What You Need to Know About Return Air Ducts
Your ductwork provides an essential function for making your home comfortable. This is evident by the conditioned airflow streaming from the supply air ducts. Though, are you familiar with the return air ducts? Keep reading and find out what you should know about operation, maintenance and installation.
How Your Ducts Work
Your air ducts are a network of tubes that convey conditioned or ventilated airflow. A blower pushes airflow through supply ducts, and pulls airflow from your living spaces into the return air ducts to repeat the process.
Maintenance for Return Ducts
Walk through your home and note all of the return grilles. In a basic ductwork configuration, there should be at least one return grille per floor of living space. Return grilles may be located on the floor, wall, or ceiling, and are generally larger than the supply registers.
Use the following steps to help maintain your return ducts and HVAC system every one to three months.
- Filter — Change the filter as manufacturer recommends. The filter is typically located in the return air duct before the furnace. If you don’t see a filter slot, check behind each return grille by unscrewing or unfastening the grilles.
- Cleaning — Use a damp soft cloth to clean the grilles. If you are suspicious that the return ducts are dirty, remove the grille and peer inside using a flashlight. If they are dirty, it’s better to have an HVAC professional clean your ducts, rather than dislodge the debris only to get stuck on the furnace, A/C, or supply ducts.
Designing a duct system is based on science. As far as return air ducts go, optimally there should be a return grille and duct in every room with a supply register. This helps ensure balanced airflow, optimal comfort, peak efficiency, and less wear on your furnace and A/C.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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