Your home’s central HVAC system incorporates two separate types of airflow: supply air and return air. While supply air is moving from the furnace or the AC through ductwork into rooms, return air is removed from rooms via separate ductwork. Though the consistent flow of supply air tends to be more noticeable, return airflow is also a critical factor that supports optimum heating and cooling efficiency, as well as a healthy indoor environment.
Return air is removed from rooms and “returned” to the central air handler to be cooled or heated again. In some cases, a return vent is located inside each individual room. This vent is typically not adjustable, nor can it be manually closed. Alternatively, the home may have one large central return vent typically located in a hallway. Return ductwork is under negative pressure from the blower that’s located in the central air handler. The path of airflow proceeds as follows:
Because the flow of air in your HVAC system is a circle, any problem in the system potentially affects both supply and return airflow. Factors that may affect return air specifically include:
For professional advice about issues that may affect the flow of return air, contact Powers Heating & Air.