Fan coils and return air from framing voids
I’m a home inspector working in the Chicago area and recently I was tasked with inspecting a three-bedroom condo on an upper floor of a newly constructed high-rise building downtown. The fan coil units are located inside alcoves behind hinged metal fire rated access doors. They are in an interior framing void space approximately 3 ft.² and about 10 feet tall. The return air grilles are located in the ceiling but there is no ductwork; when the fan coil air handler kicks on it draws air through the return air grille, swirls it through framing voids in the walls and ceilings (some of which are visible and some of which are not), draws it across the standard 1 inch “rock catcher” filter and then across the coil.
Now, common sense tells me that this is just plain idiotic and I recall reading one of Uncle Joe’s articles a while back which echoed my sentiments on the subject. In response to my report, the builder says it’s standard procedure and was approved by our fair city during the design process. I still find it completely idiotic. I’m looking for some type of standard or code which this installation contravenes. Your help is greatly appreciated.
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