Changing air return location?

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  #1  
Old 01-02-04, 12:17 PM
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Changing air return location?

I have a Rambler with an unfinished basement, poured concrete walls, heat is by heat pump.
The air return is located on the second floor. Here is the question:
Wouldn't it be a lot more efficient to have the air return located in the basement instead of pulling the warm air from upstairs through the heating elements?
Changeling
 
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  #2  
Old 01-02-04, 12:23 PM
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It's ideal to have returns in all of the conditioned rooms except the bathroom and kitchen. I would leave the one upstairs for sure and if your basement is finished and conditioned you could add a return down there. I just don't like to have them to close to the furnace itself since you could potentially rob it of combustion air.
 
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Old 01-03-04, 07:11 AM
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Changeling:

When you ask if it's more efficient to relocate your return vent are you trying to solve a particular problem with air distribution?

In your description you say the return is on the second floor and talk of putting the return in the bsmt.
Do you mean that you have a two story house with no returns on the first floor and basement?
Check this out and give us more details if you need more info.

The location of the return air vents has to be planned carefully and unless you have a particular problem they are best left alone.
 
  #4  
Old 01-03-04, 08:02 AM
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Exclamation return air.

On all just open basement like you say you have . We cut in two outlet registers in the heat duct and a small one in the cold air drop. I think what would help you here. Is insulation first in the joist space up there on the sill plate all around the home in the so called rim joist . There its only1 1/2" + what siding you have to the cold outside .later insulation of all the concrete walls. ED
 
  #5  
Old 01-03-04, 01:49 PM
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Well it appears I am about as stupid as one can get when it comes to my heating system, hell I just always paid the bill!
Let me give you a complete rundown, anything I leave out, just ask!
I am single and live alone. My house is a rambler, 48' X 35 feet with a full Poured basement (concrete). The front of the house faces dead east. The house is 20 years old, aluminum siding. The basement has a walkout sliding door (New, I put in). The upstairs has a sliding door (I put in) that go's out onto a 40X12 foot deck (I built).
The land slopes gently from East to west. Basement under ground in the East, North, and south. About 30 feet is open up to about 5 feet on the West side of the house. Heat pump (facing west) located on North West corner of house. Heat pump brand "RUDD, copper coils" about 12 years old, Copper line connecting to house, I wrapped in new insulation this past fall. Filters are Electronic Cleaning System.
I clean the filters at the ESC every month, even though they never seem to be very dirty at all!
I wash cloths about 5 or 6 times a month, take a shower "Every" morning, and sometimes before going to bed, depending on circumstances. Dishwasher is used about twice a week (New Maytag).
I set the heat at 72 degrees which seems cold to me sometimes! At night when the temperature go's below 30 Deg. It will practically run all night!
Changeling
 
  #6  
Old 01-03-04, 01:57 PM
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Continuation:
My heat bill for my area is considered to be on the upper side for a family of 4!! Heat pump has been checked and considered in good working order.
When you guys talk about cleaning the filters and coils, what coils?
Do you mean the coils on the outside unit? They are free from any interference. Is there other coils in the system??
Changeling
 
  #7  
Old 01-03-04, 02:16 PM
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Lightbulb HEAT PUMP

You say at night it runs all night??? if it drops more than 2 o below what its set far if wired right the Aux should kick in does it?
Also the Eac filter are any electric filter to clean it every 30 day still dont let it get all the dirt that is there.after the wires get dirt on them the rest of the dirt just can get through I would check and see if the coil is dirty and if the blower blades are clean. Is the big line hot on the unit. When was the last time the freon was checked out or looked at. When you put new insulation on the ref lines they dont touch each other do they ? They should be apart .There are a lot of little things to look at that could help. The indoor coils is where you have to look at and see if its clean.
Any more ???? just ask some one here will try and help you ED
 
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Old 01-04-04, 12:12 PM
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Ed. the Aux heat comes on, I know because there is a green light that "lights" when it does. It still runs practically all night if the temperature goes down to 20deg or so.
When you say blower blades and coil, are you talking inside the house? Where are they and how do you get to them??
The big line is what I recovered in insulation, I can't feel it.
The freon and system was checked out last fall.
I put the insulation around the "One" big line, nothing else.
Changeling
 
