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Old 09-19-2007, 04:02 PM   #1
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Air Intake vents....do I need them in basement?


As I am finishing off my electrical, a thought came to mind about air intake vents.

I have them on the first floor and second floor, (I think they are called air intake vents, they have a grill in the front and are about a foot off the ground).

Do I need to have these in my basement also?


Thanks.

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Old 09-20-2007, 02:46 PM   #2
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Air Intake vents....do I need them in basement?


I would add them. Here's my reasoning:

When using AC, cool air will drop into the basement and if a return vent is available, it will re-circulate this air and have less load on the air conditioner. If the basement is to be used for living space, I would also consider adding a supply duct. Also depending on the tightness of basement construction, you could develop stagnated air if the basement is sealed off well from the rest of the house if you do not install return vents. I leave my basement door always opened for this reason.

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Old 09-20-2007, 11:08 PM   #3
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Air Intake vents....do I need them in basement?


Thanks for your help.

The cold air return duct, (I think that is what its called) is in the ceiling.
(On the first floor and second floor, they are approx. 1 foot off the floor with a grill in the front, at various spots in the house.)

But in my basement it is in the ceiling, so when I cover it with drywall, then my only thought is to cut a hole there and put a grill?

As Kuip. has advised me that it should be closer to the ground. In that case, I would have to carry the one down the wall?
I have also noticed, that on the sides of this air return that is in the ceiling in between the joists, there are a few one inch holes that have been drilled along the sides.

What is the purpose of this air return duct?

There is a door to the basement (from the first floor) that is kept closed most of the time.

thanks for your help.
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:49 AM   #4
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Air Intake vents....do I need them in basement?


The one inch holes may have been used for electrical wire. Returns are needed in any room of a house. Have you ever entered a room that was normally sealed off from air circulation and noticed a smell? Rooms do not smell fresh unless the air is circulated with occasional fresh air.
Your existing return in the ceiling should lead to a main return duct or enclosure that is attached to metal duct at some point.
Normally on upper floors, returns are located near the floor because cool air is more easily pulled down to the basement then warm air returns located near the ceiling. Less resistance to flow makes for better efficiency. In my house, I used both lower and upper returns in the summer and closed off the upper in the winter.
Your existing return in the basement ceiling is ok as it is, because I feel it would be a waste of time and materials to run duct to the floor and the air still would have to be picked up (drawn) up to the ceiling. So why bother?
In most installations, the main return duct runs along the basement ceiling either between the joists or across them and then it drops down to the intake of the furnace. I also have return grilles in my basement ceiling.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:49 AM   #5
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Air Intake vents....do I need them in basement?


There are two return air ducts in the ceiling.
One of them is above the heating ducts so I cannot get to it, and the other
I would be able to cut a hole in it.

I wonder if that would be sufficient?
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:00 AM   #6
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Air Intake vents....do I need them in basement?


rjordan392, you may provide some information which is against the code, in Toronto, the code requires you to open up return vent at the floor level with a big enough size at a open place... why I know that... discuss with the code people in the city when I doing my basement... they basically concerns only a few things and make sure that is done right, other things they don't care, return air/combusion air..etc are few of those.... scientifically, I don't really know why they have to at the ground level... but code wise speaking that is what required.... in a unfinished basement though... they don't care so it is at the ceiling...
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:14 PM   #7
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Air Intake vents....do I need them in basement?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yummy mummy View Post
There are two return air ducts in the ceiling.
One of them is above the heating ducts so I cannot get to it, and the other
I would be able to cut a hole in it.

I wonder if that would be sufficient?
I don't see why not. It was ok when the original furnace was put in. As for any codes, I only refer to them if they make sense and are not costly to install and do not affect the appearance of the room to make it look undesirable. Its your house; don't let codes have the final say in your remodeling as long as what your doing is safe. There is no danger in leaving the return vent at the ceiling level. New construction of house's may require the code to be followed, but you are remodeling and in the United States, you do not have to update anything (with few exceptions) because it met code when the house was built. But if you were to rip out the heating system and the overhead ductwork for return and supply, then that may be a differant matter and come under the code because thats not remodeling but a total replacement. All your doing is cutting out a hole in the ceiling where an existing return vent is.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:55 PM   #8
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Air Intake vents....do I need them in basement?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjordan392 View Post
I don't see why not. It was ok when the original furnace was put in. As for any codes, I only refer to them if they make sense and are not costly to install and do not affect the appearance of the room to make it look undesirable. Its your house; don't let codes have the final say in your remodeling as long as what your doing is safe. There is no danger in leaving the return vent at the ceiling level. New construction of house's may require the code to be followed, but you are remodeling and in the United States, you do not have to update anything (with few exceptions) because it met code when the house was built. But if you were to rip out the heating system and the overhead ductwork for return and supply, then that may be a differant matter and come under the code because thats not remodeling but a total replacement. All your doing is cutting out a hole in the ceiling where an existing return vent is.
I think I may end up doing that. Cut a hole in the return vent.
I don't think that this would pose any safety issues.
And as long as that is ok, then I'm good with that.

I also have a guy coming next week to replace a valve on my airconditioner.
So, I plan on asking him the question and see what he has to say.


Thanks very much.

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