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heat and return vents

this is a ranch style house.full basement.
what is the proper placement for the return vents?
high on the wall, or on the floor?
and why.

Re: heat and return vents

I like to have high/low returns. In the summer I use the low returns,,,,cool air drops.

In the winter I use the high returns due to the heat rising.

Not many builders install high/low returns anymore due to the cost.

Re: heat and return vents

I'll agree with Gizmo in that high/low returns work well if you have both central heating and cooling.

However, I have to say he has the functionality backwards.

With forced air heating , if the supplies are located in the floor then the returns should also be at floor level ( not to say in the floor ).
Reason being , the heated forced air rises toward the ceiling. If the returns are high that heated air will be drawn out of the space before allowing any benefit from the heat. Having the returns down low ( on the opposite side from the supplies ) allows the heated forced air to circulate upward then downward providing better distribution. Besides you don't wan't to return warm air ( that should be used for heating the space for comfort ) to be heated . Instead you want to remove the cooler air which is found at floor level to provide better comfort.

The opposite would occur for A/C. Having the returns high would draw the unwanted warm air out and returned to the air handler for cooling.

Now , if the ducting are in the ceiling , well lets just say it's a poor system that's counter productive to try and force warm airdown from the ceiling that wants to naturally rise . Worse yet if you put the returns also up high. You would never be able to heat the space.

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