I'm still pretty new to the site but really appreciate all the good info here. I'm not a technician or installer but work for a company doing design and sales. I do Manual J load calcs on every job and try to approach each job with the installers in mind -- always add some extra funding for them if they have to go in attics and crawls because of the difficult access -- but there's a lot still to learn.
Most of my customers live in Philadelphia row homes, and I frequently encounter old gravity furnaces without proper returns to the top floors. Trying to find ways to get returns up there is a challenge, so I was wondering if anyone might have advice or thoughts on what you do when you encounter situations like this?
Usually I try to find stacked closets to hide the return but that's not always available. When I suggest running the ductwork up a wall, and then putting drywall around it, they object to how it will look.
I've been suggesting mini-splits with some success, but there's still resistence with those, too. I guess customers are waiting for invisible ductwork...they all want a/c but they don't want to do what has to be done to make it work.