Is it OK to partially block a cold air return?
Cold air returns take in warm air from your home’s indoor spaces for use in your air conditioning system. Without that steady stream of incoming air, your unit won’t be able to work as effectively. Blocking your cold air returns, whether intentionally or by accident, can be disastrous in more ways than one.
What will blocking a cold air return do?
Restricting the airflow in the air handler or blower contributes to premature system problems, which can be serious. … In the heating cycle, blocked cold air returns can cause the heat exchanger inside the blower compartment to store too much heat and eventually crack.
How can I improve my cold air return?
One way to help combat this problem is to modify your cold air return ducts for better airflow. Whenever possible, expand your existing ducts vertically by cutting out pieces of wallboard and installing a new cover and air filter to fit.
What happens if you block a return air vent?
Blocking air return vents causes your system to work harder, as there is less air flow to move the air back to the furnace. This continued strain on the HVAC system can lead to a decrease in performance and more HVAC repairs down the road.
Do you put a filter in a return vent?
Should you use a filter in your return vent? For most homes, return vents filters are suggested. They typically won’t cause any damage to your HVAC system and are easy to install – there’s no need for an HVAC technician.
Should cold air returns be high or low?
To ensure efficiency during the cooling season, your home should have high registers. High return registers draw hot air that rises to the ceiling back into the system to repeat the cooling cycle.
Should return air vents be open or closed in winter?
Because hot air rises and cold air falls, you need to adjust your return vents with the seasons. In the summer, your lower vents should be closed and your upper vents should be open. In the winter, your upper vents should be closed and your lower vents should be open.
How much clearance does a cold air return need?
All your air vents need at least six inches of clearance from all furniture, drapes or other household items to ensure proper system breathing.
Why are my cold air returns near the ceiling?
I recall the explanation being that in the winter, the return air should be drawn from the floor which is colder to make the room more comfortable. In the summer, the return air should be drawn from the ceiling where the air is hotter. The rational was for comfort.
How do I know if my return air is working?
Try this simple test when your HVAC system is running: get a piece of tissue paper and dangle it about six inches from one of the return vents. You should be able to see it being gently pulled towards the vent. Next, place it up against return vent and see if the air suction holds it in place.
Do you need a cold air return in every room?
While it is a myth that air return grilles are required in each and every room in the house, it is definitely necessary to have more than one of these grilles installed at strategic places in the house. … Likewise, you can also install these in rooms that have a high footfall or usage in the house.
Can you have too many cold air returns?
Can an air return be too big? No, an air return cannot be too big, except in extreme cases where a closed room is temporarily under negative air pressure. Return vents maintain air pressure, filter out debris, and are critical to the efficient operation of any HVAC system.