I presently work at home, which means that I spend a lot of time in my office (ya think?). Unfortunately, this room is not a good one for air conditioning (or heating) in the house. I can often get 8 or more degrees of temperature differential between the office and the space outside the office door.

Behind the rear wall of my office is a closet that faces a hallway. I was considering running a duct with a fan (something like this) across that closet, so as to exhaust air from my office into the hallway. I normally keep the door (which is at the front of the office) open, so air should flow from the front of the office to the back, out to a different part of the house.

Is this a good idea? Is there some big, obvious flaw that I'm missing? Other than the obvious issues of wiring it up properly, is there any control issue that I'm not seeing?

1 Answer 1


The fact that you have this problem even though you keep the office door open indicates that your problem is an insufficient supply of conditioned air to the room, rather than the lack of a return path for the air. This can be caused by the layout and sizing of your ductwork.

Before taking on this project, you might try closing off the vent(s) in another room to force more air into your office. If you have a room that stays too cool in summer that would be an ideal candidate. If that works and you want to make the change more permanent, you could install an adjustable damper in that room's duct and set it to a position that keeps that room comfortable but still allows a bit more flow to the office.

If that doesn't work out then I think your proposed solution is a good one, possibly the only one short of a major overhaul of your ductwork to get the airflow more balanced. See this question for some tips on installing such a duct.

  • Most houses I've lived in had adjustments like butterfly valves in the vents near their source (near the furnace) to allow people to balance rooms that got too much or too little air flow. Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 21:23
  • I ended up not doing this because of a change in circumstances - I'm no longer working at home. I think the ducts were added after the house was built, so it wouldn't be surprising if their layout was sub-optimal. In the future when the issue arises again, I'll close off most of the vents on the same system to compensate. Commented Nov 4, 2012 at 22:52

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