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chaddr 04-25-2011 02:21 PM

Cold Air Return - Can I extend it?
Hi to everyone. I'm a new poster and I have a question that "google" can't seem to answer. About 9 months ago I bought a new construction house and the ductwork in the attic is horribly placed. I remember reading somewhere that extending or changing the size of ductwork can affect your overall system, so I have been leery of making changes because my heating and cooling bills have been lower than I even expected.

My main problem is the return air ducting. They used insulated round ducting that's about 18-24" in diameter and it just lays on top of the floor and goes through the ceiling. The problem is that it lays right in front of the stairs and when trying to get anything up there I'm always doing a balancing act to get over top of it. The large diameter cold air return runs up the side of the house. What I would like to do is continue it up another 6 1/2 - 7 feet (into the rafters) run it across the rafters above my head, then run it straight down into the ceiling. That way I just have a pillar of ductwork to deal with in the center of the attic. Will the 13 to 14 feet of additional length change my system? And will running the ductwork up higher (forcing the air to go up, across, and then back down) affect the system at all? Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Also, my daughter's bedroom is noticeable cooler in the winter than ours. Should I add a cold air return to it and can I just tap into the return that's easily accesible?

Thanks for any suggestions, comments, or concerns.

Marty S. 04-25-2011 03:47 PM

Call the installers with the issues and have them take care of it. Part of the price on every install is labor warranty. Why pay for something and then throw it away when needed?

chaddr 04-28-2011 07:06 AM

Knowing is half the battle...
That's great that you know how my warranty works. Although I am a bit confused... is this not a DIY forum? If I wanted somebody else to do it, I think I could figure that out. Can anyone actually answer my questions? I mean, if I have someone come and fix it, how do I know they are doing the right thing?

Marty S. 04-28-2011 05:27 PM

Adding a short section wont hurt so long as it's not kinked at the bends or too loose on the straight sections. You will need to know exactly what size the ID is. Can't tell if the cold in your daughters room is from not enough supply or not enough return. If it's a supply issue then adding a return will make it worse.

clocert 04-28-2011 08:56 PM

Make sure you don't create 90 degree turns. Anything more than 45 degree may affect the performance.

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