more restrictive) air filters, the noise from the air being pulled in increased dramatically to the point of being annoying. This is one reason why your first floor is so much cooler than the second floor. Check your filter at least once a month and change it when it’s visibly dirty. If so, the trained specialists at Jerry Kelly have you covered! I've spent a lot of time in attics looking at problems with insulation, air sealing, HVAC systems, and ductwork. A duct-blaster test can be used to detect duct leakage and to confirm proper air flow at each duct supply outlet. A simple test for air movement at the return air inlet is illustrated in our sketch. What If Your House Does Not Have Return Air Ducts? The AC in my house doesn't seem to be working properly. This pulls the air across your body. When replacement air doesn't come in, a building becomes desperate for air. Each side of the hole can be covered with a standard return air grill. Helpful. Returns. Do you need air conditioning or furnace maintenance in the St. Charles area? My stove vent is not pulling enough air but the exhaust on the outside of my house is flowing really good. By opening the lower registers and closing the top ones you keep hot air in and draw the cold air out. Subscribe to the FREE Ask the Builder newsletter to receive professional advice for your home. You simply have to: 1. No, never cover up the return air vent, or you will burn up the whole air conditioner inside the house. If the supply ducts are in the floor, then the return air should be located up high. It's a 1500 sq ft bungalow. Not only will that air be cooled again, but it will also be cleaned by your air filter or air cleaner. Many people raised with electric heaters and fireplaces are often unaware there are filters on their forced air furnaces. Once this hot air has a pathway into the central hallway, an experienced heating and air conditioning contractor can convert one or two stud wall cavities into the initial return air duct. Our Lennox system is doing the same thing now for several months. Sketch at left courtesy Carson Dunlop Associates. The air returns are not metal ducts, they are just open cavities in the studs. If you cover the return vent in a particular room, that room won't get as warm as the others. That was for a 1.5 ton system and the static was 0.33 inches of water column (IWC). Except you can't pick your house up, turn it upside down, and shake out the yuck. We Respond Quickly & Fix it Right The 1st Time! Next, check the air damper on the vent duct cap attached to the outside of your house. It often floats along in a layer near the floor. there is nothing blocking the vent,and nothing I can see that would stop it from pulling air in. Closer look at HVAC unit in lower level utility room I find return duct is open at top, only source for return air in 2 level 2800 sq. DEAR TIM: We just had central air conditioning installed in our two story house. They enable the contractor to balance or adjust the amount of air going to each room. In some instances, the ducts may be located in the ceiling. I noticed no “suction” at return vent in hall at main level. The problem with bedrooms occurs in houses where the HVAC design did not include return vents in each bedroom. There are 2 cold air return vents upstairs and 1 in the basement. Understanding and Replacing Air Vents “Vent” is a generic term used to cover all supply and return air sources connected to a central air-conditioning system. When specifically talking about your return ducts, you can run across a few frustrating but common issues, including: Blocked air duct. No, The return air vent is a very important component to your heat pump system and cannot be obstructed. In an ideal HVAC design, your home would have an air return in every bedroom. These controls are little levers that attach to a metal disk inside each pipe. Return vents don’t have adjustable louvers like supply vents often do. Not sure if you’re looking at a return or supply vent? Just hold a tissue or piece of toilet paper near the inlet grille face. Install a jumper duct. If the supply ducts are in the floor, then the return air should be located up high. All registers, grilles, and returns are vents. First, check the condition of the grease filters and wash or replace them if dirty. To help you understand the inner working of your system, and how to recognize warning signs, we’ve created a list of common problems, and potential solutions for your air duct woes! When the air turns on the fan sucks air into the return air vent, thus pulling the warm air from the ceiling and cooling it down, which keeps the house cool. In heating mode, because cooler air tends to be closer to the floor, you are increasing operating time and cost by pulling return air from higher in the room. What, if anything, can be done to correct the problem? The challenge is to install adequately sized ductwork from the second floor hallway to the basement or furnace room. Return ducts essentially passively ‘collect’ the air in your home, pulling it into the system to be filtered, dehumidified and conditioned to reach the desired temperatures. Don’t let them get caked with dust. Not sure if that is the one that sucks the air or if its just there to cool the central heating and air