How To Install A Cold Air Return Duct Between Studs

There is a possibility that you’re not satisfied with your duct system. If so, there is a good chance that you want to change things. For instance, you may be interested in installing a cold air return. To do that, you’ll need to find a suitable location for the return. Unfortunately, some people will have limited space so they may be required to install the cold air return between studs. The good news is that this won’t be too difficult. Within this guide, you’re going to find out how to install a cold air return duct between studs.

Clean Your Ducts

Before taking this step, you should go ahead and order Air duct cleaning near me service from a professional like The Duct Kings. This is far more important than you could ever imagine. If your ducts are not clean, many problems are going to arise. Therefore, you need to do everything possible to make sure that your ducts are cleaned. This will make a major difference in the long run. By cleaning your ducts, you can rest assured knowing that the efficiency of your HVAC system is going to be maximized. On top of that, you’ll be able to maintain pristine air quality.

If your ducts are dirty, that dust and other debris are going to be blown into your home. Then, you’ll suck it into your lungs. You’ll want to clean your ducts to avoid such problems. Now, it is time to learn how to install a cold air return duct between studs. Air duct cleaning is a necessity. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in a very long time, you should do so right now. This is not something that can be put off. Your money and health depend on it. You should also understand that duct cleaning is going to protect your family as well. Therefore, it should be done as soon as possible.

Getting Started

First and foremost, you need to start by focusing on your duct work. You should take a look at the duct work and measure the centerline. This should be measured from the closest parallel wall. Remember to use a tape measure to ensure you’re able to get the best results. Once you’ve done that, you should make a mark on the floor. The mark should be in front of the wall where you want the duct work to be. Remember to measure the same wall to get the centerline of the duct.

Marking The Duct

Now, you’ll need to start marking the duct. To do that, you should start at the centerline. Take a measurement of the duct. Now, you’ll need to measure out from the centerline. Add an inch on each side to ensure you get more precise results. You can use a pencil to make marks. For a duct that is 12 inches wide, you should want to measure 7 inches on both sides from the centerline. This will ensure that your duct and vent fit into the hole perfectly.


Next, you should compare the marks with the wall studs. There is a possibility that you’ll need to remove the wall stud. If this is the case, you should mark it. After that, you’ll want to measure the height of the bottom portion of the duct work. Once you’ve done that, you should grab the ductwork and transfer the height of it to the stud that was marked earlier. From the bottom mark, you should make a top mark as well. Now, you should measure upward and downward 2 and ¾ inches. Make a mark in both of these locations.

Cutting The Stud

Once you’ve made the marks, it is time to cut the studs. To do that, you’ll need to use a reciprocating saw. The stud should be cut on the bottom and top lines. Once you’ve done that, you will want to measure the distance between the studs. Now, you’re going to need to add a piece of framing lumber. This will help ensure that the studs remain sturdy. You can cut the lumber using a circular saw. You’ll want to use two pieces.

You should have a piece for the top and a piece for the bottom. You can put the lumber in place and secure them using nails. Make sure that everything is perfectly secured before moving on.

Between The Studs

Once the framing lumber has been secured, you’ll want to grab your tape measure and measure 14 and ¾ of an inch from the two vertical studs. Use a pencil to place marks on the bottom and top of the headers. The duct work should be placed through the opening you just created. Remember to add some insulation to the equation. This will provide you with the best results and help keep the air inside. The insulation can be sealed by utilizing metal foil tape.

Filling In The Spaces

Next, you’ll want to begin filling in space. You should measure the height from the bottom and top headers. Then, you’ll need to add a piece of wood here. This will be your jack studs. These studs should be placed on both sides of the duct work. A small gap should be left between the studs and the insulation. Once you’ve done this, you can use penny nails to secure the studs in place. This will ensure that everything remains in place.

You’ll want to continue and repeat this process until all return ducts are finished. This shouldn’t be too difficult. Take your time and follow the steps above to ensure that you get the best results.


Ultimately, installing a cold air return won’t be too difficult. To get it right, you need to take your time and refer to the steps provided above. This is the best way to ensure that everything is going to be perfect. Remember to insulate the duct to prevent problems in the future. Otherwise, the air is going to have another way to escape your home. Be careful and follow the steps carefully to ensure that everything is perfect.

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