Return air ducting

I inspected a condo in a multi floor building that had a package AC system instaled in the drop ceiling. The return air compartment looked OK but I noticed there was no duct work from the return to the AC unit. Should there be ducting from the return to the unit? The AC was working fine.




You don’t need duct work for returns. Hope this helps.

are you sure that is a package unit??

Not 100%. The area where the unit was installed was quite tight and limited and this system was new to me (the complex was built in 2006 so it’s the latest technology). If it was a heat pump the drop would’ve been hot. It wasn’t. I have seen return air ducts at other inspections (in attics for example).

If the return air duct opens into the drop ceiling w/o duct work directly to unit, wouldn’t the unit be drawing and conditioning air from the drop area thus working harder than needed?

If anyone knows for sure what type of system this is I would appreciate the lesson.

From the looks of it, it is a split system. The condenser units are usually on the roof. Sometimes they are on the ground outside.

Package units are not installed in dropped ceiling you have a split system of some nature the double shafted blower that I see In the pic is indicative of air handlers used with no return air duct the dropped ceiling can be used as the return but you would have some type of grills from the dropped area into the living area or the conditioned area served.

Electrical conductors installed in the return air plenum.

Thank you guys as usual this is the place were answers can be found.