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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    7

    Moving Return Registers

    The last company that I talked with recommended moving the return registers on the second floor of my house from the floor to the ceiling. The cost is minimal when compared to installing the system.

    We have always had issues with keeping the second story cool and he thought by moving the registers to the ceiling this might help.

    We have a 1994 Bryant A/C so I know the new system will be more efficient.

    Should we wait until after the unit is installed to see if our cooling problem is resolved?

    My wife doesn't really want the registers moved to ceiling height due to the aesthetics but if it would really help with the cooling she might be game.

    Again, we are not adding registers just moving them from the floor to the ceiling and I don't know how big a difference this will make.

    We added insulation in the attic so we should have about a R-49 insulation value in the attic.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    SW MO.
    Posts
    5,212
    Return air registers should be as high as possible since hear rises. Do you have vaulted ceilings?
    If you old system just maybe inefficient.
    Has anyone done a load calc?

    Certainly wouldn't hurt to move registers higher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Stongsville Oh
    Posts
    899
    chard makes an excellent point about vaulted ceiling. Studies have been done on this and a thermocline exists in building with vaulted or cathedral style ceilings. In the 70ies and early 80ties people were adding ceiling fans to reclaim the heat up there and it turned out to be more expensive because it disrupted the thermocline. If the ceilgs are vaulted I would not add high returns. Also how old is the home. Again as chard mentioned a heat load calc. Many homes that had ac retrofitted have second floors suffering from not enough airflow. If this is the case moving returns probably will do little.
    ckartson
    I didn't write the book I just read it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    7
    The home was built in 1994 so the A/C is not a retrofit. Also, not vaulted ceilings upstairs, standard 8 foot ceilings. One company that gave me a quote did a calculation but did not leave it with me. They arrived at needing around 80,000 btu for heat and a 4 ton a/c with a 5 ton coil. Everyone has suggested we go to a variable speed blower.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    nw ohio
    Posts
    189
    I agree with moving the returns to the ceilings.
    I always tried to take 75% of my return air from the second floor with a return in each room and the hallway.
    You will notice an improvement.
    compressors never die; they're always murdered!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,013
    Quote Originally Posted by mkresin View Post
    The last company that I talked with recommended moving the return registers on the second floor of my house from the floor to the ceiling. The cost is minimal when compared to installing the system.

    We have always had issues with keeping the second story cool and he thought by moving the registers to the ceiling this might help.


    Should we wait until after the unit is installed to see if our cooling problem is resolved?

    My wife doesn't really want the registers moved to ceiling height due to the aesthetics but if it would really help with the cooling she might be game.
    If the company will give you the same price to relocate the returns whether done at the same time as the new system install, then waiting to see if things are improved to your satisfaction would make the most sense.

    "He thought" ? A cooling load calculation and air flow measurements would tell him exactly what is needed to resolve temperature problems with the second floor.

    In some cases (maybe yours is one of them) moving the returns higher on the wall simply means using the wall cavity the original ones are installed into. If this is the case then the lower ones can remain and changed to a type that has a damper in them.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,091
    I'd leave it. Just make sure it's the right size duct and grille.

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