Chasing Chases


There are bumps in every project and this one’s no exception. What really matters is the way those problems are solved. One recent hurdle was some unexpected changes in the HVAC system.

The home was slated for two air conditioning units—one 5 ton and one 3.5. But it became clear that we needed more power for the size of the home and so we bumped up the plan to accommodate two 3s and one 3.5.

Both of the 3s are needed to cool the downstairs and now we had to figure out how to run the ducting from the attic to the front of the first floor. It was a bit of a challenge—there’s a new structural beam that can’t be cut, so the team decided on chases in the upstairs bedrooms. 













(One quick point here: We go by the rule that ducting seams should always be sealed, even when the ducts are inside a conditioned space. Some people don’t agree. After all, the energy code doesn’t even mandate testing in that scenario, and the leakage would be inside a conditioned space. Yes, that’s true. Yet it’s still important to deliver as much air as possible to the intended location as this helps cool the home evenly. In addition, leaks affect pressure and can force conditioned air outdoors.)

OK, back to the task at hand.

We decided that one bedroom would get a chase in the closet, which reduced the space by about 14”. Two more rooms will have one in their corners. When needed, we’ll create identical boxed protrusions on the other side of the room to balance the space out visually.

Before installing any ducts, we make it a practice to line the chases with an airtight barrier.

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