Duct Returns Affect Your Comfort And Savings: Why They’re Worth Investing In
Your duct returns play an important role in your home’s air circulation. When conditioned air is distributed through your home, filling every room, your duct returns allow it to recycle back into the HVAC system to be reconditioned and repeat the process.
Without efficient duct returns, your home would become a stuffy, uncomfortable place. Conditioned air would be pumped into a room, but wouldn’t have an effective means of escaping. This means that indoor pressure levels would rise and comfort would decrease. The situation would compound when a fresh cycle of conditioned air was pumped in.
By maintaining neutral pressure levels, duct returns ensure expensive conditioned air isn’t forced out of a high-pressure house through leaks and cracks. Your home will be forced to make up for that lost air by pulling unventilated air in through other leaks and cracks, which can introduce pollutants from outside. It also forces your HVAC system to work harder, conditioning new air instead of temperature-adjusted air.
Ideally, you should have duct returns in every room, but if you only have them in centrally located positions on every floor, that’s okay. The best time to ensure your return supply system is efficient is during initial construction and installation, but there are retrofits that may be possible to improve your existing system’s performance.
- Upgrade your return supply grilles to models with wider slats. This facilitates air flow and eases circulation.
- Install transfer grilles above interior doors, which allow air to pass out of the room. A series of closed doors creates a blockage that interrupts air flow. This can work for bedrooms, but shouldn’t be done for bathrooms, kitchens and some hobby rooms, or areas with high potential for fumes.
- Consider installing jumper ducts. These are short ducts installed in the ceiling to provide air access from one room to another while maximizing privacy.
Like supply ducts, return ducts should be sealed and insulated to prevent energy loss. Call Symbiont Service Corp. if you’re interested in maximizing the performance of your ductwork for greater comfort and efficiency. We’re happy to serve Florida homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about duct returns and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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