I was looking to have a LEED certified home and was moving along nicely until unfortunately due to a lack of proper communication my HVAC company put in panned ducts for the returns (all in the conditioned space). The project has grinder to a halt and I am now faced with deciding to scrap the LEED thing and keep the panned ducts or put in a central ducted system as there is not enough room for fully ducted returns from all rooms. My house has a basement and two additional floors and my HVAC company is able to put centralized ducted returns on all levels with enough cfms to handle the output of the system and then plans on putting in transfer grilles for the rooms, but my builder and HVAC people think it will not be as good as the current system (and it will cost me more money). Talking with other people in my area, panned return ducts seem ubiquitous, however everything I read on line seams to state that panned return ducts are the worst thing ever. I don’t want to do something stupid just to be able to get LEED certification and aesthetics wise it would look way better as is currently set up and I wouldn’t have to worry about an ugly centralized grille and noise problems with the transfer grilles, but in the end I just want to do the best thing for the home. I would appreciate anyones opinions on what to do.
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