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A Two Way Operation | Return-Air Problems Solved

If you are experiencing unbalanced air temperature throughout your home or business, you might have encountered a return-air problem. 

A reoccurring issue seen in homes with a single return-air grille is an inefficiency in air-flow. Often resulting in return air struggling to find its way back to the indoor fan coil. Typically resulting in room-to-room pressure imbalances that can cause uneven room temperatures, unsatisfactory climate, added energy costs, and potential mildew or moisture on ceilings and in walls.

When an indoor fan coil is initiated, conditioned air is pushed through air ducts to registers in each conditioned room in a house. If the forced-air system is designed correctly, the home includes return-air ducts to relay air back to the indoor fan coil to be conditioned again, in a continued circle.

While most HVAC contractors recommend a builder install ducts and registers to deliver conditioned air to every room in a house, often the builder’s budget may not allow for additional or adequate return-air paths from each room leading back to the indoor fan coil. Return-air grilles are not commonly found in each room; instead, there’s often just a single large return-air grille in the living room or a central hallway to accommodate the entire home’s atmosphere. One system is forced to work over-time; the forced-air system must pull all of the home’s air requirements through that single grille before it can be conditioned by the indoor fan coil or cooled by the air-conditioning system.

Guidelines and Best Practices

Suggestions for possibly solving the pressurized-room issue. Elect one of the following:

  • Installation of a return air grille
  • A through-the-wall transfer grille connecting the bedroom and the adjacent hallway
  • A crossover duct (a jumper duct) connecting a ceiling grille in the bedroom with a ceiling grille in the hallway.

The most effective of the suggested solutions tends to be the most expensive: the installation of a return grille ducted back to the furnace in every conditioned room of the house.

A more cost effective solution, through-the-wall transfer grilles, tend to allow too much noise transmission.

The final suggestion, the addition of a crossover duct connects a ceiling grille in each bedroom with a nearby ceiling grille in the hall. The cross-over duct may allow for more sound than the first option, less than the trough-the-wall transfer. To prevent unacceptable heat loss or heat gain, it’s best to limit the installation of crossover ducts to homes with insulation that follows the roof slope.

For additional information regarding how to have the most efficient air quality and temperature balance call the Comfort Experts at (850) 267-3538. Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc of Santa Rosa Beach has served Okaloosa & Walton Counties for over 32 years and we continue to ensure your home and business comfort.

Connect with ACHI

  • Always Same Day Service!

    Phone: (850) 267-3538
    Fax: (850) 267-3428
    Lic#: CAC 1814283

    Servicing all of Okaloosa and Walton Counties

    215 Market Street
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

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