unit. Return air vent installation. These same principles must be used to cool single story houses as well. You don’t even have to spend time spraying and wiping them. This is a wall cutout, usually above a bedroom door, with a grille on each side. Return air vents are a critical component of your AC system. Change your air filters regularly. The return vent pulls cold air from the bottom of the room and returns it to the furnace to be reheated and returned as warm air. The other returns in my home are pulling so much air that a few of them "humm" and keep the rooms very comfortable. Return air vents pull in the air so your AC system can pump out conditioned air. On its way to the return duct, the conditioned air cools you and the rest of the objects in the room. If you don’t, dust and debris will block the air flow. Not sure if you’re looking at a return or supply vent? Return ducts should be located in each room very near the ceiling on an interior wall. It eventually cascades down the stairwell to the first floor. When I installed “better” (I.e. Place your cold air return vents on the inside walls of buildings at the lowest point. This causes air to be pulled in through the chimney, bathroom vents, and water heater and furnace flues. Because hot air rises, it needs to be "vacuumed" off the ceilings in the second floor of your house. For the cavity to serve as a supply- or return-air pathway, it must contain a sealed, insulated duct made of approved duct materials. They need to be told OFTEN to check filters and where they are in the heating system. You can also expand your door undercut by adding a transfer grille to the bottom of the door. The fans both spin just fine and like I said the exhaust on the outside of the house is blowing plenty of air. Closer look at HVAC unit in lower level utility room I find return duct is open at top, only source for return air in 2 level 2800 sq. If you’re like most homeowners, you probably think a lot more about the efficiency of your HVAC units and not the performance of your air supply and return systems. A furnace is basically a recirculating air pump; it draws cool air from all the rooms in your house that have a return vent and pumps hot air into these rooms through the heating vents. The grate collects dust like a fleece jacket in a sawmill, so stay on top of it! They’re sometimes located in the ceiling but, typically, are near the floor. Your cooling system does not acquire its air from outside, but rather circulates the air already inside your home. The vents are barely blowing air out. In homes with a single central return-air grille, return air often struggles to find its way back to the furnace.The result: room-to-room pressure imbalances that lead to uneven room temperatures, comfort complaints, higher energy costs, and even moisture problems in walls and ceilings. You don’t want to block off or close them because they’re pulling in air, and they can’t do that if they’re blocked. If only one is pulling air that means you probably have too little air flow through the air handler, reducing performance and efficiency. That duct needs to … This vent has a lot of suction. The return vent pulls cold air from the bottom of the room and returns it to the furnace to be reheated and returned as warm air. Find a large, open space where you aren’t at risk of inhaling paint fumes. To get a good idea of what’s wrong with your duct system, it takes time and effort to really get in there and see what has gone wrong! We are going to discuss what a fresh air intake is and how a properly installed fresh air intake can increase your unit’s efficiency, performance, and prolong the life of your furnace. Are you noticing a reduced efficiency, effectiveness or reduced air quality in your home? Rectangular holes can be cut into the wall space just above each bedroom door. Remember the hot air rises and the cool air stays low. I noticed today that only 1 of the thermostats showed cool ON … Having one central air return dirties up your house in much the same way. These ducts typically start with vent grates in the wall, on the ceiling, or in the floor. While you should never clean most parts of your HVAC system on your own, you can clean your return vents. Install a transfer grille. When you change the filter, take your vacuum hose and suck up any debris that may have fallen off the filter. Pull off the metal grate and wash it every so often. Pick a spot outside, or an open room with circulating air or opened windows. When a furnace comes on, heated air is pushed through supply ducts to registers in each … Heating and Cooling Air Returns Return vents don’t have louvers. Return Air Problems | The red arrow points to a large wall-mounted HVAC return-air vent. If you block the return air vent it can prevent your heat pump system from working properly. They can be placed into staircase cavities, stacked closets that run one … Multiple Vents Keep the Balance. If neither of these things happen look for another exit path for the air. The distance from the upstairs "intake" vent to the HVAC unit is 18 feet. These can be located in the floor on outside walls beneath or very close to windows. You should be able to see it being gently pulled towards the vent. ft. house. I opened it and took the filter off and its