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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    7

    Estimate Check: Your Thoughts

    Hi All,

    In taking estimates for a new system, the sales tech suggested install extra returns. Second-floor bedrooms get little air and I wanted to make sure that the replacement system would get more air up there. He demonstrated the need for the returns this way. The carpet is high upstairs. So when the doors to those rooms were open, there was some air coming out of the vents. When he closed the doors, air coming out of that room's vent was almost nonexistent. He said that since air couldn't get under the door, air flow to the main return down the hall was cut off which caused air to that room to cease. Installing a return in those rooms would get more air to those rooms according to him. The master bedroom has a return in it and that room gets plenty of air through its vents. Other estimates called for installing a zoning system which was 3X the cost of adding the returns. What do you all think of this? By the way here are the system components he suggested:

    Carrier 24ANA748 (outside)
    Carrier 58CVA090-16 (inside)
    Infinity Control

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Not being there to see this job, why couldn't you undercut the doors?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    Not being there to see this job, why couldn't you undercut the doors?
    He suggested that too. He said I could just take the doors off and cut about a half inch off the doors.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Quote Originally Posted by hugebob View Post
    He suggested that too. He said I could just take the doors off and cut about a half inch off the doors.
    That by far would, be the cheepest way out. Weather or not it does the trick, is another question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    That by far would, be the cheepest way out. Weather or not it does the trick, is another question.
    To my layman's brain, it sounds like the system wasn't getting all the air it should. So getting more air returned means getting more air from the vents. Does that sound right? I'd do both if it meant getting a good amount of heating/cooling from those vents for those rooms.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    If you're not working within a budget, a return in each room is the way to go.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    389
    So exactly how much air can flow through a 1/2" x 36" opening? I can confidently say less than the supply cfm requirement for the room. I am a firm believer in a return in every room because of that fact.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Quote Originally Posted by EverettsHVAC View Post
    I am a firm believer in a return in every room because of that fact.
    I am too but, not many people want to spend the money, to do it right.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,337
    Quote Originally Posted by EverettsHVAC View Post
    So exactly how much air can flow through a 1/2" x 36" opening? I can confidently say less than the supply cfm requirement for the room. I am a firm believer in a return in every room because of that fact.
    You would need a velocity of about 800FPM to get 100 CFM through that opening.

    The returns in each room is a better option.
    May also need to resize teh supply ducts. Since the OP said there was some air coming out with teh door open, making it sound like the air flow was still lacking.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    389
    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    I am too but, not many people want to spend the money, to do it right.
    I hear ya loud and clear!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,253
    If the central return is large enough and is pulling sufficient when the bedroom doors are open, another option is to have jump ducts installed. These are passive returns that simply connect a return in the bedroom to one in the hall and the air is pulled through that when the door is closed. May be the compromise you are looking for - don't have to under cut doors and not as expensive or disruptive as putting active returns to each room. The goal here is to provide a free path for the return air to the central return.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    389
    Quote Originally Posted by mchild View Post
    If the central return is large enough and is pulling sufficient when the bedroom doors are open, another option is to have jump ducts installed. These are passive returns that simply connect a return in the bedroom to one in the hall and the air is pulled through that when the door is closed. May be the compromise you are looking for - don't have to under cut doors and not as expensive or disruptive as putting active returns to each room. The goal here is to provide a free path for the return air to the central return.
    Yes, but then you loose privacy. There is no cheap alternative to returns.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by EverettsHVAC View Post
    Yes, but then you loose privacy. There is no cheap alternative to returns.
    Lose privacy? How so? As for budget. Adding the returns only adds about $1500 which puts me within my original budget. The estimate (with returns) was slightly beneath my budget. So, at this point, I can go either way. The extra returns are still way cheaper than putting in a controlled damper system.

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