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What is the Role of Cold Air Returns in the Heating Process?

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When we think about heating our homes, most of the attention is given to the warm air that comes out of our supply registers. But often overlooked, and just as important, is the job of our homes’ cold air returns. So let’s dive deeper into what cold air returns are and what you can do to maximize their performance.

What is the job of cold air returns?

Similar to the human body, your HVAC system “inhales” and “exhales” the air around your home. In order for your furnace to run efficiently and your home to heat evenly, this airflow must be in balance. In other words, the amount of air that your furnace “breathes in” must equal the amount of air it “breathes out.”

Cold air returns are what allow your furnace to “inhale” your home’s air. These registers are typically located low to the ground in different areas around your home in order to capture the cold air that sinks to the floor. When warm air is delivered to a room, the existing cold air in that room is pushed into the cold air returns. Once inside your cold air returns, that air travels through your ductwork back to your furnace where it is filtered, heated and sent back to warm your home.

How can you maximize the performance of your cold air returns?

If you have any questions about a cold air return, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis heating and air conditioning company. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding towns like Creve Coeur, O’Fallon and St. Peters.

photo credit: bionicteaching via photopin cc

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