  #9  
Old 01-05-04, 07:28 AM
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Lightbulb HEAT PUMP

When the pump was checked did they look at the coil there and it was clean? Yes the A/C coil and the blower are there in the indoor unit. That is where you can look at the blower and see if its clean. Does the green light come on all the time ?Are you sure that the strip heaters do come on? You should feel when just the heat pump is on and when the Aux strips kick in, it should get a lot hotter air. ED
 
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Old 01-05-04, 12:03 PM
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Ed, I looked up the bill on the heat pump service. It was $125.00. This was for servicing the outside unit. It says the freon was checked and the coils cleaned, although they didn't look any different than when before they came, so how do you know. Nothing on the inside of house was serviced. I was not at home when they serviced the unit (Rudd).
If the temperature goes down to 20 or so degrees the green light is on and will stay on, the system will run almost constantly. If it cuts off it will only be for a very few minutes.
If it is 20 or so degrees and a strong wind blowing, you can't get the house over about 69 to 70 degrees, It "Will" run constantly!
Changeling
 
  #11  
Old 01-05-04, 12:24 PM
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HEAT PUMP

What do you have for insulation up in the attic have a look. Id say turn the power off and take the covers off the inside unit and look at the coil and blower and see if they are ok and clean. If you had a Amprobe you could find out if all the strips come on and go off have had some stick on and some burn out and dont put out any heat. You have to look around. How big is the unit and how many Kw of heat does it have in it ED
 
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Old 01-09-04, 02:53 PM
binford
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Lets start off with a Heat pumps requires the service tech to know more than is the unit charged with freon. So finding a company that knows heat pumps is very important. Second I am glad to hear you take baths on a regular basis. A good service company can test your Heat pump to see if it's putting out what the manufacture says it should. RUUD provides a Service Fact sheet, which contain a temp/btu chart. Basically it would say the Heat pump is capable of creating xx number of BTU's when the temp is xx outside. A good tech can prove if the unit is working at capacity or not. Believe me there are brand new units out there that have to be verified because the unit canít keep up. Or is there another problem like a leaky reversing value, or a sticky TXV, or check valve, or the defrost strip is not working.. I donít mean to sound technical, but I would call the service company and have them explain what they check for, and their thoughts on why itís not working like last year.
 
  #13  
Old 01-09-04, 03:05 PM
binford
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As for the E.A.C. there is a pre filter?? That would stop larger items. Not that this happened, but lets say you did not have a filter, then all the dust and dog hair (if you had a dog) would get stuck on the indoor coils. These coils are on top of your air handler and look like a cars radiator with all the fins. When this happens, both you A/C and heating would be affected. Sometimes there are small access plugs that allow inspection of these coils. The new ones have a nice removable door so you can see and clean if needed.
 
  #14  
Old 01-10-04, 11:28 AM
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Binford you are absolutely right! The EAC has a pre filter. The problem, it is dam near useless. Not so much because of its style but because of it's location.
I f you take the Down return grill off my wall the duct work looks like a dust nightmare! You could clean it, but it would take you hours (I have) just to have it load up again in a few months. This in turn puts all that dust right on top of the pre filters, which clog up in a week or so, this leads to the "Wires" in the EAC becoming coated and efficiency go's to hell.
If it worked correctly I would not be having a problem, but I am. My idea is to clean the living daylights out of the duct work before the prefilters and install a replaceable filter at the down return grill. This just makes good sense if you think about it. Then the prefilters would not be so susceptible to clogging up the EAC.
There is a company called Hart and Cooley that make the filtered return grill but they don't sell to the public, so I am waiting to hear from them as to who carry's there products in my area.
Changeling
 
  #15  
Old 01-10-04, 12:06 PM
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Lightbulb filters

Ill just say that we take out more and more of the electric filters than we put in. In fact the ones we do put in .After a short time.
people will not keep them clean.So they dont work as they should. You can put a filter grill there on the cold air return. Also get a pleated filter2" or 4" to fit in the EAC box.
I still think look at the inside coil and see if you can see through it.That EAC filter could have let a lot of dirt get in there.That high electric bill gets me.Dont know if you saw it here . But had a party with high electric bills for 4 years then one guy found one of the strip heaters had been on all the time. I know I have found some that where stuck on. ED
 
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