You may not realize that air distribution through your home’s HVAC system has both a supply and return side, and they’re both critically-important to the system’s performance, reliability and efficiency. This means that it’s vital to make sure that your cold air returns are never blocked by any type of obstruction.
Understanding the Role of Cold Air Returns
It’s easy to see how the supply side of the air distribution system works because you feel conditioned air being pumped out of the registers every day. The function of the return side is a little less obvious, but it’s not complicated: Stale, cold air is pulled in through the return grilles, it goes through the air filter to trap any particles, then it arrives at the heating or cooling equipment for reconditioning.
Reasons Why Unobstructed Cold Air Registers Matter
If you have a new HVAC system, your home may have a number of return grilles. If you have an older system though, you likely have a supply register in each room and just a single cold air return grille on each floor. With this setup, one blocked return can easily stifle vital airflow in your HVAC system, resulting in serious problems like:
- Unbalanced pressure that lets pollutants get pulled in from unfinished areas.
- Reduced system efficiency and increased energy consumption/operating costs.
- Extra strain on HVAC components that wears them out faster.
- Reduced output at the registers, causing humidity and temperature control issues and less comfort.
How to Maintain Sufficient Airflow Through Your HVAC System
To maintain adequate system airflow, it’s crucial to keep your return registers unblocked by any obstructions like area rugs, long drapes, furniture, kid’s toys and similar household items. You should also:
- Vacuum both the supply and return registers regularly to clear away accumulated debris and dust.
- Examine your HVAC system air filter monthly and change it whenever you see any dirt accumulation.
- Never shut the door to seldom-used rooms, and keep your supply vents open.
If you have concerns or questions about the cold air returns in your Dayton home, contact us at Detmer and Sons.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).