Fresh Air Return Ducts Help Your A/C Breathe Easier and Save Money


Your air conditioner is actually a breathing machine. It breathes in the air around your home, conditions it, then breathes out cool, dehumidified air. Unfortunately, your ductwork probably loses about 25-to-40 percent of the air that regularly passes through it. That lost air has to be replaced somehow. That’s where fresh air returns come in.

Fresh Air Returns Add Balance

To understand the importance of fresh air returns, you need to understand how your air conditioner operates. Air in your home moves from high pressure to low pressure. An air conditioner pushes it out at high pressure and draws it back in using low pressure. Balancing those pressures is how you keep a system efficient. Since air is inevitably lost through duct work, your system has no choice but to draw in air anywhere it can.

Without fresh air returns, your system pulls air from other sources to re-balance itself. Unfortunately, those sources bring trouble with them. Recessed can lights and soffit vents wind up being sources of air which means your A/C system is pulling dirt and debris into your A/C system which gets reticulated throughout your home. The result? More dust. More problems.

We helped HomeShow Radio with this video to explain the difference between a “return air” duct and a “fresh air return.” Both perform important duties in keeping your home comfortable. How balanced is your home? Absolute Comfort Air can measure your Houston home air conditioning system’s balance and design effective solutions to give you absolute comfort.

How Safe is Your Furnace? (Video)


Can a dirty furnace become a deadly furnace? Think of it: a controlled fire starts every time your furnace comes on. When is the last time you had it checked? Most dangerous of all is something every furnace produces that you can’t see or smell.

While very gas furnace produces some Carbon Monoxide, it’s usually carried away through the furnace’s venting. A clean, efficient gas furnace produces very little carbon monoxide. Dirty ones, meanwhile, can produce deadly amounts of this colorless, odorless, deadly gas.

The older your furnace the more important annual safety checks become. Over time furnaces can develop small cracks in the combustion chamber. These cracks, not visible to the naked eye, can leak carbon monoxide into your home. That’s why we recommend annual safety checks.

Can Air Conditioning Cure Your Home of Dust Allergies?

90% of your typical day is spent indoors in the air conditioning. That’s over twenty-one hours. There’s a 65% chance that you will spend that time inhaling dust mite feces. Though microscopic, dust mite feces cause allergies like asthma. Dust mites themselves live in the soft-spots of your house.

Every time you relax into your favorite chair, shuffle across your carpet, or lie down in bed, you send their waste into the air. With so much of our day spent indoors, and so places for these dust mites, it’s no wonder allergy rates have sky rocketed! In fact, one in five Americans has allergies, and national children rates are even higher. Of course, Absolute Comfort Air offers solutions.

Dusting up a solution

For years people have tried using vacuums to solve their dust mite problem. Not only does this require time and effort week after week, but studies show that vacuums don’t solve the problem.

“Vacuums only pick up the debris lying around exposed,” explains Absolute Comfort Air’s Mark Shelton. “It’s like pulling off the heads of weeds. Tomorrow they’ll be back!”

Protecting your family means stopping the problem at its source: You have to prevent the mites themselves. To prevent mites, you have to remove their living conditions. Dust mites thrive where it’s warm and humid.

In fact, a new house in warm and humid climates can become infested within three weeks. Luckily, the best tool we have for changing these conditions is one that we all already know and love: air conditioning!

Moisture and circulation

An air conditioner fit with a dehumidifier removes the warm, humid environments and even dehydrates the mites themselves. Dehydrated mites reproduce and move more slowly. This dramatically slows fecal production, saving you and your kids the allergies. However, many air conditioned homes have terrible mite infestations. This is because of improper circulation.

Poorly designed, installed, or maintained air conditioners still allow mites to thrive in unaffected areas. As Mark will tell you, 
Experts call these areas “cold spots.”

Not only do cold spots breed mites, they grow other allergens like fungus and mold. Sometimes poor circulation makes a whole floor of your house a cold spot, infecting the rest of your home.

The best cure

But some air conditioned homes don’t have cold spots. Their air conditioning circulates evenly, and denies mites, fungus, and molds any opportunity to grow. Studies find that only these homes have undetectable levels of mites.

This means that if you want to protect your family from dust mite allergies, you need the right air conditioning system. It needs to be well designed, fit, installed, and maintained.

Unfortunately, too often HVAC companies stick to their own subjective idea of what works best. Absolute Comfort Air, on the other hand, shares the benefit of their knowledge and experience to address your unique circumstance.

“We’re a team of veteran problem solvers,” Mark says. Absolute Comfort technicians enjoy the challenge of creating an a/c solution that’s right for you. It’s not hard to find something that’s ‘good-enough,’ but it takes years of experience to find something ‘just-right.’”

Absolute Comfort