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Old 01-31-2008, 08:46 PM   #1
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Dual Cold Air Return Openings


All the bedrooms in my home have cold air vents near the ceiling. This doesn't seem as efficient to me during winter months as having the cold air returns near the floor. It does make sense to have the cold air returns in the ceiling during summer months.

I would think that the most ideal situation would be to have two openings in the wall, one high, one low, sharing the same ductwork, but with openings that could be opened and closed. In the winter, you would close the top opening and open the bottom opening. In the summer, do the opposite.

Now this makes a lot of sense to me, but I have never seen a home done like this. That leads me to believe that are definitive reasons not to do this. Could some explain?

Thanks

Kevin

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Old 01-31-2008, 09:13 PM   #2
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your thread said cold air returns, but It seems you meant supply vents ?
At any rate, in the mid atlantic states we call those hi-lows, and they function just like you said. they have sort of gone out of style in the last 10 or 15 years, but I think that has more to do with the looks and cost cutting, not functionality.

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Old 01-31-2008, 09:36 PM   #3
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kevin - What is practical don’t always aesthetical!
But you absolutely right!

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Old 01-31-2008, 10:19 PM   #4
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No he meant returns, and in many areas that used to put them high and low but as stated it was a money issue that stopped the practice.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for all your replies. I think this might be a great way to increase my families comfort level. Its been bitterly cold here recently. I didn't really think much about the aesthetic part. Maybe I should ask my wife before I dive into this one.

Thanks again
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:50 PM   #6
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I think it might be a code violation in some areas to install cold air return
grills that can be closed.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:53 PM   #7
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First off, nice forum, glad I found it!
Hope I'm not thread-jacking!

Anyway, we have two vents in each of 3 bedrooms.
They are in the same duct (per room), one at top of the duct, one at the bottom.
We have a 12 year old raised ranch in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
The grills all have have slats that are angled at around 60 degrees or so.
The grills at the bottom have a handle to open and close them.
Having just finished painting for the second time, we never really paid attention to the direction of the grills or whether the grills with the handles should be at the top or bottom.
Should the grills point upward (that's what I'm thinking, so the cold air falls into the duct work)?
Should the grills that open and close be at the bottom and when should they be opened and closed, i.e. closed in winter, open in summer, etc.?
Thanks in advance for any ideas or advice, and once again, glad I found this forum!!!
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshaff03 View Post
Thanks for all your replies. I think this might be a great way to increase my families comfort level. Its been bitterly cold here recently. I didn't really think much about the aesthetic part. Maybe I should ask my wife before I dive into this one.

Thanks again

If your duct work is overhead. Then only the high return grille needs to have dampers.
If the duct work is under the floor, then only the low returns need dampers.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:54 AM   #9
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I have them both (with dampers) high and low in the walls for the reasons given. In the summer we close the low ones, open the high ones, pulls hot air near ceiling out. In the winter the opposite close high, open low pulls cold air near floor out. I even have them in the family room with a 16' vaulted ceiling. I also have two good sized floor returns without dampers on the first floor.

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