I put in about 5 hours today and was able to get all of the upstairs heating connections finished. All that’s left to do is to connect it to the furnace (luckily, it’s only about 5 feet away from the old chimney chase) and finish insulating everything. Oh, and we have no return duct yet, but I’m not convinced that we’ll even need one. The stairwell should act as a giant return vent, allowing the air to work its way down to the front hall. If things don’t work well, then I’ll add the separate return in later. It took so long, because I foil-taped both the inside and the outside of almost the entire assembly. It may have been overkill, but I hate the idea of air leaking out into the cold attic space!
I really should have run all the ducting before I closed up the chase back in 2005. However, I was too paranoid about tipping off the kitchen inspector to future projects that may or not end up getting permitted. The problem it’s causing me now is that the chase is somewhat snug, and it was a bear feeding ductwork up it. Ironically, while the chase was snug enough that it made my duct insulation bunch up halfway up the shaft, I had the pleasure of watching the entire 10′ of insulation slide off the pipe while I was securing it at top. I was frustrated enough at that point to just say screw it, and I’ll try to come up with some clever way to push it up from the bottom later. Or I’ll just say screw it and let it warm the chase up a bit. If you’re wondering what you’re looking at, the section with the metal strap is a tee that branches 0ff to the right (and then wye’s into flex duct that heads for Chloe and Ginger’s rooms) and continues straight towards the playroom register. The little flex pipe that branches off to the left is for the bathroom.