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Inadequate Cooling In Your Home: Your Return-Air Ducts Could Be The Culprit

June 28, 2012 | Blog

With the hot weather kicking in here in South Texas, you want your cooling system to get your entire home as comfortable as possible. One problem often overlooked is the Return Air duct system.  All of the air that is supplied through the supply ducts in the home has to return back to the system.  If there is no easy way for the air to return it can cause pressure imbalances and cooling problems in the home.  If your home is not cooling correctly, you should check the return-air ducts for problems.


There are several things that can interfere with the flow of air to the return-air ducts.

  • Grilles: Check the return air grilles to make sure that nothing is blocking them, such as furniture, doors, or other items stored in front of the return.  Also make sure the openings in the grilles are open and allow free air to flow through them without much restriction.  A general rule of thumb on grille sizing is one square foot of return air grille size for every ton of air conditioner.
  • Filters: The filter in your HVAC system can become clogged by dust and debris, preventing air from easily returning to the system. Replace your filter on a regular basis

Placement and Duct Size

The size and placement of the return-air ducts are vital factors in their efficient use.

  • Doors closing off a section of the house can greatly restrict return air flow.  This can be a bedroom door or a door to an entire section of the house.  There should be a return air duct to each of these sections of the home if the doors are going to be closed.
  • Under Cutting doors that are closed to bedrooms usually will not provide enough free air return for the room.  Even a door that is under cut to provide an inch of clearance will not allow enough air to pass for a normal size bedroom.
  • Many times return air transfer ducts have to be installed to allow for closed doors.

Making sure that your return-air ducts are working correctly can make a huge difference in your comfort level as well as your cooling costs this summer. If you have any further questions, please contact us at CCAC, Inc. Our staff of trained professionals will be more than happy to assist you.

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

Mathews CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating services Corpus Christi, TX. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!     

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