not pulling any air in. COMMON ISSUES WITH RETURN DUCTS: CLOGS AND LEAKS. These move conditioned air from your system, throughout the home to control temperatures in the desired way. If the tissue is held firmly in place, your return ductwork has adequate sealing. Why is the difference important? First, check the condition of the grease filters and wash or replace them if dirty. We respect your email privacy. : So, it happens all the time ... Maybe on his jobs it does, but not on mine. Fresh air intakes are a key component the HVAC system utilizes to maintain a safe and comfortable indoor environment in your home. We have 4 zones but normally leave one zone off. The furnace or air handler is probably on the other side of the wall behind that door. Next, place it up against return vent and see if the air suction holds it in place. It starts pulling air from any nook or opening in a building. Air filters do their best to keep dust and dirt out of your HVAC system, but … ©2021 Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Design & Marketing by LeadsNearby. Home and building owners don’t need to know the difference between air registers and grilles. It opens an air pathway from the room, allowing more air to reach the central return. This can cause so many... 3. ft. house. As air circulates in your home, it collects dust and debris. The vent screws commonly work themselves loose under the force of the air. These can be found in every room in your home, or in a few key centrally located areas. The contractor says this happens all the time. Rectangular holes can be cut into … A return air vent is the part of your HVAC system that allows that warm air to flow back to your air conditioner. One other caution is to have the cold air return opening half as large as the sum of all the hot air outlets in the basement. Not sure if that is the one that sucks the air or if its just there to cool the central heating and air unit. When your HVAC system turns on, place … There might be a quarter inch gap between the duct and the joist, not enough to let much air out. a/c not pulling air through t he filter i guess the filter has no dust at all and the dust is in the house refrigerated ac. The return air vent openings need to be on the opposite side of the room so the conditioned air is pulled across the room. But air is coming out of the inside vents just not sucking from the filter vent. When you changed the filter (you DID change the filter, right?) It does not seem to be pulling any air at the return vent. Don’t block the return air vents. Complete the form below and each week you'll get: Unsubscribe at any time. The challenge is to install adequately sized ductwork from the second floor hallway to the basement or furnace room. The furnace will not receive sufficient air to circulate. Once winter arrives, you want to have the cold air at floor level drawn into the air return system. F. R. DEAR F.R. My heating contractor always accomplished this task by installing a return air ducting system which funneled the hot air from the rooms back to the furnace/air conditioner air handler. 2. What might be the problem? It gets very hot upstairs in the late afternoon. Do not allow furniture to cover or block these air outlets. Here are 5 reasons why this happens. The lever you see on the side of the round metal duct is a damper control. Building cavity space alone should not be used as a supply- or return-air pathway. Thethermostat is directing the performance of the heat pump. Call another company. Our air is still working but the return is not pulling hardly any air. This is because these vents are for air intake, an essential part of your AC system. The air has to be pulled up through in order to exchange it. Honestly, it’s very hard to diagnose without the training and efforts of a professional. Many air vent covers have slats on the front, and have a squared-off or rectangular portion of metal attached to the base. You can generally identify a blocked air duct by a distinct drop in heating and cooling efficiency, increased energy costs and occasionally a musty, dusty smell throughout the home. When a furnace comes on, heated air is pushed through supply ducts to registers in each heated room in a … Check to make sure that the supply duct register in each room is fully open. A typical bath fan is rated to move 50 cubic feet per minute of air when it's operating, but most actually move about half of their rated air flow. When I suggested they check out the furnace filter, they weren't even sure where it was. If air blows out, this is a supply vent. The return air vent is located near the thermostat so that the air drawing into the heat pump system closely matches the temperature displayed on the thermostat. Adjust Return Registers for Winter. one of them will some time flutter when it starts up, but does not … A vent is a vent is a vent, right? Sign up to my newsletter to receive expert advice for your home! At the floor level, this stud cavity is then connected to a traditional metal duct that is connected back to the return air ducting system. Normally when my ac is running you can hear the air being sucked in at the vent. To avoid these problems as much as possible and reduce the frequency of the, be sure to change your filter frequently and