I live in a brand new home (1 year old). The house is 2 stories and
approx 2100 sq ft and is serviced by a forced air furnace and central
air conditioning system.
Ove the course of the first year I lived in the house, I constantly
found the upstairs eithr too hot (in the summer) or too cold (in the
winter). To combat this problem I would either run the furnace or AC
for longer periods t try and affect the temperature.
I reported the propblem to the builder on numerous occassions and they
bassically brushed me off. Finally after a year of complaining, they
sent someone to investigate and it was determined that NONE of the air
return ducts were connected to the system at all.
My question is, what impact would this have on the efficiency of my
system? In other words would this reuslt in a 25% or 50% loss of
efficiency? Would I have been running my furnace or AC 25% or 50%
more to compensate for the lack of proper air circulation?
I am certain that my energy costs were increased due to this issue and
I am trying to get an understanding of how much this may have impacted
my energy billls this past year.
Any htoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
Without knowing a LOT more details and information, (at this point) the
extra cost would be a guess.
However, even if you listed all the required data, nobody here is going to
waste their time figuring it out for you. That is unless you'd like to make
a deposit in their PayPal account.
You know, I can't stand it when smart asses like you add REAL value to
these message boards. If you have nothing positive to contribute
here, than crawl back into the cave you came from and keep your mouth
For those of who who have taken some time to try and answer my intial
question, first let me say thank you.
I can say that the builder did fix the problem as the new house is
under warranty. I am now in discussions with them regarding
reimbursing me for the increased energy costs I likely suffered as a
result of their failure to install things properly.
I am not looking for hard scientific measurements here, I just want a
ballpark estimate as to what impact the lack of a properly functioning
(i.e.: non existitent) cold air return systems would have?
Glad to hear you received some response and corrections by the builder. You
best avenue would be to consult [and pay for] consultation with an HVAC
engineer to calculate the cost(s) associated with the return(s) not being
Your associated increase in costs could be rough estimated by comparing your
energy costs with a neighbor of a simular house and family size. Generally
this isn't a recommended procedure, but could give you a ball park without
costs. Basically, ask your neighbor what his summer cost was.
Damn! I am goina pat myself on the back on this one (pat, pat, pat).
I knew a little weasel like you was looking for nothing more than
money. Then you have the balls to try and hump kjpro.
Go fuque.........no, on second thought........
Go FUCK yourself with your broom handle then break it off.
Now bite me you pimple on my ass.
Brand new house and problem with it, isn't there a warranty on the
house? Where I live, by law they have to take care and correct things
like that on a new house upto 5 years. No wonder I never lived in a
house other than I had built from ground up with my plan and spec. For
temporary stop gap help, is ther adequate attic vent? Is there ceiling
You said the RETURN ducts...
That implies you were sucking in RAW Attic air... with all its dust, dirt,
fiberglass and birds and shit...
You may be looking at a new Furnace due to the level of contamination. If
the returns were disconnected, the raw air was sucked in and blown through
the motor, the bearings, the heat exchanger and the AC-Coil. I don't know
if the manufacture would honor their warranty (if there were later issues)
if it was disclosed that the unit was run for a YEAR without proper
Similarly, I believe that many of the members hear would also be reluctant
to "guarantee" work on such a unit.
I am only a home inspector, but my advice upon seeing a unit with a
disconnected return in a Attic is to get a MANUFACTURES representative to
recommend a course of action. The installer working for the builder has a
vested interest in keeping their costs down AND keeping the builder
happy.... they could really care less about 1 client so they may not be
(are not) working with your interest in mind.
Current Furnaces have an expected life of about 15-20 years... runing it
without a Return could SIGNIFICANTLY shorten the expected life, so you might
be buying another furnace much sooner than you should, and they are not just
a few hundred $$.
Just my $.02
Bob at Inspections by bob dot com
Your are quite right about my assumptions....
Having seen a furnace run without a return in an attic a few times, I am
basing it on that...
MOST of the time, attic furnaces have Return grill air filters so the
homeowner doesn't have to go into the attic, so my assumption about
unfiltered air is based on that...
As for stuff in the air... I spend a LOT of time in attics, and there is a
LOT of stuff flying arround in attic air, none of which I want in my lungs
or in my AC unit.
The unit I saw recently the return was FULL of insulation, as windy days
stirred it up just a bit, so little by little the unit vacumed it up, into
the rteturn, the fan, the exchanger and the coils... really really ugly.
I have seen the same with units in the basement when there was no cover on
the filter, it sucked air from the basement PAST the filter...
In the worst case, when I turned on the heat, there was enough stuff on the
heat exchanger that it smoked enough to set off the smoke detectors... and
that was in a brand new house, not even occupied yet...
I am paid to be paranoid... and what I often see makes me even more so... I
rely on the "Professionals" like you to use your training, experteese and
experience to determine if it "just that damed Paranoid inspector" or if
there is a real problem. I only see the house for a few hours, you guys
get to service the unit for its usefull (ha!) life.... What happens most
of the time is the builder sends his puchout guy up with a damp rag and
maybe a shop vac.... does a really good job cleaning the unit.... notice I
didn't mention a screwdriver...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.