Is it OK to cover basement vent


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Old 01-23-13, 09:47 PM
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Is it OK to cover basement vent

I have an unfinished basement. There is a large register directly above the heat exchanger that pumps warm air in to my basement. Although this is nice (if your in the basement), I need that heat in the rest of the house!

Is this designed so that your furnace has a positive pressure? The inspector that looked at my house said he would cover it up, as he thought there is enough positive pressure in the ambient air. Also the basement is well vented to the outside.

Anyway, it's covered up (see attached picture). But I wanted to get some thoughts if this is OK, and what other people recommend.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 01:25 AM
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Putting a register directly in the plenum is the wrong way to get heat into a basement. Registers serving a basement should be connected to the trunk line with round pipe.

As for whether you can safely close it - it depends on the duct system. If the ducts get warm but not hot to the touch with the opening closed, you can safely keep it closed.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 03:42 AM
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You also said the basement is well vented to the outside. If that is intended to be an air source for your furnace you might want to look into a combustion air conversion that draws the air from outside. But first explain what "vented to the outside" is in reference to.

Bud
 
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Old 01-24-13, 11:41 AM
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You also said the basement is well vented to the outside. If that is intended to be an air source for your furnace you might want to look into a combustion air conversion that draws the air from outside. But first explain what "vented to the outside" is in reference to.
Bud - The combustion air for the furnace is taken directly from outside on the side of the house. In addition, there is a large pipe that just goes outside I am assuming to provide fresh air to the basement (probably code?). See picture.

I was just wondering what the thought behind putting a large register here.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 11:45 AM
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Putting a register directly in the plenum is the wrong way to get heat into a basement. Registers serving a basement should be connected to the trunk line with round pipe.

As for whether you can safely close it - it depends on the duct system. If the ducts get warm but not hot to the touch with the opening closed, you can safely keep it closed
Thanks for your reply.

The duct is not hot to the touch with it patched up, so I think I am good.

Here is a follow up question: When I go to finish the basement, is it better to run supply lines toward the ground and have the ac/heat come out by the floor, or is the ceiling/top of wall better? I've seen both in finished basements.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 11:49 AM
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In a basement, heating is more of a concern than cooling, so the registers will work better to evenly heat the space the closer they are to the floor.
 
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Old 01-24-13, 03:26 PM
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Floor is best.

In basements, regardless of where the vents are located, return air near the floor is a must.
 
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Old 01-25-13, 12:35 AM
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In basements, regardless of where the vents are located, return air near the floor is a must.
Why is that? You will be sucking in cooler air?
 
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Old 01-25-13, 05:56 PM
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Yes - cool air tends to pool in basements near the floor due to natural convention and air leakage. Cold air leaks into basements/lower floors and leaks out from the higher floors.

It's more important if the vents are on the ceiling.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 08:30 AM
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If you remove a heat source from the basement you make reduce the temperature of the coldest point along the water supply line below freezing. Remember it is not the average temp in the basement but the lowest temperature along the pipes the water is exposed to that freezes pipes.

On the other hand that opening may have been made for an older furnace that drew air from a window in the basement. which allowed cold are in. That may not be an issue with your current system.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 11:14 AM
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Floor is best.

In basements, regardless of where the vents are located, return air near the floor is a must.
My unfinished basement in WNY has 4 vents going to it. All are damped closed, and I have capped one because it gets too warm in the basement.
There are NO (0) returns.

Is that okay, poor practice, or some kind of code violation?
 
 

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