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Old 02-22-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
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Cold air return question


Here is the scoop. I have a ranch home in michigan - typical livingroom and kitchen on the right with hallway branching off left from the living room to the 3 bedrooms. My question is this... in the hallway there is a cold air return at the floor and one near the ceiling right above it. Each return is made up of 2 - 13.5 x 7.5 operating vents. (so there is 4 total). Why do I have both of these returns? second question ... I can obviously close one of them and open the other, but which way in the summer or winter? Thanks for your help

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Old 02-22-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
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Cold air return question


That design feature takes advantage of the fact that warm air rises and thus coats the ceiling.
In the summer you want to get rid of the warm air so you open the upper grilles and close the lower.
In the winter you want to get rid of the colder air that is pooling along the floor,so yo close the upper grilles and open the lower grilles.

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Old 02-22-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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Cold air return question


Winter close the upper, open lower.

Summer close lower, open upper.

In a home that small and if you have a new 80 or 90% the higher cfm of the blowers almost make them useless.

Bigger homes still benefit from them but not the typical late 50s early 60s warren/SCS/Sterling Heights brick ranch with basement of 900 sq ft to 1200 sq ft..

Last edited by hvac5646; 02-22-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:31 PM   #4
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Perfect. Thats what I thought, but when I would have a discussion with people, 50% would say the other way. Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Cold air return question


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Originally Posted by SidingGuy View Post
Perfect. Thats what I thought, but when I would have a discussion with people, 50% would say the other way. Thanks!
Take it or leave it. If your heat reg. are on the floor and you take all your return from the floor , Two things happen you have too much cool air moving across the floor line and that makes cool drafts. you also end up with hot stagnant air at the ceiling line that never get moved out. So any good school will tell you to mix the air properly you should take 80% off the ceiling and 20% off the floor for both heating and cooling. Paul
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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Cold air return question


OK, I'll leave it....J/K

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