installing additional return question

I have a 2000 Sq ft house in Texas. ( 5 YO) The front two bedrooms are either hot in Summer or cold in winter(face west). I have ONE return in the back corner of the house with a 18 inch hose feeding my 5 ton air handler. When the fan kicks on it will about suck the hat off you head! It was suggested that I need a return in the front to balance it out. So i must build a plenum. (because it doesnt have one, now the hose just goes straight into air handler) Questions are this: What material do i build the plenum out of? Should I down size the return ducts to say 14 or 12 inch since now there will be 2?
thanks in advance
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You can build it out of cardboard and duct tape. Just paint it up real well with mastic. Use bubble gum to caulk the corners. 2 - 6 inch returns should be more than enough. You gotta keep that velocity up, you know. Bubba
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wrote:

hose
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It will last longer if you use the double thick cardboard.
Ducky brand of duct tape holds up better too.
The 2-6" returns are probably ok, but you might go with 4-4" returns as they are easier to work with and you can purchase a 4" hole saw to make your holes!
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make the plenum out of 24 guage sheet metal. seal all seams witrh duct mastic & insulate the exterior to at least r-19, preferrably r30. Install a second 18-20" duct to the additional return air grill.
while you're up there doing all this, ensure all attic ductwork is sealed air tight and fully insulated. major leakage usually occurs where round ducts connect to flat sided plenums. peel the insulation back and seal all metal to metal connections and all metal to flex duct connections, then re-insulate.
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