Return/Supply Vent

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  #1  
Old 03-06-08, 10:41 AM
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Return/Supply Vent

Our house has a finished basement. It has air vents bringing in heat/air conditioning, but it does not have any return/supply vents. Are these needed and if so, how can I go about putting them? Our basement is about 700 square feet.

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-06-08, 12:20 PM
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you probably don't need them. The return air can come up the stairwell, unless you keep that door closed. Also, if your AC/heater is in the basement, you can partially open the return door letting in the basement air.
 
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Old 03-06-08, 01:43 PM
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Where is your air handler? If in the basement, you can install a return in one of the walls adjacent to the return ducting, with a drop down filter, and have adequate return. Have the return size match the supply combined sized so your cfm won't get out of whack.
 
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Old 03-06-08, 04:31 PM
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Thank you both for your response. I am a novice at this type of thing, so please bear with me.

We do leave our basement door open, so that is good news that it shouldn't be a problem.

All the ductwork is run from our basement. The air conditioner is outside. We have two furnaces to heat our 4,000 square feet home (not including basement). The furnaces are located in the basement and are enclosed.

rpatzer: I am not sure what you mean regarding partially opening the return door. Is this the venting ducts where the filter is located? If I open the return door, would it work even though the furnace area is enclosed?

chandler: I am not sure what an air handler is. Can you please specify? Is this the same thing rpatzer refer to? I think I understand what you are saying regarding installing the return. However, how would I know how to match the return and supply size? We have three vents giving out heat/air conditioning. So does that mean that I need 3 supply vents too?

Sorry to be so dense, but a lot of lingo that I don't understand. Thanks so much!
 
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Old 03-07-08, 03:49 AM
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The air handler is the unit with the fan in it moving the air throughout the house. Since your furnaces are in the basement, the air handlers are part of it. Measure the air outlets in the basement. You say you have 3, so if they are 4x10's, then you have 120 sq inches of supply, meaning the return duct should be that size as well. You can install a single return of that size, or use the open door to circulate the air. Return would be better and less likely to be accidentally closed preventing proper circulation.
 
  #6  
Old 03-07-08, 12:39 PM
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Close the basement door and add a return to get proper heating/cooling. By leaving the door open you just make it easier for the warm air to rise and the cold air to sink to the basement. In my limited experience, once you get your return added you will still need to run the fan on the furnace more the "auto" to provide comfortable basement. Otherwise the hot air rises and the cold air sinks in the house if there is enough time between when the fan runs.

good luck
 
  #7  
Old 03-08-08, 11:27 AM
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Since your furnace is in the basement, and you have 3 supply ducts to the basement, you can either leave the door open to your basement or some don't have a door, just a stairway. I don't see that you are complaining about the temp in the basement, just a question about the return ducts.
What I meant about the filter door on the unit- you must have some cover for the filter, partially leave it open so some of the basement air is returned to the system.
Apparently the basement was built with no return ducts and may be it was designed to work that way.
Do you have a door that you keep closed to the basement or is it just a stairway?
If you basement is real air-tight, and you just blow in hot air, then there must be some way for the air to "leave" the basement to maintain equal pressure. An open door, stairway or partially open filter cover will do or add a return duct to your intake plenum.
 
  #8  
Old 03-10-08, 12:41 PM
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Thank You

Thank you all for your replies. It has been most helpful.

There is a door to my basement, which we do leave open as often as possible. The temperature is a little colder than it is upstairs. Currently, we have our thermostat set at 70 degrees. It is about 66 degrees in the basement. We have one of those decorative plug in style fireplace to help warm it up for those cold nights to bring the temperature up a little bit.

We were most concern with whether there will be some harm if we did not put in return vents. It sounds like we'll be okay as long as there is some sort of air flow. We would like to put in a return vent if we could. We were thinking of putting in one or two return vents (it might not be the same square footage as the supply vents) since we can get into the room where the furnace is housed. The only thing we're not sure of is how to do it mechanically. We might just have to ask someone to do it for us.

Thanks again.
 
  #9  
Old 03-10-08, 01:02 PM
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Wink

Most of the time we put a cold air return for the basement . Right in the cold air drop. That is the duct that drops down on the side and goes into the bottom of the furnace.you could run a duct from it to the wall by the furnace if you put a 6"X14" grill in it then the air should go through the filter there. Yes you do need one down there.
 
  #10  
Old 03-10-08, 08:40 PM
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The only thing I would ad to Eds post is that 6X14 return grill I would make with the ability to partiallyclose it down, if needed, since it would be under strong vacuum. You probably have a return with square corners, it so, then just cut in a hole to house the 6X 14 grill.
 
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