Return Air

Problems related to residential installations.

Return Air

Postby thepainter » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:40 pm

Had a new furnace Installed in an older ranch house. Has only one large return in the hallway. When the house is closed up the furnance is louder and pulls air thru the hot water heater exhaust and it doesnt draw air when we open a window. I was thinking of putting in a couple of return air ducts. Can i put them in the attic? Or would it be better in the crawlspace? On a fixed income and am still paying for the unit so cant afford to have the a/c guy do it. Thanks for any help!!
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- Return Air

Postby thepainter » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:53 pm

Let me know if I could run returns in the attic or crawl space...chicago weather
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Postby 4ftBanger » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:58 am

Wow... Where to start?

*-* - If you are drawing air in through the water heater exhaust then your house is in a negative pressure. The water heater (or furnace for that matter) can't vent products of combustion properly. I can't stress enough how dangerous this is! Carbon monoxide is a normal by-product of combustion. It is odorless, colorless and deadly and if your appliances aren't venting properly then carbon monoxide is in your home.*/-*

Are the furnace and water heater in the same room? And is this room closed off from the rest of the house?

I've seen situations before where return air duct leaks at the furnace draw air from the furnace room. If the furnace/water heater room is small this can cause the backdraft down the chimneys (and some other issues too) It should be easily correctable by sealing the duct connections and installing a fresh air intake into the furnace room. *-*(Note that this is not the same as a return air grill - fresh air should come from outside)*/-*

As for return air ducting - It probably wouldn't go far in solving the backdraft issues, but you could install ducting in the attic or the crawlspace... whichever is more practical for your house. Return air should come from inside the living space - (not drawing air from the attic or crawlspace - doing so affects the natural drafting of the house and can lead to moisture issues, mold and rot)
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- Return Air

Postby thepainter » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:47 pm

Yes the furnace and the hot water heater are in the same small room by them selves and closed. So I should in stall a fresh air vent to the room and seal the seams in the return vent. We would like to install more return air ducts thru the attic as this is the simplest way. With one return for the whole house and near the bedrooms and living room it is very loud. Would more return vents help the sound? Thanks for your help!
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Postby 4ftBanger » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:49 pm

- Ideal design is two fresh air openings - one near the ceiling and one near the floor

*-*://publicecodes.citation.com/st/sc/st/b4v03/images/STA2008092615114869546.*/-*

If it's not practical to do horizontal transfer ducts and the vents have to run vertically I would recommend at least one comes from the crawlspace - If you run a duct from inside the room to the attic (or worse, through the roof) you have effectively created another chimney that will take more air out of the room.

Also, more returns will likely lessen the noise.
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- Return Air

Postby thepainter » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:21 pm

Thank You for all the info. Yes I could put a vent into the crawl space. Cant go out the back wall. The Return is 40in by 18in in the hallway next to the furnace.
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Postby thepainter » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:59 pm

How do you figure the intake to the output on heating duct work?
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Postby aircooledtx » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:44 pm

**"thepainter"-* a new furnace Installed in an older ranch house. Has only one large return in the hallway. When the house is closed up the furnance is louder and pulls air thru the hot water heater exhaust and it doesnt draw air when we open a window. I was thinking of putting in a couple of return air ducts. Can i put them in the attic? Or would it be better in the crawlspace? On a fixed income and am still paying for the unit so cant afford to have the a/c guy do it. Thanks for any help!!*/-*


Need to seal that closet around bottom of stool to insure (NO) combustion products are entering return.
Need to know how big furnace is btu and if cooling what size coil/

Return air ***/inch per ton of a/c --24x6 per ton---
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