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Cold air return ?

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  • Cold air return ?

    I just read this thread and I think I have the same problem...

    My return vents though were mounted in the baseboard. There seems to be only duct running the length of the house. It is just sheetmetal over the bottom of the floor joists. This duct led to a grate in the living room only. Now I blocked it and I realize I shouldnt have. Now my question is, Is it best to put cold air returns at the floor or up higher near the ceiling? I really think Ive seen them up in the air somewhere but cant picture where. Obviously they would look better at floor level though. Will one return grate make things more comfortable? It is always cold in my house. My main floor is about 950 sq ft, and my furnace is about 8 years old.


  • #2

    For heating you want both return and supply along the floor as heat rises. For air conditioning in the summer you want both up high near your ceilings. The ideal would be to have both and have dampers behind the grills so you can open and close them. Try to unblock any that are blocked and for comfort a slow running ceiling fan really helps. So does a small fan down near the floor aimed upward. This is to keep the air in a room stired up.


    • #3
      Thank You for your quick answer. I dont have A/C in this house but I will open up that return tomorrow.


      • #4
        cold air returns

        Is there only one return? if it is your baseboard one would probably not be enough. the wall is probably a 2x4 wall and the cavity in between studs is 14.5"x3.5". sometimes 2 stud bays are used together, you might have a total of 100 square inches for return air going to your furnace.
        the furnace can only blow out air that it sucks in thru return ducting.
        A quick test to see if you have enough return air going back to the furnace is turn on the furnace and feel how much air is blowing out the supply grilles,
        than remove the bottom door of the furnace [this allows more return air to be sucked in ] you will need to have someone hold in the door switch on the furnace. this is a safty device that does not allow the furnace to run when the service door is open. now check the air flow at the same grill.
        And if i didnt warn you to NOT STICK YOU FINGERS IN THE BLOWER COMPARTMENT when the blower is running, I am sure other people would point that out!
        If the air flow increases and the furnace runs quieter with the door open, you need more return air