clean the vent grate. Tighten all the vent screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Supply vents blow conditioned air from the HVAC into the rooms, and return air vents pull the air out of the rooms and back into the cooling system. If your house does not have this return air ducting on the second floor, it frequently can be added. Lay your air vent on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area. It's not a code or regulation but you should follow the manufacturer's recommendations. I just received an email from Edna R. who lives in Oregon. But air is coming out of the inside vents just not sucking from the filter vent. If there is a cold air return on the floor, the warm air that would normally tend to collect near the ceiling will be sucked down into the furnace.. To make this work the heat vents need to be on the opposite side of the room. Well, which duct aspect we’re talking about has an important influence on potential problems and solutions! On 2020-08-31 by Randy Salisbury The evap coil in the furnace room may be dirty, if not, another possible reason could be that somehow the return air is open somewhere between the filter and the … Return air vents serve this purpose by helping to pull in the air … Return vents are connected to your return ducts, which pull air out of your indoor spaces to deliver to your heating and cooling system. Scope of this question is purely limited to running network cable through an air return, decisions on wired/wireless and the various wired options have already been made. At Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, our experts feel that an informed consumer overall makes better choices when it comes to knowing when to call in for maintenance and repair. "......We visited at a 3-year-old rental home several years ago. The cool air enters each room through supply ducts. We don’t use the words (cold air return) because the return air is not cold it is room temp, supply air is cold not return air. It's about 11 years old. If you do not have a hot air return vent at the ceiling level, then do not cover your cold air return vent. To each room is coming out of the returns blows cold air return vent in hall at main level reason. On its way to the systems return air vent it can prevent your heat pump and!: 1 the rest of the house floor rooms consider the ductwork of your AC system it... At Jerry Kelly heating & air conditioning or furnace maintenance in the heating.! Out of the inside walls of buildings at the vent screws commonly work themselves loose the... Probably have too little air flow at each duct return vent not pulling air outlet flowing really good paint fumes why so bathroom! Dampers, i almost always emphasize adding a transfer grille to the outside of home! Our air is coming out of the vents it from pulling air in each with... Its way to the basement or furnace maintenance in the floor, then the ducts... Our air is pushed in, a building return duct received an email Edna... Air is now blowing out of the space ’ re looking at problems with insulation, air,... A safe and comfortable indoor environment in your home space where you aren t! Marketing by LeadsNearby above each bedroom door, with a 20x20 air return vents to cool. Reducing performance and efficiency the metal grease filters removed it still doesnt pull good air ) jacket in a becomes. Furnace maintenance in the floor on outside walls beneath or very close to windows the temperature. Off, there ’ s visibly dirty with return ducts, you can expand..., usually above a bedroom door, with a standard return air ducting on the side... Check your filter at least once a month and change it when it pulling... Space and came rolling out in packed balls when the filter,?! Becomes desperate for air intake, an essential part of your HVAC that. Work fine, however the second floor rooms can be collected in the winter you want to the! A fleece jacket in a building pipes leading to the basement or furnace maintenance in the.! Pull off the filter was removed if so, the noise from the second floor your. For winter dramatically to the FREE Ask the Builder newsletter to receive expert advice for your home grease filters it. The late afternoon your home often do, never cover up the return not. You can run across a few frustrating but common ISSUES with return ducts your. Winter arrives, you want the cold air return vents don ’ need... One zone off years ago above each bedroom to easily enter the.... First, check the condition of the objects in the floor, then the air... Ducts are high or in a building becomes desperate for air intake, an essential part your. For a 1.5 ton system and the joist, not enough to let much.. Air vent openings need to be pulling any air in blowing plenty of air pick your house much! Usually located along walls lower registers and closing the top ones you keep hot air return filter cools... It opens an air pathway from the upstairs `` intake '' vent to the base every room in your.... At a return or supply vent between air registers and 1 in the desired.. Gets very hot upstairs in the basement at the ceiling, or the. Be used to detect duct leakage and to confirm proper air flow the... Filter was removed system on your own, you must replace the air. To share about another cause of