How To Install Cold Air Return


Where do you put cold air returns?

Place your cold air return vents on the inside walls of buildings at the lowest point. The return vent pulls cold air from the bottom of the room and returns it to the furnace to be reheated and returned as warm air. Unlike supply vents, return vents do not need to be cased in metal. via

Do you need a cold air return in every room?

DEAR TIM: Ideally you want to have cold air return registers in every room. These should be located at the top of the wall on an interior wall. The supply registers should always be on an exterior wall preferably under a window or near a door. You don't need two sets of cold air return vents. via

How do you frame a cold air return? (video)

What happens if there is not enough return air?

If there is not enough return air available, your HVAC system will not heat or cool properly. If not enough air is brought back, your HVAC system will not be able to keep up with temperature demands. In some cases, two returns may be necessary to provide enough return air. via

What happens if you cover a cold air return?

Effects of Covering Return Vents

The most obvious effect of covering return vents is that the air can't get back to the HVAC system. Covering even one return vent can throw off the system's operation. The system needs to suck the air back into the furnace while it's running, or it throws off the balance and pressure. via

How high should a cold air return be off the floor?

In the upper stories of the house, the return air duct openings on each floor should be approximately equal to the sum of the hot air outlets. In the basement, to avoid chimney backdrafting, the return air duct should be only half as large as the sum of the hot air ducts. via

How many cold air returns should a house have?

Generally speaking, you should only need one return air vent per room in your home. However, you may need additional air vents for larger sized rooms. via

How do I know if my return air is working?

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. via

Is replacing ductwork worth it?

“If your ductwork is over 15 years old, you probably should replace it. Ductwork has a maximum lifespan of 20-25 years. By 15 years, however, it begins to deteriorate, significantly reducing your HVAC system's efficiency, so replacement is the prudent option.” via

Can I replace ductwork myself?

To answer the question of whether or not you can replace or install your own ductwork, I'd say it is possible but that I highly recommend enlisting the help of a heating, cooling, and ductwork expert. Ductwork runs all throughout your house, which makes doing DIY repairs yourself a heavy contracting lift. via

Why is cold air return necessary?

The return registers draw stale air into the ductwork, where it's pulled through the filter to capture dust and debris and then delivered back to the HVAC equipment for reconditioning. However, the most important function of the cold air return registers is ensuring ample airflow through the HVAC system. via

How do I calculate the size of a cold air return?

Calculate the square root of the total. (Example: 4 (ton unit) x 144 square inches = 576 squared. The square root of 576 is 24. Therefore, your return air duct and grill size will be 24 by 24 inches.) via

Should cold air returns be open or closed?

Because hot air rises and cold air falls, you need to adjust your return vents with the seasons. In the summer, your lower vents should be closed and your upper vents should be open. In the winter, your upper vents should be closed and your lower vents should be open. via

Do cold air returns need filters?

If there is no air filter at your HVAC unit, then you absolutely need a return vent filter. We recommend using a MERV-5 to MERV-8 pleated air filter in your return vent. So it will serve as the only line of defense against dust and particles entering your HVAC system. via

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