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  1. #1
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    Oct 2009
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    Retuns on outside of home?

    Newbie question.

    Is there any issue with putting A/C return lines outside (exposed) from the basement to the upstairs? Aside from the aesthetics is it bad to do this since the furnace is in the basement and not in the attic?

  2. #2
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    If they are ran on the outside of the hose. They gain more heat in the summer. And lose more in the winter.
    So it will increase your cost to heat and cool your house.
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  3. #3
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    beenthere, thank you for your responses, super helpful. I have had 8 estimates and the thought of spending 5 figures on this is making me a little tenitive. I just want to get this right. In a two story house....Is the most effective way to have two systems one in the attic and the other in the basement controlling each floor?

  4. #4
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    Thats probably the best way in most situations.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    If they are ran on the outside of the hose. They gain more heat in the summer. And lose more in the winter.
    So it will increase your cost to heat and cool your house.
    Since the house is nearly 100 years old, and currently only has heat. The current registers were bult for a gravity furance so they are at the base of the walls, not on floors or ceilings, like most homes. There are returns on the first floor but not the second. In order to keep the intergrity of the home and minimize cutting ceiling registers or returns, It was suggested that I run the return on the second floor from the basement, to the exterior of the home, through the attic and above the common space above the stairs and use the current registers. The guy drew a picture, I'll scan it and if you can take a look that would be amzing.

  6. #6
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    Ok, post it.

    But, I think that would do more harm to the looks. Then anything else. Plus add operating cost.
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  7. #7
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    Keep in mind the first floor does have returns. It's the second floor that would run exterior returns.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    New Mexico
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    Understand the reason for returns is to relieve pressure in a room so the supply can deliver the needed amount of air. Returns do little in terms of comfort.
    I know some will disagree with this but this information isn't mine but comes from studying engineering papers that are easily available on line if wanted.

    What is usually done in in homes to assure a space doesn't pressurize is of course returns but when that's not doable undercutting the doors to the rooms or a transfer grill from the room to a common space will accomplish the same.
    Many homes built today have only one return usually close to the furnace and other than noise do their job.
    I had a home built in 1918 once with no upper floor returns and also no problems. In short it's the supplies that determine comfort. Just make sure the air has someplace to go.
    Tracers work both ways.

  9. #9
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    Would do more harm then good. Just increase your operating cost.
    Returns can be ran through the house. And not reduce the value of your home. Which is what running those returns on the outside of your house would do.

    As far as needing returns up stairs.
    Bedrooms with doors shut, and little tt know under cut do neeed returns when the doors are closed. For privacy.
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  10. #10
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    I prefer transfer grills to door cutting. Placed over the door, as far as looks go anyway.
    Tracers work both ways.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Would do more harm then good. Just increase your operating cost.
    Returns can be ran through the house. And not reduce the value of your home. Which is what running those returns on the outside of your house would do.

    As far as needing returns up stairs.
    Bedrooms with doors shut, and little tt know under cut do neeed returns when the doors are closed. For privacy.
    The doors in the 4 bedrooms upstairs all have 1.5 inch gaps on the bottom of the doors. There are currently supplies in each rooms but there are no returns up there. DO I absolutely need returns on the second floor common area, if I already have them on the bottom floor?

  12. #12
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    The common/landing area could get a little cooler or warmer then the rooms when the doors are closed. If you also have no supply in that area.

    How much is too hard to say from here.
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  13. #13
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    that drawing looks awful scientific. fill out your profile...somebody here may be able to help you.

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