One way to look at your HVAC installation is as a very large air circulation system, with the ductwork forming a critical pathway for air traveling in and out of your home’s interior. The main unit heats or cools the air and sends the conditioned air into the supply ductwork toward rooms in your home. The air exits the supply ductwork and heats or cools the area, then is drawn back into the HVAC system by return-air ducts. The expended air flows back to the main unit, where it is filtered, reconditioned and sent out again.

To function properly, your air conditioner, furnace or heat pump needs adequate amounts of unobstructed airflow at all points in the system. Most homes have plenty of supply ducts to send heating or cooling into their indoor environment, but just as many lack enough return-air ducts to bring air back to the HVAC unit to be reused. This can cause a reduction in indoor comfort, creating uneven levels of heating or cooling throughout your home.

The key step to solving the problem is to make sure there are enough return-air ducts for your HVAC system. Your local trusted HVAC contractor can help you determine how many returns you need. Your technician may suggest a multiple-room system in which a return duct is installed in each room that also has a supply duct. These systems are very efficient, but they can be costly.

An economical alternative is a central return system. Here, return-air ducts are connected to return grilles in central areas of your house, such as hallways, stairwells, ceilings or main rooms. Each room in the house also has a jumper duct or transfer grille connected to the central return duct. This configuration provides plenty of airflow between rooms and back into the system for recycling.

Acosta Heating & Cooling has been a trusted source of professional heating and air conditioning services to customers in Charlotte and surrounding areas for over 40 years. Contact us today for more information on return-air duct efficiency, to get an estimate on a return duct expansion, or to schedule a duct renovation appointment.