In a 1440 sqft single store house, how many return air vents are needed?

We are installing a 3 ton 16 seer two speed unit central system in a 3 bedroom house in Northern California (built in 1964). The house has two return air. The first one is 30x20 in the hallway next to the thermostat. The second one is smaller 12x12, located in the middle of the kitchen/dining room with 3 supply air. I read that it is good to keep the return air in several different rooms to keep the air circulating, but I also read that too much return is bad. It has to balance the pressures to supply it says. Do we need to keep the return air in the kitchen/dining room area or just one in the hallway is enough for the whole house?

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  • 6 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    you likely need them both. the original builder would not have spent the extra on having two if not needed.

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  • 6 months ago

    More return air vents, properly sized and balanced will provide the most uniform conditions.

    There really is no such thing as too much, return air equals supply air, it's a closed loop. In most conditions they should be the same size.

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  • 6 months ago

    Thank you so much for your suggestions. We have decided to keep both return air vents in two different areas of the house.

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  • y
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    I have no idea where you heard that too much in the way of return duct, return sizing is bad/wrong. Unless you have a high speed pressurized system, then that would be incorrect.In days of old the air handler would just be left open down in the basement, they were dirty but fine. You can certainly add returns to the individual rooms if you wish, i prefer that as opposed to the one or two large openings. Better airflow in my mind but it is not necessary. The problem comes with not enough makeup air, not enough/restricted return air. So whatever you do, ensure that the same square inches available with the current set up, that works. Will still be available after you do what you do. As far as balance, yes return access con play a role but it is more about controlling the air flow on the supply side. Ensure all supply duct flow can be adjusted.

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    should be one in every room except baths and laundry

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