In the Summer and winter months, one area of our home under constant use is the HVAC system. Since the air we breathe is so important it would be good to take a moment and think about the installation of the ducts in our home. One detail of their installation to be aware of is if building cavities are used as a substitute to sealed air ducts, with the approved material.
A common practice is to pan floor joists with gypsum board, insulation, sheet metal, or even OSB which is similar to particleboard. While at first glance for some this may seem like a harmless, even cost-effective alternative to installing proper air ducts, this can potentially cause damage to your lungs, your home, and your energy bill. It’s just about impossible to create an airtight seal using this practice, and the constant flow of air through floorboards and joists would surely cause damage to your home’s structure.
So please take the time and care to ensure that the return-air pathways and supply-air ducts in your home are air tight, made with the right materials, and planned beforehand, as opposed to just using the building cavities, like floor joists, as a substitute to correctly installed ducts. With something as important as the air supply in your home, doing it the right way will certainly pay off.