Open return air system
A year ago I purchased a 7 year old home. In the year that I have owned it, it has constantly been full of dust with my families complaining of constant “allergies”. Additionally, the utiliy bills have been high regardless of season. I have an unfinshed mechanical room in the finished basement in which the combustion appliances are located.
The return air system is the type that utilizes floor joist and wall cavities as part of the return system. While doing some ladder work recently in the room, I noticed that there are at least two areas on the top of the main return duct that are left wide open. In one of the open spaces, I can look directly up an open wall cavity and see the return air grill in one of the rooms on the main floor. Obviously the system is not closed and is sucking contaminants into the return air system.
I also have some concerns about negative pressurization in the mechanical room. I have already had a water heater failure and a significant “repair” bill for the furnace.
I believe that the “fix” to the return duct is fairly straightforward, but shouldn’t there be some responsibility for this directed to the seller of the home, the inspector who signed off on it prior to my purchase or even the original HVAC contractor and builder since the system was never completed, much less completed properly?
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