To deal efficiently with the chilly Indianapolis winters and humid summers, your heating and cooling system needs an optimally designed duct system. Return air ducts are a critical part of that system, but they’re often overlooked.
The Purpose of Return Ducts
Your duct system consists of supply and return ducts. The supply air ducts direct conditioned air from the air handler out to your rooms. The return air ducts bring air back to the air handler. The returns are the ducts located behind the grilles on the walls or ceilings of your home’s common areas, such as the hall and living room, and possibly other rooms.
The supply and return ducts work together to maintain balanced air circulation throughout the house. This reduces the likelihood of your room developing hot and cold spots or becoming stuffy. Sufficient return ducts also prevent excess air pressure inside your rooms. High indoor air pressure can push conditioned air out through small cracks around the windows and doors, causing energy waste.
Getting the Most From Your Return Ducts
In an optimally designed duct system, there should be a return duct in every room besides the kitchen and bath. A return duct for each level of the building is the bare minimum. In many homes, however, the duct system was built with too few or just one return duct. If you find no return air grilles in your bedrooms, consult with a heating and cooling technician about having some added. Additional return ducts can be run between wall studs and through joist bays to connect with the main return duct.
In cases where it’s not practical to add return ducts, your technician can create door undercuts and install transfer grilles to improve air circulation.
To ensure sufficient airflow, clean your return grilles twice a year by removing the cover and vacuuming the dust out of the inside of the duct. Take care not to block the grilles with furniture or other items.
Contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing anywhere around Indianapolis for help optimizing your return air ducts.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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