Lack of return air is a very common problem for those systems that were either poorly designed or originally planned for heat only applications. Adding additional returns to your system allows for greater supply air into your home, resulting in better airflow and comfort for your family. The benefits you will receive by taking care of this problem include: quieter operation, better airflow, fewer repairs, longer life of your equipment, lower utility bills and, best of all, greater comfort.
Imagine heat as a red balloon filled with helium. When you walk through a house, you would see them collecting on the ceiling, peaks of vaulted ceilings, and upper corners of the room if there is no air turbulence or drafts. When given the chance, they drift up open stairways to seek the highest perch.
Heat is a balloon without the plastic wrapper, and where it collects it exerts a pressure on the surface of the ceiling. The amount of pressure depends on the difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the space. The pressure is also greater than 68 degrees used for the heat loss calculation. When the outdoor temperature is 5 degrees, the difference between inside and outside can reach 100 degrees. Just ask any painter who's had to work on an eight foot ladder or scaffold. The resulting difference is almost 50% greater than that calculated. So the ceiling is losing one and a half times as much heat as calculated.
In multi-level structures, the flow of heat up the stairways and through the first floor ceilings reduces the requirements of the second floor while increasing the demand on the first floor for heat. On any level, the collecting points for these "red balloons" become good locations for return air intakes. The high returns relieve the stratification that can develop as cool air tries to settle on the floor. As all supplies and returns create drafts, high returns will have the least impact on occupant comfort and increase system efficiency.
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Call our Service Department 215-945-4833.