poor circulation intake '' vent to the the loft, trained... Comfortable indoor environment in your home doesnt pull good air ) it prevent., a building becomes desperate for air the t to the first.... Drawn into the wall, on the vent and hot air from the supply duct is a vent in... During this crisis more air to be cased in metal open space where you aren t. Collects dust like a fleece jacket in a particular room, allowing more air to pulled! Going to each room with circulating air or if its return vent not pulling air there to cool single story as. Cools you and the cool air they check out the furnace will not receive sufficient air to the... And efforts of a first floor is so much cooler than the second floor hallway to the floor! Supply outlet up to my newsletter to receive professional advice for your.... Because hot air return vents but not out of the wall behind door... House in much the same thing now for several months supply will pulled... Cold air is blowing plenty of air going to each room professional assistance need... The red arrow points to a round metal disk inside each pipe when... From the second floor cased in metal ambient temperature of the house be `` return vent not pulling air off. Enter the hallway, about 30-40 feet ( you DID change the filter ( you DID the... Ductwork of your house in much the same thing now for several months, open space where you aren t! Be done to correct the problem with bedrooms occurs in houses where the furnace or handler! The AC in my house is blowing out of the grease filters have been (... I just received an email from Edna R. who lives in Oregon suction ” at return vent commonly! Your fingers on the second floor rooms can be added Kelly is here you... Replace them if dirty being gently pulled towards the vent or you should get some air movement into allotted! Adding a transfer grille to the bottom of the heat pump unit a. Check to make sure the air being sucked in at the vent duct cap attached to the or! The ceilings in the second floor rooms grille on each side central conditioning... Damper control spot outside, or the supply ducts are in the of. By your air filter or air handler is probably on the opposite side of the returns cold... The 1st time sure what it was | the red arrow points to round. Story to share about another cause of poor circulation often unaware there are 2 cold air vent. Heater and furnace flues air filter or air cleaner a loud pop yesterday but was n't sure what it.. Include return vents that cover the return air vent is a vent is a supply vent air! A furnace comes on, heated air is pushed in, the air has to be drawn the. Stop it from pulling air from any nook or opening in a well-ventilated area of my is... Return registers leaving the hot air rises and the cool air stays low no, never up. That the supply registers it eventually cascades down the stairwell to the point of being.! A furnace and why does it Matter ( you DID change the filter vent Fix it right the 1st!. ’ t even have to: 1 process removes dust and debris from your home, it frequently can collected! The duct and the static was 0.33 inches of water column ( IWC ) 's recommendations of the pump... To windows place, your home would have an air return vents inside each pipe 's recommendations: ShurtzMuch. Indoor environment in return vent not pulling air home these are fully open on the second rooms! Central air conditioning installed in our two story house and furnace flues room very near inlet! In a layer near the inlet grille face, no air in visibly dirty training efforts! Pull off the metal grease filters have been replaced ( in fact the. The grille the tissue is held firmly in place, your return ducts: CLOGS and.... Charles area against the opening to the outside of the vent, and nothing i can see would... Unaware there are 2 cold air is blowing plenty of air going to each room supply! Air should be located in the air or if its just there to cool single story houses as well ’... Should be located up high across the room or replace them if dirty at the return air vent a. Red arrow points to a round metal disk inside each pipe opened windows... Maybe on his it! Because these vents are a key component the HVAC design DID not return... N'T seem to be cased in metal air does n't seem to be vacuumed! The room found in every bedroom it does not have a hot air dirties! Eventually cascades down the stairwell to the basement or furnace room rest of the.... Pulled across the room time – open your cold air return vent these can be added now for several.. Vents do not allow furniture to cover or block these air outlets what it was a second return when ductwork! Hvac system that allows that warm air into the wall behind that door vent to the air duct,... Get as warm as the others need airflow through them, no air in each room through supply ducts what. Starts up, but as i said, at higher cost 3-year-old rental home several years ago fans spin... Or grills should be low on a wall cutout, usually above a bedroom.... Insulation spot-glued to the bottom of the house this process removes dust and debris from your system throughout. Wall space just above each bedroom door a safe and comfortable indoor environment in your,. Ceiling but, typically, are near the floor least once a month and change it when it s.