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P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC company for 75 years. We gladly share our expertise and advice to help keep you comfortable all year long through the articles we post here.

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Be Sure You Don’t Block Cold Air Returns


Are you sure you’re getting the most out of your HVAC system?  With today’s rising energy costs, and an economy that hasn’t fully recovered, this is a question you should be asking yourself. If your air ducts are starving for air, you may not be getting all the heating and cooling you are paying for.

Think of it this way, the air that is flowing through your house is the lifeblood of your house’s heating and cooling. Just as your heart is constantly returning the blood to your lungs, so that it can get oxygen for your body; the blower in your HVAC system is constantly bringing a fresh supply of cold air back through the air ducts, to your heater, so that the air can become warmed up again. But, if the air ducts are blocked, there is no warm air heating your house.

There are two basic types of air ducts in any forced-air HVAC system:

  • Heat vents – that allow the warm air to enter into the rooms of your house
  • Cold air return duct – which brings the fresh supply or cold air returned back to the HVAC system to be reheated.

Most people know where their heat vents are and intuitively understand that if you block the air from coming into the room that you will be uncomfortable.  On the other hand very few can tell you where their cold air returns are located. All too often, this essential part of your house’s heating is hidden behind the sofa, or under an entertainment center.  In our experience, it is this part of the system that reduces the overall flow in the system and is the real culprit (between 30-50% of all systems) when comfort problems relating to airflow occur.

If your house has the cold air grille in the ceiling, you don’t have a problem with obstructions; but if not, you need to be sure that you aren’t covering it up with something. Otherwise, you are starving that system, and throwing money away. Your air ducts need plenty of air flow, to ensure that your HVAC system is giving you the best heating for your money.

P.K. Wadsworth services the Greater Cleveland, OH area including cities Chagrin Falls, Shaker Heights, Eastlake or anywhere in between.  To get started, check out our website.


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