you can buy one on the right.

When do I need a fresh air register in a bathroom?
Never heard of it.

When relocating furnace in attic what do you do with old existing ductwork?
Reuse or through them away.

Where do I install cold air return on the floor?
Try to avoid that.

Where do I lube a forced air furnace?
You should not do it for the contemporary furnace.

Where to tap into return ductwork?
You should tap to the top, but also to the side.

Which duct installation is proper for supply and return?
The installation which is described in my Ductwork Installation Guide e-book or below.


Introducing a completely current and innovative way to learn the basics of Ductwork and Furnace Installation! Featuring hundreds practical competencies, this “how to” guide has been carefully designed and thoroughly modernized to provide a complete learning system for the fundamentals and applications of core ductwork installation concepts. It combines straightforward theory lessons with useful “hands-on” opportunities for learning about the industries hottest topics, including installation in small and big houses and apartments, installation in basements and attics, rough-ins and finals, safety, and more. Enhancements to this edition include an updated tools and materials identification chart, new and improved pictures, revised installation techniques.

Who does ductwork installation?
Mostly ductwork installers (tin knockers), but it can be you.

Why a condensate drain pipe above front door?
That pipe is there to let you know there is a problem with your a/c unit in the attic. When the primary condensate backs up, or the unit overflows for any other reason, there is an auxiliary drain pan under the unit to catch that overflow, and that drain line is draining to where you will see it and call the a/c contractor.

Why are basements so cold?
Because in the most cases they are underground.

Why cold air return duct noise when walking on the floor?
Because of the unprofessional installation. Learn how to fix it on this page or below.

Noise Reduction

Furnace, ductwork, and the other elements of the heating and cooling system sometimes make many different kinds of noises. If you ask your Builder or a Heating Contractor for help to eliminate them, in most cases, the answer will be that these are very natural noises and you must live with them for the rest of your life. What they say it is not true! Do not trust them! Their goal is to sell a house and after a year forget about your even existence!

Why do I having problems with microwave exhaust duct?
Because you haven't purchased my Kitchen Remodeling Edition book!

Why do I need to add inline duct fan?
Well, it may help you to increase airflow to a certain room. You can purchase on the right.

Why do I need to replace my furnace plenum?
I have no f--g idea!

Why do not make ductwork out of plastic?
Are you a f--g inventor?

Why does my furnace bang when it shuts off?
Because you are trying to save $9.17 and looking for free advice on the web verses the best one on my website!

Why ductwork booms after furnace shuts off?
There a lot of reasons why, but you can find a solution on this page.

Why furnace noise stops when door is removed?
There is lack of the cold air return.

Why is cold air not reaching farthest room?
Find the answers on this page.

Why is Cold Air not Reaching the Farthest Room?

This issue may occur with your supply and with your return ductwork.
For supply, there could be six reasons for that:

Why is the room above the garage so hot?
There could be a lot of reasons,
let's find it out together.

Why my return is ducts 32" wide?
Because it is probably a very old one.

Why my wall makes a ticking sound when the air turns on?
Well, because you didn't purchased my Ticking Noise Elimination page.

Why put a trap on ac condensate line?
To prevent air loses. You can buy on the right.

Why should I fix the furnace fresh air intake?
It is up to you, but read on this page anyway.

Why when my furnace comes on I hear the filters suck in?
Probably, because you put it in the wrong way. Check out arrow’s directions on the filter’s side.

Will blocking off ducts from a furnace force hot air to other spots in the home?
Yes it might, but do not close too many of them. Get more info on this page.

Will sun cause air conditioner problems?
Yes, if it's on a full sun.

If you are unable to find an answer to your question, try links to the other pages of this kind below.
Please follow the links provided on these pages, they would lead you to the free or paid pages on my site or even to the other sites where you can get your question answered!
If you still cannot find an answer to your simple question, just ask it on this page.
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If I have not answered your specific question, I will refund your money as well.

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