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Not enough return air to heating unit

I had a HVAC maintanence person do a routin service last night. He said that my downstairs furnace didn't have enough return air coming into it. I have a Trane unit for a house that is about 1,400 square feet (downstairs). The return is one 20 x 20 return (filter size). There is a seperate unit upstairs that is a little smaller but has 2 returns (one 20 inch and one 14 inch).
The person said that I need at least 1,000 CFM's but I am only getting 700 CFM's. He is suggesting that they put in another return to help ease the load of the downstairs unit. The cost of a new return grate and duct is about $1,000. He said that the current unit will not last long the way it is.
Do you think I need a few duct system installed?
Thansk very much for your advice!

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  • 2 more comments 
  • msteffens Dec 04, 2008

    The unit is a 2.5 ton heater and is located in the crawl space under the first floor.

  • msteffens Dec 04, 2008

    Thanks very much. I will look into that suggestion.

  • dwkcool May 11, 2010

    if your return is the wall you can enlarge the one you have now by reframing the 20 by 20 to a 20 by 25 and that will help

  • dwkcool May 11, 2010



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Right now you are at bare minimun for what your unit requires. If you are not having any problems with the unit or have not had any I would not worry about it. You need to check and make sure that your duct size on the unit is not smaller than 14" in diameter. If it is 14" or bigger you are fine.

Posted on Feb 14, 2009

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