Return air ducts send conditioned air from a room back to the heating or cooling unit of your home. Duct returns and grills are placed throughout your home for a sufficient flow of air to the system. If the duct returns are not properly installed or inspected, these returns can gather dust, dirt or pollen, which will affect the quality of air in your home or waste energy, making the heating and cooling unit work harder. To have a high rate of air return, follow a few simple actions to maintain an efficient operating system.
- Design and installation: A poorly designed duct system will cause uneven airflow in your home, increasing your energy costs and affecting your family’s comfort. Every room that has a supply register should also have return grill. This will balance the air pressure and keep neutral air pressure in the home. If your home has inadequate return ducts, contact a specialist to measure airflow, pressure and leakage in your home and recommend improvements.
- Leaks: Duct returns carry air back to the heating or cooling unit, but energy is lost if there are leaks or cracks in the ductwork. Perform a physical inspection of your ductwork for dry duct tape, cracks at seams and worn insulation, which could be hiding leaks.
- Dirt: Heating and cooling systems pull air back to the unit through duct returns. Dirt and dust also are drawn into the unit. Pollen and allergens may flow through the system and create discomfort for family members. Clean the return registers regularly by dusting or vacuuming. Remove the register while the system is not running and vacuum the ductwork.
- Filters: Dust and dirt drawn in through the returns will block filters, and the unit will run longer to circulate air. Check the filters regularly and clean or replace the filters as needed.
These actions are an excellent way to get started, but for the best results, have a professional technician evaluate your duct returns. If you live in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area, contact the certified technicians at Wolff Mechanical for an appointment.