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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    40

    Where should returns go?

    I don't know anything about returns and where they should be ideally. I am adding a forced air system to a 1914 house. All contractos have the same plan for supplies. The are going to run from the basement all the way to the 2nd floor and hit each room from the attic with insulated flex. On the main level they are going to run a main trucnk perpindicular to the joist and take off from the top in the joist spaces and put floor registers where they are needed.

    Now when it comes to returns they don't seem to concerned, witch bothers me. Where is the best place for the returns? One contractors plan was to put the ruturns in the ceiling on the second level and floor on the first just like the supplies. Another tried playing me for dumb and said it didn't really matter and was just going to put one off the trunk on the main level and another off the trunk on the second level and that would be fine.

    Where will a good contractor tell me the ducts should go on a retrofit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    One on each floor minimum,and a return path from each room,which can e a pass thru,or jumper return.


    High or low ,makes little difference in comfort.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    40
    Whats "pass through" and "Jumper"?

    Are returns more a comfort thing or system running well(less problems, more efficent?

    So if they give me the option of "fishing" returns up the walls from the basement and down the walls from the attic "but its going to be a lot more labor" is that something I should do if cosmeticly I don't care? Is the floor ceiling set up fine? I guess It thought they were cutting corners cause they didn't want to have to slide stuff up walls.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Correct return/supply duct and grill size are required,for efficiency and longevity of the eqipment,as well as comfort.

    Jumpers are grille in bedroom ceiling,with a large duct,connected to a grille in the common area that has the main return.

    Pas thru,grilles back to back,bedroom to common area,using the wall space for air flow.

    A way to let the supply air out of the room,so more supply can enter the room.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rydal,Ga
    Posts
    84

    dash.... like you more every day... only thing !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by dash View Post
    One on each floor minimum,and a return path from each room,which can e a pass thru,or jumper return.


    High or low ,makes little difference in comfort.
    dash.... like you more every day... only thing !!!

    The biggest thing to keep in mind is T-Stat Placement...

    Drag as much air past the T-Stat as possible....

    NO!!! Supply's or Returns in any outside/exterior walls !!!

    Try to keep as many ducts and jumpers with in the envelope as well... avoid attic if possible.... Pan the floor maybe ???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    40
    I'm lost... so are my contractors correct that it is not worth all the labor to try to get returns into the walls and I should just go in the in the floor for the main level and attic for the second level?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
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    18,836
    Yes,those locations should be fine,second floor ceiling is great to remove hot air in heating and cooling.

    Eeach room,other the baths and kitchen.needs a return path,for incoming supply air to get back to the ducted return.Could be under the door,if large enough,thrugh the wall,or a jumper return.



    Two stories will have more even temps between floors,if you have two systems,zoning,or manual dampers to regulate "seasonal" air flow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rydal,Ga
    Posts
    84

    Convenience is costly and most times inefficient.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjander View Post
    I'm lost... so are my contractors correct that it is not worth all the labor to try to get returns into the walls and I should just go in the in the floor for the main level and attic for the second level?
    Convenience is costly and most times inefficient.

    Exterior walls are your thermal boundary...
    Cramming a metal srackhead into most times 2x4 wall leaving less than an inch from being exposed to extreme temps is crazy.....
    #1 lose of energy...
    # 2 it is sure to condensate
    #3 if a return and not sealed (IMPOSSIBLE with batts !!!) a major cavity void!!

    I will try to dig out some of these I have IR'ed .... Most times the entire cavity is glowing !!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    53
    I agree with Dash. The best way is with the pass through/jumper grilles. If you have bedrooms that the doors will be closed, this can create an imbalance in the air flow. In most cases, the space under a door does not provide enough return air back to the system.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    581
    Quote Originally Posted by dash View Post
    .Could be under the door,if large enough,

    How large of an under the door gap is enough ....for a typical 30" interior door...to a typical 10 x 12 bedroom?

    Key1

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    1" in a well insulated home,here in Florida,where the cfm would be around 100.

    This will vary drasticlly around the country,depending on the heating and cooling cm required for the "typical" room.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    2,246
    I would design system for climate. Colder you want low wall, hotter you want ceiling. You should have returns in every bedroom and siiting room not in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. Just using under door will work but not as effective as return in room.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally Posted by dash View Post
    1" in a well insulated home,here in Florida,where the cfm would be around 100.

    This will vary drasticlly around the country,depending on the heating and cooling cm required for the "typical" room.
    If you go this route, just remember, if you have a high pile carpet, it needs to be 1" from the top of the carpet.

    But, again, the best is a return in every room just as 21 degrees mentioned.

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