Stale Rooms? Your Return-Air Ducts Could Be The Culprit

With summer just around the corner, many homeowners are contemplating the efficiency of their central air conditioning systems, including how efficiently the ductwork delivers conditioned air to various parts of the house. But there’s another aspect of air distribution that’s just as important to your home comfort levels. It’s vital that your home also have functioning return-air ducts to provide complete circulation of the air in your home.Without properly placed return-air ducts, the air in your home, especially on the upper floors, can become stale and hot. Several problems can crop up with your return-air ducts.

Stale Rooms? Your Return-Air Ducts Could Be The CulpritConditioned Airflow

Before you check the return-air ducts themselves, you should make sure the air conditioning system is actually sending air to the rooms you’re concerned about. Otherwise, you will waste time checking the return-air ducts when the problem lies elsewhere. Check the air supply registers to make sure they are not closed and that nothing is blocking them. Also, check the dampers to make sure that they’re not closed.


Since warm air rises in a home, to get the best use out of return-air ducts they must be located correctly. If you have a second floor, they should be on that floor. Placement within the rooms is also important. The return-air ducts should be placed on the wall near the ceiling. Otherwise, you are just returning cool air.

Other Problems

Return-air ducts must have a free flow of air. Make sure that nothing, such as wallpaper, pictures or furniture, is blocking them. In addition, the holes for the return-air ducts have to be large enough to allow the air to flow easily. If a room that seems stale does not have a return-air duct, install a grill to allow air to flow to another room that does have one.

Keeping the air in your Northeast Ohio home cool and fresh will make it more enjoyable for you and your family this summer. If you have any further questions about this topic or any other home-comfort issue, please contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our trained and courteous staff will be happy to help.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about return-air ducts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing services Western Cleveland. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today! For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!