I’m having two new hvac systems installed. Everything seems legit, except that instead of putting an extra return for the downstairs system downstairs, they put it in a bedroom closet upstairs because it’s easier to access. Is this the correct thing to do?

Extra info:

The second story has two attics. One main one that feeds the entire top floor with return and vent ducts dropped down into buckets.The bottom floor has another system that is accessible by a little door in a closet in one of the bedrooms in second floor. That same closet now has a return in it that feeds to the first floor system. The first floor duct work is in between sheet rock, which makes it nearly impossible to access unless we cut into the sheet rock.

As far as the layout:

Upstairs have 4 bedrooms and a game room. There are two return intakes in the main area upstairs, one in the ceiling and another on the floor. Then one of the other bedrooms (my office) has a new return put into it. When the house was made, returns in the bedrooms were not done.

Downstairs, there is 1 12x20x1 intake in the ceiling and another 20x30x1 on the floor near the master bedroom.

There are two new 3 ton 2 speed systems. The house is 3100sqft.

  • The "downstairs" system has a cold-air return located "upstairs", but feeds into the "downstairs" air handler, correct? That does sound like lazy, not correct.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 6, 2020 at 14:55
  • I've added additional details. Please let me know if you would like more specific information.
    – Jerry
    Nov 6, 2020 at 15:18
  • Yeah sorry, I posted this anonymously by accident, then it logged me in.
    – Jerry
    Nov 6, 2020 at 15:23
  • I've voted to approve your edit, but please do request that your accounts be merged. Nov 6, 2020 at 15:30
  • Yay account updated. Anyways, I fixed the dimensions, it's 20x30x1. 1 is the thickness.
    – Jerry
    Nov 6, 2020 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


Not sure I followed all the rooms and floors, and the two systems, but I had one thought. If for example, you are returning air from the second floor to the hvac system for the first floor, you are creating an imbalance. Systems normally return the same amount of air that they put out. This system would remove air from the second floor, but would not return it to the second floor. That can't be. So, to keep all the pressures the same, the air has to find another path - from the 1st floor back to the 2nd floor. I guess it just goes up the stairs. That may mean that just the hot air is always rising (being blown) up to the second floor. That might be interesting.

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