Not all HVAC systems are created equally. Forced-air systems provide conditioned air to each room, but often have return-air grilles only in main rooms. In homes without sufficient return-air grilles to efficiently circulate air through the home, common return-air problems can occur. Temperatures fluctuate from room to room, and walls and ceilings can become damp or moldy. Ineffective air circulation also will cause unexplained increases in energy bills.

Solutions for Handling Poor Return-Air Flow:

  • The most effective solution is to install return grilles in nearly every room. Dehumidifiers and other indoor air quality equipment can be installed at the same time. While this investment is not inexpensive, especially when hiring the best-trained technicians, it will protect the value of your home.

  • Rooms without grilles can have them installed in the walls to help circulate air. Through-the-wall transfer grilles are a relatively inexpensive way to solve return-air problems. However, sound is transmitted through them easily, making them impractical for using in bedrooms and other rooms requiring privacy.

  • The most common approach to handling return-air problems is to install crossover ducts, also known as jumper ducts. These ducts connect ceiling grilles in the bedrooms and ceiling grilles in the hallways. These are less expensive than retrofitting return-air grilles in each room, and do not transmit sound as easily as through-the-wall transfer grilles.

  • Another inexpensive way to deal with inadequate return-air flow is to undercut the door. Having a one inch gap between the bottom of the door and the floor will only provide enough airflow for a 75-square-foot room. While the savings may appeal initially, the expenses incurred by the poor airflow may make this an impractical choice.

For the most efficient air circulation through your home, choosing the best equipment will only help if you hire a qualified company to install it. For more information about remedying the return-air problems in your Avon-Area home, please contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. Our expert staff has been keeping customers comfortable in the Greater Cleveland area since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about return-air problems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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