Home Improvement

Are return air ducts required?

That’s right, your heating and air system is nothing more than a big circulation unit. Without the return duct, the air in the home would not be able to properly circulate. This would not only cause your energy bills to rise, but it will cause your entire system to not function at full efficiency.

What happens if you don’t have a return air vent?

Under Pressure

Closing vents in unused rooms increases pressure in the air ducts and puts the whole system under strain. Strained ducts can cause leaks or break duct seams within the walls, releasing conditioned air into parts of your home that do not need air.

Is a return air vent necessary?

Cold air return vents aren’t the most elegant feature in your home, but they exist for reason. These vents, commonly found in hallways or on ceilings, are absolutely essential to an air conditioner’s well-being. Cold air returns take in warm air from your home’s indoor spaces for use in your air conditioning system.

Do you need return air ducts in every room?

Does Every Room Need Air Return Grilles? While it is a myth that air return grilles are required in each and every room in the house, it is definitely necessary to have more than one of these grilles installed at strategic places in the house. The most important place to have these would be the bedroom.

How many return air vents are needed?

Your Home Might Not Have Enough Return Vents

Having several return vents (ideally one in every room, but even two or three is better than just one) creates consistent air pressure. If you have one return vent, your home is fine. Keep the doors to each room open so air can properly circulate.

Is it OK to block return vents?

It’s important not to block your return air vent because your HVAC system needs constant return air to work properly. Blocked air return ducts will cause your system to lose energy efficiency and cause premature failure of your HVAC system.

Where should a return air vent be located?

Return air vents are generally located near the center of the homes. Older and newer homes often have one register per floor, but homes built from 1960-1990 may have a cold return air vent in each room.

Can you put a couch in front of a return vent?

Home Inspection Insider explains that an air return vent needs 6-12 inches of space in front of it, and recommends that you do not put large, bulky furniture like couches and bookshelves in front of an air return vent.

Does a basement need a cold air return?

I recommend that all basements should have at least 2 supply registers and 1 return register in the basement/equipment area just to keep that area slightly warm or cool and the air fresh. If you are going to finish that area to be used as living space, then more supply and returns will be needed.

Does a furnace need a cold air return?

No furnace can adequately operate without sufficient return air supply. We can think of a furnace as lungs. It ‘breaths out’ hot and it ‘inhales’ cold air. Air return vents are necessary for the ‘inhale’ process.

How much does it cost to add a return vent?

A return air drop replacement will run around $300-$400, including installation. In rare cases where a second drop needs to be added, the cost can be up to twice that amount. Sometimes, one or two individual duct runs need to be modified or added, for situations like the room addition we mentioned earlier.

Can you have too much return air for furnace?

No, an air return cannot be too big, except in extreme cases where a closed room is temporarily under negative air pressure. Return vents maintain air pressure, filter out debris, and are critical to the efficient operation of any HVAC system.

Why are cold air returns near the ceiling?

In an air conditioning climate the return duct goes near the ceiling to draw off the hot air and cool it down. In a heating climate, the return duct goes near the floor to draw off the cold air and heat it up.

How big should a return air duct be?

Generally, if you are using a Duct Sizing Chart or calculator (such as the Trane Ductulator), size the re- turn ducts for 0.05 inches/100 ft (0.40 Pa/m) based on the expected airflow through that return air duct. The total sum of air from all the returns should be at least 250 CFM/nominal ton (33 l/s per-kW).

Where do you put cold air return vents?

The Location of Cold Air Return Vents

  1. Examine your home heating system. …
  2. Place your cold air return vents on the inside walls of buildings at the lowest point. …
  3. Place the vent at least 10 feet away from a thermostat, because the cold air draft may cause incorrect temperature readings.

Should you cover cold air returns in winter?

In the same way that hot air rises, cold air stays lower. So when you’re trying to heat your home, your lower return vents should be open to collect the cold air and your upper return vents should be closed to keep the heat from escaping.

Should you put filters in air returns?

In general, it is recommended to have an air filter in every return vent (as long as you choose the one of the right size and thickness). The filters will improve the air quality in your house and will protect the HVAC equipment from dust, pollen, pet dander, and hair.

What is the purpose of return air vents?

Return vents: What is a return vent? These vents suck the air from each room and send it back to the air conditioning or heating system. Return vents tend to be bigger than supply vents, and you won’t feel any air coming from them. When an HVAC system delivers air to a room, it increases that room’s air pressure.

How do you run a return air duct?

  1. Step 1: Determine Where the Ducts Will Go. Locate where you want your return air ducts. …
  2. Step 2: Begin Adding Panning. Go into the basement and locate the holes. …
  3. Step 3: Enclose New Ductwork. …
  4. Step 4: Add New Air Return Duct to Furnace. …
  5. Step 5: Install New Air Filter. …
  6. Step 6: Install Return Air Register Covers.
  7. Can flex duct be used for return air?

    Flex duct is widely used for return air in commercial air conditioning systems. Flex duct is able to withstand a certain negative pressure of return air. When installed properly, a flex duct is a reliable and convenient ductwork solution.

    What does a return vent look like?

    You can identify return vents by turning on the system fan and holding your hand or a piece of paper up. If the paper is pulled toward the vent or you feel a suction effect, it’s a return vent.

    Can a return vent be on the floor?

    Return air vent installation

    A return air venting system can be installed in one of two ways: either every room with a supply register will also have a return air vent, or there can be centrally located return vents on each floor of your home.

    Can Return air vents be in the ceiling?

    Most homes across the U.S. have forced air systems and in newer homes there will be cold air return vents placed at both the ceiling and the floor of many rooms. Having two air return vents allows you to seasonally control which air is returning to the HVAC system. In older homes, this may not be an option.

    Can I move a cold air return from floor to wall?

    Changing the location of an air return from the floor to the wall can only be done on an interior wall. This adjustment cannot be done on exterior walls. This is because exterior walls have various framing elements behind them such as concrete and wall studs that cannot be adjusted.

    Should cold air return vents be up or down?

    In the winter you want the cold air to be drawn through the return registers leaving the hot air behind. By opening the lower registers and closing the top ones you keep hot air in and draw the cold air out. Since cold air is heavy it will automatically flow down to the lower register.

    Can I close off a cold air return?

    The location of return vents is usually on interior walls in most of your rooms except the kitchen and bathrooms. Your return vents are usually larger than your supply vents. They don’t have louvers like registers do, which means you can’t open and close them.

    Why are heat ducts under Windows?

    To make the most of the registers in a home, ensure that they are not obstructed by furniture or placed behind curtains so that air can flow easily throughout the room. In order to avoid cold spots heating vents are often placed directly below windows.

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