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tadowhere
tadowhere, Handyman
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 118
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in HVAC
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Lennox elite cb29m heat pump, the HVAC company came over for

Resolved Question:

Lennox elite cb29m heat pump, the HVAC company came over for their annual check and said everything was good except the return air vent in my upstairs hallway didn't have good suction, he used a piece of t-paper and threw it up at it and it would not stay up so he said he could check into it but it would be extra, or suggested i go into attic and check it out myself.

So I did and the flex line is attached and seems good, any idea why it does not have the proper suction? my down stairs one is great alto its way closer to furnace in garage than the one upstairs in middle of hallway
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  tadowhere replied 10 months ago.

tadowhere :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX going to help you out tonight.

tadowhere :

How old is the house?

Customer:

7 years

tadowhere :

Have you had yearly check ups? Better yet if you have, have they checked the return air vents before?

Customer:

I have had a check up every summer for my A/C and in winter for heat they basically just check the unit outside for whatever and change filter, ive only replace a fan motor on the unit outside and the contactor other than that i did have a guy for another company change all the flex line in crawl space to hard pipe

Customer:

but to answer correctly no

Customer:

this guy is the first to say anything about return air

tadowhere :

Okay, I have seen what your stating allot. (unfortunately) As you stated the closet to the furnace is pulling well due to a short run. Few questions:

tadowhere :

How many return air vents do you have?

Customer:

as in oin floor right?

tadowhere :

Also locations meaning are the low or high on the wall

Customer:

typo sorry

tadowhere :

Not the supplies just the returns

Customer:

two...both in celing

Customer:

one in corner of lv room downstairs one in center of hallway

Customer:

no filters in them either

tadowhere :

okay, the easiest way (without a company coming to your house w/ proper equipment) is to close off the one downstairs and see if you get any pull from the one upstairs?

tadowhere :

That will tell you at the very least it's connected

Customer:

i know its connected it does have a small draw in air and i went innto attic and checked

Customer:

maybe a hole in line i didnt see?

tadowhere :

Maybe

Customer:

i dont have any rodent issues in their i know that for sure tho

tadowhere :

You may have seen at home depot before they sell big (as in diameter) magnets usually white and can be cut to size to close off return air vents.

Customer:

yes

tadowhere :

So with a set-up like you have in the summer you would close off the 1st flr return as cool air drops and heat rises. Then switch in the winter/colder months

Customer:

are u suggestion the one downstairs is robbin the other of some sort

tadowhere :

Well the one downstairs is closet and your furnace is like a vacuum.

tadowhere :

So to get the most efficiency closing off the returns in certain areas like i'm suggesting is necessary.

tadowhere :

The reason there's no way to close a return vent like a supply vent is someone were to close all the returns they would burn up the blower motor. So you have to get the magnets and only close one at a time.

tadowhere :

*if

tadowhere :

Keep in mind i'm advising you off the fact the HVAC company was out and your furnace/air handler is operating correctly.

Customer:

ok so i should block off the dwn stairs and see if it creates a major suction upstairs as it should do to the vacuum effect, and alternate the magnet from winter and summer months....basically the cool air is being sucked out by mass air flow down staies and up stairs stays hot cause of that lack of flow and by closing off first floor the other can suck the hot aie out in turn helping keep it cool, and vise versa in winter

tadowhere :

Yes this is the case.

tadowhere :

Now depending on the length of the run you might now get the same pull you get from the downstairs one but it should be close.

Customer:

and the HVAC company I use is very good in Seattle area so i trust them and that everything else is ok, wonder why he wouldnt mention that idea tho, i guess they have to check first and its about a 20 25 foot flex line thats about 12-14 ft round

tadowhere :

you mean inches round?

Customer:

yes lol

tadowhere :

okay scared me there :-)

Customer:

lol

Customer:

sorry

Customer:

i scare myself sometimes

Customer:

im very hands on and as far as magnets go i think i can try that no sweat...

tadowhere :

As long as you followed that flex line and made sure there are no kinks/obstructions it seems the design isn't the best.

tadowhere :

And when you close off the bottom floor you will know for sure

tadowhere :

Also check by where air filter goes that it's not sucking too much air from around that point.

tadowhere :

Again i'm assuming the HVAC company checked that.

Customer:

i know its not the best...gotta love builder grade, thats why i had all the flex in crawl was changed to 6in metal, but thats a whole other issue cause he did it different that original, i had two boxes with supplies in each, one box with about four lines in middle of run and another box at end of run with more supplies lines running, and he ran one new str8 line down center of house and teed off lines where need and added individual vents to every line

Customer:

so lets assume the attic line is 100% good and the magnet trick doesnt improve vacuum, then what?

tadowhere :

Yeah it happens. Flex is not the best and you have some long runs, for returns it's not as bad.

Customer:

and i ty in advance for you help

tadowhere :

Then that return is not fully connected somewhere. Here's what I want you to do if that happens

Customer:

sell asap lol

tadowhere :

If you have little pull at the upstairs after closing the bottom floor then go to the furnace and slowly pull filter out ,in fact do that now/b4 magnet so you will be able to tell if there's a difference. If there's little pull upstairs and you don't feel any difference pulling the filter out then the air is being pulled from inside walls/attic somewhere.

tadowhere :

lol

tadowhere :

Now if you go to pull filter out and it's really hard then there's a blockage somewhere

Customer:

ok and that would mean theirs a break in that lie or something for sure right

tadowhere :

And obviously turn furnace off and open bottom floor so you don't burn up the motor.

tadowhere :

right

tadowhere :

But since your getting some pull upstairs i'm assuming once you close the bottom floor it will pull allot more

Customer:

i think i understand....but i did go to public school..lol....ill give that all a try tomorrow for sure,

tadowhere :

I went to public school too! In chicago no less.

tadowhere :

No problem I think it will work fine once you close off the bottom floor. If you have any other questions you can come back here and I will respond

Customer:

is it poss that my 20$ filters block to much vacuum

tadowhere :

That could be adding to the issue. Also the thicker the filter the more strain your putting on the blower motor.

Customer:

so in fernace world cheeper filters over the long run could save the life of parts and labor

tadowhere :

Yes

tadowhere :

I use 30 day cheap filters on my own furnace.

Customer:

right on.....Im happy to pay in full for your help and let you know how it turns out. i hope it works.

tadowhere :

Sounds good.

tadowhere :

Thanks for using JA. And remember if you need anything else just come back here and i'll respond.

tadowhere, Handyman
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 118
Experience: I have over 16 years experience in HVAC
tadowhere and 4 other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you

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