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  1. #1

    Should I cover intake airvent in winter?

    My friend told me that in winter I should cover the top air intake vent inside the house (as hot air rises) and in summer I should cover the bottom vents. I am concerned will this affect efficiency of the HVAC as now I have constricted the intake airflow?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsharma View Post
    My friend told me that in winter I should cover the top air intake vent inside the house (as hot air rises) and in summer I should cover the bottom vents. I am concerned will this affect efficiency of the HVAC as now I have constricted the intake airflow?
    Your instincts are right. Leave all your vents and returns open and unrestricted to get the best performance out of your system.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2004
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    Leave them both open.

    Covering the one, may restrict as you think.
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  4. #4
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    if you can choose... are vents more effective at hte ceiling or floor during the winter assuming you have adequate return air?

    I want to add an additional return vent and could place it near the floor or at the ceiling. My supply registers are located on the floor, not the walls.

  5. #5
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    That would depend on the supply set up.

    And that is a whole other can of worms.
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  6. #6
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    It can't be that hard to sort out. The supply registers are all located near the perimater walls, the returns are at the ceiling on interior walls, mostly near the central hallway. This is a typical 1200 sq foot ranch style... except the kitchen is completely open to the dining area.

    I'm leaning towards having it placed near the floor since the pergo floors tend to be cool in the winter sionce they are above the unconditioned part of the basement area. Plus the return will be more hidden from view.

  7. #7
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    Are the supplies in the floor, using floor regs, or baseboard regs, or are teh supplies in the wall.

    The throw and air mix of the supply reg, will determine if positioning of the returns will have any real effect.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Southeast Michigan
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    lsharma,

    Are you talking about the return registers?

    If Yes: Are they vertically in-line with each other? (aka are they attached to the same duct)

    If "Yes": Measure the in-wall duct size and calculate it's cross-sectional area, compare this area to the area of both vents. If the duct area is less than both vents you MAY benefit by covering one. If the duct area is equal to, nearly equal to or larger than the combined area of both vents then leave both vents open.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    I have moved several ceiling mounted return air (heater) ducts to the floor and found amazing results. Constantly removing cold air off the floor vs. warmer air off the ceiling is a no-brainer. If you can run a dual duct system (ceiling return in the summer and floor return in the winter) you’ll have the best designed return system IMO. I have found that by making that change you will benefit up to 50% in energy and comfort.

    Pondering this idea puts you leagues ahead of the average HVAC contractor.

    Brian

  10. #10
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    Mine are floor registers. Most are 4X10". After I get my ductwork fixed next week I should have descent balance without adjusting the dampers on the registers.

    SOunds like near hte floor might be beneficial. I think I'll go ahead and add the adddtional supply, but hold off on the return until after my new system is installed and running a while to gauge any temperature differences.

    Ultimately it's a small home, so I'm not sure 1 additional return will have much impact. I'm not sure it's worth the effort. I have adequate return capacity on the exsitng returns. (3)3.25"x28" (double wall cavity) returns with (5) 30"x6" grills... 2 are on common walls, one only serves 1 room. Calculated velocity for 1200CFM is 620fpm.

    The other advantage I could see of a return at or near the floor is it might pick-up more dust.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    chicago suburbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian GC View Post
    I have moved several ceiling mounted return air (heater) ducts to the floor and found amazing results. Constantly removing cold air off the floor vs. warmer air off the ceiling is a no-brainer. If you can run a dual duct system (ceiling return in the summer and floor return in the winter) you’ll have the best designed return system IMO. I have found that by making that change you will benefit up to 50% in energy and comfort.

    Pondering this idea puts you leagues ahead of the average HVAC contractor.

    Brian
    50% huh........

    what is the temperature difference of the air at the floor and 8' above?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    NW Ohio
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    516
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian GC View Post
    I have moved several ceiling mounted return air (heater) ducts to the floor and found amazing results. Constantly removing cold air off the floor vs. warmer air off the ceiling is a no-brainer. If you can run a dual duct system (ceiling return in the summer and floor return in the winter) you’ll have the best designed return system IMO. I have found that by making that change you will benefit up to 50% in energy and comfort.

    Pondering this idea puts you leagues ahead of the average HVAC contractor.

    Brian
    The BS flag is officially up the pole. I wonder what Manual D says about the location of return air grills?

  13. #13
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    Mar 2008
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    Long Beach, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by markj View Post
    The BS flag is officially up the pole. I wonder what Manual D says about the location of return air grills?
    I have never read a Manual D nor am I an HVAC contractor, I am a General Contractor, but I have lowered several ceiling mounted heater returns to the floor. It reduces the heater on-time by at least 50% while heating all levels of air more completely. I did it again last week to a 1900sq ft ranch which the HO lived in for the last 7 years. She just told me the heater stays on for a fraction of the time is used to and the house has no cold spots as before. She said I should patent my device, it’s amazing.

    BTW – I did recently meet an HVAC Contractor who was very aware of this common error. He installed a unit with ceiling supplies on one side of the greatroom and the return on the floor at the opposite side. The HO says it takes 2.5 minutes to raise the temp 5 deg.

    While I continually ask HOs how there ceiling return heaters work, they overwhelmingly say crappy. If just the HVAC Contractor would stick around long enough after getting the check to see how their installation actually performs.

    I’m not willing to argue with a Manual D, but I would bet anyone who was willing to put money on it.

    Brian

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