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Thread: Closing cold air returns
02-02-2013, 09:14 AM #14New Guest
- Join Date
- Feb 2013
They actually the louvered style so they don't protrude into the duct more than an inch or so.
02-02-2013, 09:40 AM #15
I've seen a few homes like that here in MN with this set up, and I have this in my hallway.
I close the lower one in the summer, and open in the winter. In a way, i am glad to see that set up in this home. With it open in the winter, it will draw the cold air off the floor in the winter, and then in the summer, closing it will then use the upper one to draw the warm air from the ceiling.
02-02-2013, 12:33 PM #16Contractor locator map
How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?
02-02-2013, 12:38 PM #17Professional Member*
- Join Date
- Jul 2000
- Northern Wisconsin
Ok, now that all the facts are in.........
Your concern was (as I understood it) why wasn't the closeable register put near the ceiling so that you could stop heated air from being returned to the furnace.
If the home's HVAC system was installed correctly: Within a short amount of time of the furnace's blower coming on (during a heating cycle) the movement of air within the rooms quickly "mixes" all the air in the space. Very little temperature difference will exist between the air temperatures at the floor and ceiling. During cooling season this doesn't happen as efficiently because the cold air being delivered to the room doesn't "circulate" as well....... for a lack of a better term to use that is easy to visualize.
Heated air will rise by nature. If you've paid to heat that air during the on cycle of the furnace to keep you comfortable it will only accomplish this when the blower is running. As soon as the blower stops the cooler air in the room sinks and the heated air rises. The heated air rises above your head...... only thing it's doing up there is warming the ceiling and trying to get out of your home. The returns near the ceiling will pull this already heated air back to the furnace and redistribute it.
Properly designed, installed and controlled multi-zone HVAC systems take advantage of this and can actually move warmed air (via solar gains as an example) from one zone that is exceeding it's set point to one that is in need of more heat by only turning on the blower and never running the furnace.
I wouldn't be concerned with the dampers being only in the lower returns. Every home and it's occupants live and function differently. What you have is the ability to manually modify your system in a way that very few others do. Experiment with opening or closing the dampers and see what works best for you and your home. The results can be surprisingly different between different rooms in some cases. Would I suggest putting dampers in the upper returns...... no. You'd see no advantage in energy savings or comfort IMO.Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.
02-02-2013, 04:15 PM #18