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Old 01-04-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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question about cold air return locations


I have a question about my moms house and the location of the heat registers and cold air returns. Her house doesn't really seem "balanced" as far as heat goes. It is a 2 story house that is about 70 years old with a basement and forced air heating and cooling. The house was redone by the previous home owners and I have found a lot of things wrong and think maybe the heating runs can be added to that list but I don't know much about HVAC.

There is only 3 cold air returns and they are all on the first floor. The cold air return that I assume takes care of the 2nd floor is at the bottom of the stairs on the 1st floor. All the heat registers on the 2nd floor are on the inside of the walls. The rooms on the second floor get pretty warm compared to the downstairs. I don't think the cold air return at the bottom of the stairs is pulling any of the air down from the upstairs bedrooms, think the warm air just "sits" up stairs and creates a noticable difference in temperature between the 2nd floor and 1st floor.

Does this sound right or should I start looking into running new heat ducts and cold air returns? Thanks
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:51 PM   #2
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question about cold air return locations


generally returns go on interior walls while supply goes on exterior wall
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:06 PM   #3
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question about cold air return locations


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generally returns go on interior walls while supply goes on exterior wall
Thanks for the reply. What about not having a cold air return on the second story?
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:10 PM   #4
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question about cold air return locations


definately will affect airflow,gonna more of an issue for cooling usually.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:56 AM   #5
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question about cold air return locations


This is typical for a two story house with a single system. Sometimes they put some returns on the second floor. IMO its not really required. The problems is not so much the return but that warm air flows to the second floor. The best solution is to simply open all the registers on the first floor and close them on the second floor till the temperature is balanced. But it will never stay ballanced as this will change as the outside temp and indoor temps change. The best soluti0on is to have seperate units for first and second floor.

Actually for the heating season having a return on the second floor would be worse. If the air temp on the second and first floor are the same it makes no differance where the return is. But if the upstairs is warmer and the return is on the first floor than that would pull the warm air downstars and actually help keep it in better balance. But it is just the opposite when you air condition.

Last edited by H. Phillips; 01-11-2010 at 09:01 AM.
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