HVAC: Install an Air-Supply Line and a Cold Air Return

Do you enjoy doing things yourself when it comes to your home? Are you ready to have a more comfortable, more enjoyable living environment? Are you a master of DIY projects? Whether you face cold winters, super warm summers or somewhere in between, it’s important to regulate the temperature in your home. You don’t want to leave your comfort to chance! Read on for some tips for installing an HVAC air-supply line and cold air return in your home!

Understand how it works

An HVAC system is a high velocity airflow system that regulates your building’s temperature by providing heating and cooling. Unlike older systems, it utilizes flexible pre insulated tubing that is designed to be able to be worked around obstructions and other architectural issues. When warmth is needed, cool air is drawn into the heat exchanger at the central point of the system, warmed then sent back out through vents in the home.

When cool air is needed, warmer air is drawn into the plenum before flowing into the supply trunk line. From this point, it is cooled and flows back out through the vents to cool the home. Modern HVAC systems are great because they’re efficient, much more cost effective than their counterparts, and provide high quality air flow and temperature regulation.

Calculate the load

This is important because you want to make sure that the size of your furnace will be adequate to handle the needs of the room. You can consult with an HVAC professional for this.

Find a location for the fan coil unit

Unconditioned spaces such as a garage, basement or an attic are acceptable, as long as you follow regulation, and it is protected from the weather. You also have to keep in mind the location of the return air filter box and duct. The unit can be installed on a platform.

Pro Tip: Always make sure you check your local codes and permit regulations before installation!

Cut the return air opening

Keep in mind that you need a good location for this. Once this is done, you can pass the fan coil through the opening. You want to now make sure the air box fits properly, but you won’t want to fully install it until the end, in case you need to still pass things through the hole while working.

Pro Tip: Steer clear of installing in dining areas or kitchens unless the duct can be installed with a 180 degree bend

Construct a platform

At this point, you’ll want to attach the supply plenum ring before connecting the condensate drain. The drain trap at this point should be connected to the fan coil unit.

Pro Tip: Avoid connecting the condensate line to a closed drain system!

Connect refrigerant lines to the fan coil

Then connect the supply tubing and the plenum duct. Make sure you have a good layout planned! The plenum section has to be put into the receiving collar on the fail coil. You want a snug joint here, so make sure it’s all properly fitted. Finish the installation of the duct, making sure everything is put together and taped correctly.

Installing the terminator outlets and sound attenuation tubing

Consider proper location, drill a hole, and allow for clearance of the tubing, at least 2 inches for a ⅛ inch hole. Fit the connectors together. Now you’re ready for the next step.

Installing the supply tubing

Cut tubing to length, and install the connector. Cut a hole in the plenum, place the takeoff gasket around the hole, and place the connector into the hole. Insert the fasteners, snap them into place, and you’re ready to install your connector. Connect it to the tubing, and the supply run will be in place.

Pro Tip: Double check to make sure everything is installed correctly, and secured properly in place before moving forward

Installation of return air duct and air box

Insert the return air box into the opening from before, fasten and secure in place. Then, insert the air grille and filter. Secure in place. The thermostat at this point should be connected to the system. If wiring isn’t your strong suit, get an electrician to help you. Enjoy your new HVAC system!

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