On one side of my house there is an AC serving 4 bedrooms with a
bathroom in the middle. The AC handler is located up in the attic
inside the bathroom.
This bathroom has a lower ceiling than other rooms in the house.
I recently took down the sheetrock and noticed that this lower ceiling
is an "add on", it was built and attached to the joists. After taking
down the insulation and everything it is clear to me now the one
single reason to build this lower ceiling is to accomodate a 16"
insulated coiled duct from one side of the house to the other side of
There are altogether five returns, one in each room, and one in the
hallway, and seven supplies (one in each of the 4 rooms, one in each
of the three baths). The returns from two rooms on one side of the
bath came together and then dropped into the lower part of the ceiling
and go past the AC handler from below and then merge with the return
ducts from the other two rooms on the opposite side.
So I am thinking, why do I need five returns? Many houses have only
one return, so if I completely eliminate the return from one side of
the house, I could eliminate that duct, and hence I can eliminate the
The AC guy says I could do that, and still have three returns on the
other side, but I may feel a slight difference in temperature on one
side. But he also said he is hesitant to remove that duct because
it's 1970 sheet metal we are talking about and once you break it you
may be opening a can of worms. These foam sprayed insulation on sheet
metal may just disintegrate.
Any comments on the pros/cons of removing the returns from one side?