Balancing Return Air Crucial for Surviving a Hot Summer at Home

Summer is here. The heat of summer may be making your home uncomfortable. If your air conditioning is struggling to keep your home cool this summer, you may have a problem with the return air system. Victory AC in Bellingham can help you get the problem solved.

Is your return air out of balance?

Your A/C is a circulation pump. Instead of moving water though, it moves air. It draws air in, cools it, then blows it back out to cool your home. For the system to run efficiently, the amount of air returning to the blower must be the same as what is being pushed out. If the volume of air returning to the blower is not enough, the A/C will run harder and struggle to keep your home cool.shutterstock_232095946

One sign that your return air flow is out of balance is the number of return air ducts you have. Many older homes have only one massive air return duct, usually located near the center of the house. That is not enough.

Most A/C systems have air ducts in each room. Many of those rooms have doors which prevent the air from efficiently returning to the central return vent. This starves the return duct of the amount of air it needs. This causes the entire system to run inefficiently, driving up your cooling costs and making your home uncomfortably warm in summer.

How do you balance the return air flow?

For your A/C to run efficiently and keep your home cool, you need to get the air that is trapped behind doors flowing back to the blower. There are three common solutions available to solve this issue.

  • Add a return duct to each room.
  • Install a pass-through grill above or on the door.
  • Add a jumper duct between the closed room and the hallway.

Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages. If you suspect that you have a balance issue with your return air flow, Victory AC in Bellingham can help. Call us here at Victory · Heating · Air Conditioning · Plumbing.

Photo via Shutterstock

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