Why are cold air returns near the ceiling?

In an air conditioning climate the return duct goes near the ceiling to draw off the hot air and cool it down. In a heating climate, the return duct goes near the floor to draw off the cold air and heat it up.
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Where should my cold air returns be located?

Cold air returns are located on interior walls in a home, typically close to the floor or low on the wall. You want to make sure that cold air return vents are not blocked or covered by furniture so that your home can get proper air circulation.
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Can a cold air return be in the ceiling?

Most homes across the U.S. have forced air systems and in newer homes there will be cold air return vents placed at both the ceiling and the floor of many rooms. Having two air return vents allows you to seasonally control which air is returning to the HVAC system. In older homes, this may not be an option.
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Should a cold air return be at the top or bottom?

Adjust Return Registers for Winter

It's important to remember that hot air rises and cold air falls. In the winter you want the cold air to be drawn through the return registers leaving the hot air behind. By opening the lower registers and closing the top ones you keep hot air in and draw the cold air out.
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What are vents near ceiling for?

Since hot air rises and cool air sinks, having vents in the ceiling is the best way to get cool air dispersed throughout your home. Floor mounted vents will usually make your unit work harder to get your home at the right temperature.
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A/C Return In The Ceiling Or On The Floor???

Why do houses in the South have their air vents on the ceiling?

While living in the south, you may have noticed that extreme heat is more common than extreme cold. If you remember basic science, you'll know that hot air rises, and cold air sinks, making ceiling vents the delivery location of choice for places that often experience warmth and humidity.
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Is it better to have the air ducts near the ceiling or floor when you are trying to cool a room?

Ceiling Ducts for Cooling

Because cool air naturally sinks, ceiling ducts are preferable where air conditioning takes precedence. Cool air entering through ceiling ducts quickly descends to the lower portion of the room where people are located. Comfort control is more immediate and continuous.
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Why are cold air returns on the floor?

Air return vents are necessary for the 'inhale' process. They are located on the walls or floors; they are installed low on the wall because cold air has a higher density and it accumulates near the floor. Installed and open cold air return vent delivers cold air to the furnace; furnace returns heated air via ductwork.
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Can cold air returns be on the floor?

Return vents are usually larger than heat registers and can generally be found close to the ground or in the floor in older homes or on a wall close to a ceiling in newer homes. You will not feel air being blown out of these vents, as they are used to force out the cool air in the room to be reheated by the furnace.
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Can you cover up a cold air return?

Avoid covering your cold air return vents with curtains, drapes or rugs. Always check your air filters and replace them when needed. Clogged air filters can also cause cold air return blockages.
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Should every room have a cold air return?

While it is a myth that air return grilles are required in each and every room in the house, it is definitely necessary to have more than one of these grilles installed at strategic places in the house. The most important place to have these would be the bedroom.
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Can I put furniture in front of a return vent?

Home Inspection Insider explains that an air return vent needs 6-12 inches of space in front of it, and recommends that you do not put large, bulky furniture like couches and bookshelves in front of an air return vent.
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Should you cover cold air returns in winter?

Changing With The Seasons

In the same way that hot air rises, cold air stays lower. So when you're trying to heat your home, your lower return vents should be open to collect the cold air and your upper return vents should be closed to keep the heat from escaping.
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Where is the best place to install a central return in a house?

However, if you don't run your A/C all that much or don't even have a cooling unit in your home, low-to-the-ground registers may be the best way to go. Return registers also perform best on an interior wall—not one adjacent to the outdoors. Instead, that's where your supply registers should be, ideally under a window.
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Where are return air vents located?

The best location of the return vents depends on whether the system is heating or cooling the air. If it's cooling, the return vents should be near the ceiling, where the warm air collects, but if it's heating, the return vents should draw cool air from the floors.
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What happens if there is not enough return air?

If there is not enough air coming from the return vents (problems with exhaling), you will have problems with the air supply as well (problems with inhaling). You will practically see this insufficient 'breathing' as: Air conditioner blowing warm air (in the summer). Furnace blowing cool air (in the winter).
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What happens if you block a return air vent?

What Happens When Your Return Air Vent is blocked? When you block the return air vents, you shut all airflow into the heating and cooling system, stopping the airflow to your rooms in your house. This causes stress on the blower motor and other HVAC components, driving the system to work harder and wear out faster.
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How many cold air returns are needed?

Your Home Might Not Have Enough Return Vents

Having several return vents (ideally one in every room, but even two or three is better than just one) creates consistent air pressure. If you have one return vent, your home is fine. Keep the doors to each room open so air can properly circulate.
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What is the disadvantage in having ducts in the ceiling?

Cons of ceiling vents

Inefficient air distribution for heating – If the unit is used year-round, some heated air will be lost due to heat transfer. Remember, heat rises, so if it starts at the ceiling, it has nowhere to go but up.
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Why are vents on the floor and ceiling?

Ceiling and floor vents are equally as efficient, but floor vents can be slightly more efficient by providing less resistance to airflow. Ceiling-mounted vents generally have better cooling potential, whereas floor vents typically provide greater heat transfer.
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Should ceiling vents be closed in winter?

Air vents should be open to prevent damage

Increased air pressure can create cracks and holes in the ductwork. It can also cause your furnace's heat exchanger to crack. Leave all air vents open to prevent extensive damage to your home's heating system this winter.
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Why do old houses have air vents in the walls?

Air vents were plentiful in older homes before more complex heating systems and central air-conditioning were developed. These air ducts, located in the floor and in the walls, helped regulate environmental factors, keep the houses operational and keep the people in them healthy.
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Why are floor vents under windows?

HVAC air supply vents are under windows to counter cool air coming from the window. Cool air sinks because less active molecules are densely packed. The lighter, less dense, active molecules in warm air spread out and rise. As the warm and cold air mix, room temperatures become more comfortable.
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How high should a return vent be off the floor?

Also you should have return air ducts on each story of the house. The basement one should be on the floor, not the ceiling of the basement. In the upper stories of the house, the return air duct openings on each floor should be approximately equal to the sum of the hot air outlets.
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