The ductwork in your residential forced-air HVAC system is the network of pipes through which heated or cooled air travels. In addition to the supply ducts that provide the conditioned air, there is also a system of return air ducts that bring expended air back to your HVAC system. The following information will give you some useful information about these return air ducts and how they contribute to HVAC performance and indoor comfort.
- Return air ducts balance airflow in your HVAC system — The primary role of return ducts is to bring air that has been warmed or cooled back to your furnace or air conditioner. This air is returned so that it can be heated or cooled again, filtered of particulates and contaminants, and redistributed inside your home. This air circulation system must be balanced to ensure there is enough air entering and leaving to allow for proper HVAC equipment operation and consistent indoor temperatures.
- Return air ducts must be correctly sized — The physical dimensions of return air ducts are important since they must be big enough to carry enough air back to your HVAC unit. If they are too small, airflow will be restricted and there will not be enough air circulation to heat or cool the inside of your home.
- Return air ducts must be sealed and unobstructed — Sealing return air ducts is just as important as sealing supply ducts. Sealing all duct section connections with mastic, a specialized rubbery sealant, or with metal tape prevents air leaks. It also keeps additional particulates and other contaminants from being pulled into the ductwork system and sent out into your home. Remember, too, that return air ducts must be kept clear of obstructions at the grilles, including furniture, boxes, clothing, or other objects that would block airflow.
Arpi’s Industries Ltd. has been serving the HVAC and plumbing needs of customers in Calgary and surrounding cities for more than 50 years. Contact us today for more information on return air ducts.
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