Many people underestimate the value and importance of return air vents in their homes. The problem is that if your house doesn't have a sufficient amount of these, or if the existing vents are blocked, you might be experiencing problems with your heating system. Return air ducts are an essential component of a forced air heating system, and there are several ways that you can improve the functions of your return air vent system.
What Are Return Air Ducts For?
When you turn on your furnace, it will begin pulling in cold air. As this happens, the furnace heats the air and forces it through the air ducts. The heated air will eventually come out of the registers in your home. As this process occurs, extra air is added to a room, which means that there will be too much air inside the home.
This is where return air vents come into play with a forced air heating system. As heated air is forced into the rooms, the existing air in these rooms is pushed into the return air vents, which are normally located on the ceilings in the rooms.
When the air goes into the return vents, it is carried back to the furnace, and the entire process begins again.
What Causes a Return Air Duct System To Fail?
Failure of a return air duct system occurs when this process is interrupted. In most cases, this means that the existing air in the rooms has no place to go, and there are two main reasons this can happen:
- Your home doesn't have enough return air vents – If the contractor that designed and installed your heating system did not include enough return air vents, the air might get trapped inside your home instead of getting pushed into these vents. To fix this problem, an HVAC company could install additional return air vents in your home.
- The existing vents are clogged – Over time, these vents can become clogged from dust, pet hair, and other types of debris. While you do not need to clean these vents often, you may want to consider removing the covers and cleaning them every few years. This will help with keeping the air flowing back to your furnace.
If the return vents are not collecting and sending air back to the furnace, you may encounter several different problems in your home.
What Problems Can This Lead To?
When your house does not have a good return air vent system, you might experience these issues:
- Pressure imbalances – Pressure imbalances in a home can cause issues. In this case, your home would have a positive pressure imbalance, which means there is too much air in it. Because of this, the heated air that is forced into the rooms will often escape through any cracks the air can find.
- Uneven temperatures in your home – A lack of airflow in a house can actually lead to uneven and uncomfortable temperatures in a home. A house needs proper airflow to have an even temperature throughout.
- Higher energy bills – All of these issues can also cause your energy bills to go up. Your furnace will have to work harder because you are losing heated air.
- Failure of heating system – When a furnace works harder, it tends to wear out faster. Replacing a furnace can be extremely costly, but you might be able to avoid harming your furnace simply by fixing your return air vent problems.
The return air vent system in your home is a vital part of your heating and cooling system. If you think that your return vents might not be working properly, contact local heating services.