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Tracing Your Home's Ductwork



When I decided to implement zoning on my furnace I was faced with the task of mapping each furnace duct to its’ corresponding vent. A quick look at the 15+ metal arms extending from the furnace told me that this was not going to be an easy task. Fortunately, there is an easy and accurate method for tracing your ductwork… and it only requires a few basic tools.



What you need:

  • Drill with 1/8” Drill Bit
  • Syringe
  • Essential Oil
  • Duct Tape

Where to find what you need:

You probably have a Drill and Duct Tape lying around the house but, if not, you can find these at any home improvement store. Any size Drill Bit will work but you want to make as small a hole as possible to avoid unnecessarily damaging the duct.

The Essential Oil and Syringe is a little more difficult. I find to be the best for selection and ease of ordering. Specifically, I use (both available from amazon):

  • 5 ml Syringes with Blunt Tip Fill Needles
  • Orange Oil Sweet


Essential Oil

The Method:

Ok, so now that we have our tools we are ready to start tracing those ducts!

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That’s all there is to it. This method is so much simpler than blowing smoke or fishing a tape through the ductwork. I hope it helps you as much as it did me.

© 2014 Timothy Marsh


Hal on January 04, 2019:

This works excellent for supply ducts. Any idea on to apply this to return ducts

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