return air duct on white wall

How to Install Return Air Duct in Wall

Installing a return air duct in your wall is an essential step in ensuring that your home’s air quality is as good as it can be. It’s a job that you can do yourself with a few simple tools and some know-how. But, how to install return air duct in wall? In this how-to guide, we’ll walk you through the steps involved in installing a return air duct in your wall, so you can get the job done right.

What is A Return Air Duct?

A return air duct is a duct that is used to return air to a furnace or air conditioner. The returned air is typically warmer than the air supplied to your house’s rooms, so it helps to improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

The air would not adequately circulate without a return air duct, resulting in higher energy expenses. The primary “duct” in return air ducts often flows back toward the heating system via ceiling joist voids. These joist gaps are exact ducts that exit into the furnace’s side after running adjacent to the joists.

Why Install A Return Air Duct?

There are many benefits to installing a return air duct, including:

  • Improved air quality: By returning air to your furnace or air conditioner, you can improve the air quality in your home.
  • Increased efficiency: Return air ducts help to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by allowing the air to circulate properly.
  • Lower energy costs: By improving the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, you can lower your energy costs.

How to Determine Where to Install Your Return Air Duct

You may think that a return duct should be placed directly across from the supply vents since its job is to draw air back into the system. Both halves of this statement are accurate. Yes, this would be a successful arrangement, but this isn’t the only way to achieve it.

It would be more than possible to install a return duct in every room with a supply vent, but this isn’t always the greatest option. It would be best to avoid placing return ducts in kitchens or bathrooms. Cooking moisture and smell would then easily move throughout the heating and air system as a result of this. It would be a cause for catastrophe and unpleasant odours.

The situation might be a little more complicated in two-story houses, but generally speaking, you should put the return as near as possible to the thermostat. The thermostat will be able to track and measure the temperature cycled back through the system if you follow this basic rule of thumb. The thermostat is also often positioned in a central location.

You may gather temperature and circulation measurements from every area by centralizing the return duct and thermostat. However, not all house designs may benefit from this configuration. Installing returns in every house room, except the kitchen and bathrooms, may be required under these circumstances.

Steps on How to Install Return Air Duct in Wall

Installing a return air duct is fairly simple and can be done in just a few steps. Here’s how:

Identify where to place your return air duct.

Determine the location of the return air ducts where you wish to install your return air grille, and create a low hole in the drywall. Be careful not to cut any electrical wires or pipes in the wall while installing new return registers in an old home.

Before continuing, make a little hole in the wall with your hands to inspect the inside. The hole should be the proper size for the screen. Cut through the floor via the gap. You should now have a hole in the area between the basement ceiling joists. Perform the procedure again until you achieve the desired number of return air holes. Except for the bathroom, each room should contain at least one.

Start placing the panning.

Fill the holes with wood screws and washers. The goal is to make it so that the screen is completely covered. Place the panning over each hole.

Securely attach each piece of panning by driving in nails or screws around the perimeter, about every eight inches. If you’re using screws, be sure to also use washers to make sure you install them correctly.

Create a cover for the new ductwork.

Install the joist-perpendicular square return air duct. Take the time to make sure that it’s level and plumb. The goal is for the new ductwork to be completely hidden, so be sure to create a cover that will blend in with the rest of your home’s d├ęcor.

You can use anything from fabric to wood to metal to create a cover for your new ductwork. Whichever material you choose, be sure to attach it securely so that it doesn’t come loose and cause any damage.

Connect the new air return duct to the furnace.

Now that the new ductwork is in place, it’s time to connect it to the furnace. The easiest way to do this is to use a flexible air duct. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, you can always hire a professional to do it for you.

Add the air filter.

The final step is to add the air filter. It will help keep your home’s air quality high and prevent dust or dirt from getting into the ductwork.

Be sure to check the air filter regularly and replace it as needed. Depending on your filter type, you may need to replace it every few months or so.


Installing a return air duct in your wall is a simple process you can do in just a few steps. By taking the time to do it yourself, you can save money and ensure that your home’s air quality is as good as it can be. You can also hire an HVAC professional to do it for you if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. Expert technicians at Furnace Repair Toronto will be more than happy to help you out.