I installed new return ducts to tie into the air handler. Instead of the insulated flex duct, I ran oval hard ducts. I had a bunch of rolls of fiberglass insulation from a previous project, so I wrapped the ducts in that, not because it really needed it since the attic is conditioned, but I had it and every little bit helps.
I also moved a section of the main return where it joins the air handler (no before pics 🙁 ). The duct work could either be routed horizontally and take up precious floor space, or vertically and free up space, so after discussing with my HVAC maintenance contractor, I changed the orientation from horizontal to vertical to free up some space.
The other HVAC mod was to move the refrigerant lines out of the middle of the floor and route them under the floor. I was worried about tripping on them and causing a refrigerant leak. I sent a request to my HVAC maintenance contractor to quote me for the work, but never heard back, so I sent a follow up and another follow up. I’m guessing it was too small a job for them, so I hired someone else. I had already purchased new refrigerant lines and routed them where I needed them to go and moved the drain lines. I just needed someone to make the hook ups. The procedure was pretty simple. Pump the refrigerant back to the compressor, disconnect the old lines, connect the new lines, make sure there is no air, moisture, or leaks in the lines then let the refrigerant back out. All in all it took a few hours, but now the lines are out of the way, under the floor all the way to the air handler.