No cold return upstairs

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Old 04-23-06, 09:36 AM
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Question No cold return upstairs

I live in an older house that only has heat runs to the upstairs, recently bought a new furnace with A/C. Since there is no cold returns upstairs the 2nd level never cools during summer months. Question: do I have to install cold returns to the furnace or is there another solution instead of ripping out walls and floors
 
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Old 04-23-06, 01:47 PM
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start ripping.
 
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Old 04-24-06, 01:18 PM
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Anytime you pump cold air into a room, you need return air to bring the heated air on the ceiling back to the furnace.

This is work, but it doesn't have to look like hell when your done.

There is a duct thats specifically made to fit inside a wall cavity. It's usually called "Wall Stack" It's 3.25" x 10"

You'll want to pull your return air off the ceiling, since hot air rises.

Just do some investigating, and find a stud bay that will run from the upstairs all the way to the basement where the furnace is. You can go up in the attck and drop the wall stack down in sections--this way, you can avoid cutting out the drywall.

There will be a 2x4 header in between the first and second floors. You'll have to cut a hole in the wall down low--on the second floor--and cut through that header with a sawzall. That way, you can pass the wall stack all the way through and down into the basement. You'll also have to cut a hole on the first floor where the header is between the basement and first floor.

Now you've got a duct going all the way through. Put boots and registers in the ceiling, and pipe them to the wall stack. Now tie the wall stack into the return in the basement. Done.

FYI--a section of wall stack is equivalent in size to a 6" round pipe.
 
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Old 04-24-06, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for the info... How many returns would be recommended. Two rooms have heat runs the other two do not. the rooms are about 12 x 13. And should the returns be placed opposite of the runs or doesn't it matter?? Thanks again
 
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Old 04-24-06, 08:14 PM
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I'd want to pull out the same amount of return as the volume of cold air that your putting into the room.

Return should be placed on the opposite side of the room from the supply vents. Or, over the door in the room. Typically, the supply registers will be next to the windows. Either put the returns on the other side of the room, or near the door.

Putting the returns too close to the supply will just cause it to recirculate. Poor performance, and not energy efficient.
 
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Old 04-25-06, 01:46 PM
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Once again Thank You
 
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Old 04-27-06, 08:22 AM
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I agree that you want to pull out as much return air as you put in (supplied air). However, the supplied air is under pressure (ie from a blower), but return air is generally at ambient pressure. So, to get the same "volume" of airflow the return air duct needs to be larger. How much larger; start with 1.5 to 2 times the size of the supplied air duct (or two return ducts of same size as supply duct).

With return air ducts twice the size of supplied ducts you would get adequate airflow even with room doors closed. If you plan to leave them open most of the time you could go smaller.
 
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