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AllGoNoShow 09-05-2006 11:21 AM

Reducing size of very large air-vent returns in floor?
I just moved into a 1930 Colonial House and plan on completely replacing the hardwoods and want to reduce the size of the air return vents in my floor. The first floor is about 850 sq ft. and 300 sq ft. of that is an addition that is 10 years old that has the traditional small (like 6 inches by 10inches or so) vents and returns in the walls.

Well the old dining room has a vent that is about 1 foot by 1 foot in the floor (no returns in the dining room). The old living room has a 1 foot by 1 foot vent in the floor as well, but across the room it has a return that is 1 foot by at least 3-possibly nearly 4 feet across (it spans two joists), and then the small foyer has a return that is the same ridicuously huge size. The other two "feed" vents in the foyer/living room are those old ugly forced air vents that go on the baseboard trim (the duct work is only like 3 inches by 10 or so).

To the question-how do I know how much(if any) I can reduce the vents to make it look more tradationall? Those returns are very unsightly-and while the returns are huge (1 foot by 3-4 feet), the duct work under the floor (where it goes to the furnace) that comes out of this huge return is only a small rectanglar tube that is probably 5 inches in diameter.

Sorry for the length of this post-any help/direction would be appreciated!


AllGoNoShow 09-12-2006 12:56 PM


redline 09-12-2006 07:34 PM

photos would help.:scooter:

mfahey 09-19-2006 09:36 PM

reducing the size of air returns
Without seeing the house and assuming you don't want a contractor to do calculations, did you look under the stairs? Is there room to locate a new return in the wall in the lowest part of the stairway?

I was an HVAC contractor for 12 years. We did alot of cutting of floors under stairs to add returns.

I am also assuming there is no way to run a duct up to the second floor ceiling.

Another issue is if you have air conditioning. You might consider an HVAC contractor if you do as I have seen alot of older houses which did not have enough return air for the AC.

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