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Thread: Return vents, winter summer? Which to open, which to close?

  1. #1
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    Return vents, winter summer? Which to open, which to close?

    Ok, I've read a ton on this, and I can't get a straight answer.

    All my supply vents are in the floor. My return vents are high/low in the walls in various places.

    For the winter, which return vents should be closed and which should be open? And for summer?

  2. #2
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    Are the low/high returns switchable via a damper?

    If so, for winter heating, have you tried operating your system with in one instance only the low returns open, and in another instance only the high returns open? And if so, did you notice any difference in comfort levels within the rooms where you did this?
    Psychrometrics: the very foundation of HVAC. A comfort troubleshooter's best friend.

  3. #3
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Shophound View Post
    Are the low/high returns switchable via a damper?

    If so, for winter heating, have you tried operating your system with in one instance only the low returns open, and in another instance only the high returns open? And if so, did you notice any difference in comfort levels within the rooms where you did this?
    Not sure what you mean by damper, but the return vents have a slider on the side that lets me close or open them easily. Here are some pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  4. #4
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    It appears set in first photo has high return grill damper closed with bottom open and the other set the opposite way.

    Try the following, since it is still the winter heating season: open top return grill dampers and close bottom return grill dampers on all sets like this throughout the home. Run it a few days like that and see if you're comfortable. Then switch positions on each set and run it like that for a few more days. Note any change in comfort.

    When summer hits, repeat this test. The results of these tests should advise you which is the best configuration to have the dampers be in winter and summer.
    Psychrometrics: the very foundation of HVAC. A comfort troubleshooter's best friend.

  5. #5
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks! Will do your test. Is that what they typically have been saying for winter setups for many years? Top open, bottom closed?

    I have high ceilings in quite a few places, if that means anything.

  6. #6
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    Dont adjust without proffesional help

  7. #7
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    Most systems are designed so ALL vents remain open all the time...

    We have no way of knowing how your system is actually set up.

    Warm air rises... So, in cooling season, you want warm air returns, so, high... In heating season, you want cold air returns... So low...
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...

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  8. #8
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    Most systems are designed so ALL vents remain open all the time...

    We have no way of knowing how your system is actually set up.

    Warm air rises... So, in cooling season, you want warm air returns, so, high... In heating season, you want cold air returns... So low...
    You mean in cooling season high returns OPEN, low returns closed, and heating season, low returns open, and high returns closed.

  9. #9
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    That is the general rule... But air mixing may be needed, high ceilings could require both returns...

    A professional needs to evaluate what you have and examine how it can be modified.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...

    Find a HVAC-Talk Contractor by clicking here

    Click below to BECOME a pro member
    https://hvac-talk.com/vbb/forumdispl...ip-Information

    Do you go to a boat repairman with a sinking boat, and tell him to put in a bigger motor when he tells you to fix the holes?

    I am yourmrfixit

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