~Cold air return in basement?~


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Old 02-23-03, 01:22 AM
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~Cold air return in basement?~

Hello all,

Just wondering about how I was gonna heat & cool the basement I'm remodeling & had an idea. Would it be okay for me to insead of running cold air returns in each room, to just get a louvered door for the furnace room & to place a 'grill' in the lower section of the cold air return section of the furnace.
 
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Old 02-23-03, 09:14 AM
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NO!!!

You will require a louvered door for the furnace room or some other method of providing both combustion and and dillution air. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES PUT A VENT ON THE RETURN DUCT THAT CLOSE TO YOUR BLOWER AND NEAR FLUES. (PERIOD!!!)

Reasons for this is the closer you are to the blower, the stronger the affect, and the farther, the less affect. If either the furnace or water heater flues have draft diverters, when they are on, the blower will draw from them and send the flue gases into the house. The problems associated with this are so numerous I'm not going to lists them but they go from damp moist basements to death.

Install a return vent outside the furnace room and away from the louvered door or any other vent you decide to use to provide both combustion and dillution air for the furnace room.
 
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Old 02-24-03, 01:04 AM
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Okay. I wont go there then.

Here's another question. Is it unheard of to have cold air returns in the basement without having heating vents? Here's the reason I'm even asking. The basement was relatively comfortable this winter. Now I'm remodeling the basement which includes insulated walls & joist ends and a suspended ceiling. So I'm just guessing that it'll be even more comfortable when I finish. I figure that a couple of cold air returns would circulate the air.

Your thoughts?

Thanx,
 

Last edited by Bluestraw; 02-24-03 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 02-24-03, 07:02 AM
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Best term to describe nature is balance.

You cannot take air out of a room without replacing it with the same volume of air and vice-versa. Standard heating systems usualy apply 2 negative Pascals to the basement. This is considered normal. It also accounts for the air exchange in the basement. Having either only supply or return vents to an area will either pressurize or depressurize the area. Both are considered to cause a variety of problems because the area is not balanced. With returns it is depressurization and more than likely the negative pressure will increase to 5 or 6 Pascals. Though this is not noticeable to human beings, it affects the water vapor molecule in the ground outside your basement walls and floor.

In other words, moisture in the ground outside the walls and floor of the basement will be drawn through the masonry making the basement damp. What usually follows are spalling, effluorescence, mold and mildew.

Go to the EPA site and look into Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Unbalanced forced air systems, especially return vents, tops the list for causes for toxic mold and radon in homes today.

If you want to try and limit the amount of heating and cooling in the basement, insulate your ductwork. Sheet metal conducts heating and cooling very easily. If air circulation is the problem, use a fan or install a ceiling fan.
 
 

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