homeowner question - return vents?

Short story: I own an old 2 story frame house with basement in North Central WI built before 1930. I am in need of a new furnace and "was" considering a high efficiency unit with central air (house is 24x34 ft).
Every HVAC contactor who I have received a quote from says that for a high efficiency furnace w/central air that I realistically need return vents in every room. I understand the reason why I need return vents, but I'm not willing to shell out the extra $ to put returns all over the house since I live in a region where central air is not a requirement for comfortable living in the summer time (I have large trees on the South elevation which provide substantial shade to the house in the summer). I currently have an ancient Lenox Aire Flo K5-135M (135k BTU input / 108k BTU output) with the air intake on top of the furnace and a single return opening through the first floor living room.
The question is whether it is possible to have a high efficiency furnace without return vents? (the furnace is in the basement). I'm willing to have a lower efficiency unit without central air as a trade-off for not having to spend the extra $ to put returns all over the house. If I go with a lower efficiency unit, what percentage efficiency might it be, and what would be the best make/model for this type of scenario/design?
Thanks in advance for any advice,
Joe
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Joe S. wrote:

Talk with more local contractors.
I cannot do much typing.
http://www.udarrell.com/proper_cfm_btuh_duct_sizing_air_conditioning_systems.html Get window units. http://www.udarrell.com/airconditioner_current_temperature_btuh_charting.html
- udarrell
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WISDOM PRINCIPLED EMPOWERMENT COMMUNICATIONS -
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wrote:

Thanks much for the link... I'll check it out (but I'm not an engineer)

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"Joe S." wrote

Joe,
As you know, all those contractors are wrong. Here's my expert advice. Have them block off the one intake in the living room, and just have one large one in the bathroom. This should be suffice for your high efficiency a/c.
Good thing you don't listen to those jack legs.
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Hi Joe I am not HVAC person but I seen enough installation and I can't tell you what will be good for your situation however if you house configuration allow you to put return air duct some place centrally located in your house you should not have any problems many installations are done that way and what ever others might tell you otherwise. I will assumed that your stairways are open and not enclosed, also focus that 60 to 70% of your supply air is going on upper floor. Tony

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wrote:

hehehe. Yet you continue to spew poor advice in a language other than most can understand.

then why are you here and why does that hole in your head continue to runnith over?

oh, so you stole the crystal ball

Interesting. I think Ive been doing this 27 years now. Ive never seen that 60-70% rule. You've got "thumbs" too, I guess? Bubba

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Joe S. wrote:

Curious. You said 24 x 34? You said 2 story? You know, a single wide is about those dimensions. I know you said basement...... but does your house have chrome hubcaps? Is the basement about crawl height?
--
Zyp



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I'm not trailer trash. The height of the basement is 96 inches from the basement floor to the bottom of the first floor (excluding the 2x8's). My intention here was to seek an opinion by anyone who has no pecuniary interest in the advice rendered. With the exception of udarrell, most of the folks here seem to be more interested in waving their dick around to see who can insult civilians with the greatest intensity. With the exception of just a few persons, this group appears to be largely a usenet wasteland.
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Look sport, you were told that the new furnace DOES require return air ducts and vents.... Now, quit being a cheap bastard, and let the contractor do his job instead of trying to second guess him. you got the information you wanted.... now go away.
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wrote:

And yet, here you are.
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Joe S. wrote:

Hey Paul - he doesn't like your trailer! :(
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Zyp



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Your assessment is mostly correct. This group is basically a online circle jerk.
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snipped-for-privacy@serty.net wrote:

That why you keep coming back?
--
Ron Paul or more of the same.

http://www.ronpaul2008.com /
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snipped-for-privacy@serty.net wrote:

Well there ya go. Why don't ask *your* local HVAC professional? I think you will find that most HVAC people are generally compassionate and honest to *their* clients. Unlike your self obviously because *you* are looking for free info. That's what the interent is about. Try Google - it's free and there's a host of sights that will give you the information you seek just by inquiring.
Now go find your own cirlce to jerk.
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Zyp



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posted for all of us...

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Tekkie GRIP = Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians

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Joe, I just found out this group is a troll party. Udarell is about the only helpful person here. The standard answer to most questions appears to be "you're a retard. Call a pro." That said, FTWHD is right.
If you've asked several contractors and they have all said you need returns in every room, it's reliable information. That or it's a conspiracy. ;-)
I suggest you consider the more expensive option. It will increase the value of the house in the long run. Plus, the high efficiency will eventually justify itself with the lower utility cost.
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You haven't been here long enough to know jack shit. You just got pissy when you didn't get the answers you were looking for, for FREE. Now, go fuck off in the corner.
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Hi Joe....
I'll put my two cents in. As you might expect, there are a broad range of opinions on how to design residential AC systems. In general, and a "best" practice, you'll have a return for every room that you are supplying. That allows the room heat load to be taken out and directly fed to the AC unit. That said, most residential systems are not built or designed that way. I live in northern calif (SF Bay) were we have limited AC demands. We have only one return in a common area. I think your designer can take some of this into consideration when designing your system. You'll still save energy in that the newer units are much better in terms of using the energy they burn (the definition of effieiency - energy in divided by energy out). You may find that some rooms may not cool as well as they might if had a direct return. Check out some commericial or other residential .....I'm sure you'll find that each office or room does not have a return. Having said that, if you have a common return or a limited number of returns, thier location needs to be thought out some and they have to be sized adequately. With fewer returns, the remaining returns will need to larger to accomidate the added flow. hope this helps.....Jack
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