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  1. #1
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    Question Does adding Return registers increase efficiency & comfort?

    We have a 2,800 sq. ft. rancher with half of the basement finished in addition to that. The Heater/AC unit is located in the basement near the center of the house. However, the living areas take up half of the first floor and have fewer return registers than the other half of the floor where the bedrooms are located. In the winter, the living areas always feel colder. In the summer, the living areas always feel warmer and it is difficult to cool that area when we have a lot of company inside.
    We are preparing to install a new heater/air conditioner unit because it has been breaking down and is 20 years old. We are also going to convert to natural gas from propane.

    We are debating over two proposals:

    One contractor is recommending a Rheem unit and installing six additional return registers in the living area and the finished basement area. All of our returns are at the ceiling and he is recommending adding additional returns at the floor into the existing ducts to increase airflow to the unit. The thinking is that pulling hot air from the ceiling and cold from the floor will begin the temperature exchange in the duct itself and the additional airflow will also increase the units efficiency. Is that additional labor worth it?

    The other contractor is recommending a York and said that adding additional returns would not make any difference because the ducts can only carry so much air anyway.

    From what I have read in other posts, it sounds like most people prefer Rheem. Our second question is whether not to put in additional returns.

    We are open to any thoughts or advice on the matter. Thanks for your time everyone.

  2. #2
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    The important thing is to have load-calcs performed on your home.

    Adding some Returns with large area & deep filter boxes might help, but I wouldn't add that many.

    Right sizing plus a good setup & install is the main thing toward efficient low cost operation with low maintenance costs.

    Having an Energy Efficiency Audit would also be a good idea.

    Here is a Free Online load-calc you can work with... http://www.loadcalc.net/

  3. #3
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    The first step one should take for increasing the comfort of their home is finding out what can be done to better air seal and insulate the home, along with ways to keep the sunlight off the windows. You may have excessive air leaks from the home into the attic, your attic insulation may be insufficient, your returns located near the ceiling may be using the wall joist as returns and those wall joist are well connected (air wise) to the hot attic.

    After fixing the home, then look into equipment options.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  4. #4
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    You're getting conflicting reports on the need of additional returns or not. Both should have explained to you (in detail) their reasoning. They are (supposedly) the salesmen and need to be 'selling' you on their ideas to make you comfortable with your choose.

    I have found, and I'm sure others here will agree, that additional returns are generally needed in most homes. York is very inexpensive line of equipment. Along with that are the contractors pushing 'low' prices. Remember the old adage; 'we usually get what we pay for.'

  5. #5
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    Thread Starter

    Thanks for your advice

    Quote Originally Posted by udarrell View Post
    The important thing is to have load-calcs performed on your home.

    Adding some Returns with large area & deep filter boxes might help, but I wouldn't add that many.

    Right sizing plus a good setup & install is the main thing toward efficient low cost operation with low maintenance costs.

    Having an Energy Efficiency Audit would also be a good idea.

    Here is a Free Online load-calc you can work with... http://www.loadcalc.net/
    Thanks for the advice & input everybody. Had to set this project aside and getting back to it now.
    Had some trouble with the load calculator. Not sure how to answer all the questions.
    Probably not going to go with extra registers, just see what some adjustable dampers accomplish.

    New question: Are Lennox systems that superior to Rheem or York?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    New question: Are Lennox systems that superior to Rheem or York?
    Not in my opinion.
    What makes U think they're superior?

  7. #7
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    equipment is equipment ,they all have high end and they all have builder grade , the contractor is the difference and will have hs preference. 2 stage heat or modulating and 2 stage cooling will improve your comfort, if properly sized and setup
    Go Trump

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