Return Air placement problem?
My situation: I have a 1 & ½ story house (2,478 sf) with an entry and a living room that have 20’ ceilings. The second floor has half walls that look down into the living room. I think my two units are 4 ton (dn) and 2.5 ton (up). There are only two return air vents/intakes in the entire house – one for each unit – and they are both mounted in the ceiling of the upstairs hallway. Brand new coils in the big unit (old ones were leaking) and a brand new compressor in the big unit (old one died last year). Outside coils/fins are as clean.
The living room with the high ceiling faces south & west, with the west wall having a ton of windows. (By now you’re probably getting the idea this house was poorly designed?... Me too.)
Even with the thermostat set at 78, our units are running literally all day long, without a break. Granted, it’s Africa-hot here in Dallas right now, but my units couldn’t keep the house any cooler than about 82 yesterday.
- We have one high arched window that is uncovered on that west wall – that’s a no-brainer that I should’ve taken care of long ago.
- Attic radiant barrier… Thinking that maybe I should study the cost & DIY possibilities of buying the rolled stuff and covering the underside of the attic.
- But, my main concern is my return air vent situation. It seems to me that this design of having both of the intakes mounted in the upstairs ceiling is a bad one. Wouldn’t the big unit be able to operate more efficiently if it were able to pull air in from the downstairs area (say, an 8’ ceiling in my dining room, for instance) ?
Any feedback or advice anyone can offer will be most appreciated.