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Old 02-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #1
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Cold air return in basement


Hello,

I have a high efficiency furnace, which is vented out the side of my house as well as a power vent natural gas water heater. Is it ok to install (2) cold air returns in my basement?

I currently have (6) supply vents but no returns.

Thanks,

John

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Old 02-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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Cold air return in basement


Sorry for the multiple posts. I was having a problem with my browser.

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Old 02-19-2012, 09:42 PM   #3
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Cold air return in basement


Any other fuel burning appliances in the basement areas you wish to put the returns?
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:52 PM   #4
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Cold air return in basement


No, there are no other fuel burning appliances. The water heater and furnace are the only things in the basement, and the are on the other side f a cinder block wall. My basement is split in half the long way by a cinder block wall.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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Cold air return in basement


Shouldn't be an issue then, can you get into a wall cavity to draw from the floor level, or are you thinking about just cutting into the side of the return duct?
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:07 PM   #6
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Cold air return in basement


I was planning on cutting into the main return line in two different spots. Then come down the cinder block wall. Then I will frame around it.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:19 PM   #7
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Cold air return in basement


Sounds like a good plan, basement returns can make it a lot more comfortable.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:25 PM   #8
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Cold air return in basement


That's what I've been told. What size should the return line be? 6"
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:31 PM   #9
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Cold air return in basement


Depends how big of a box you want to make and how close you are to the furnace. You could put in a rectangular duct like 4x10, then you don"t have as large of a box out. You may want to put on a larger register (6x10) to reduce velocity noise.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #10
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Cold air return in basement


Ok. If I cannot come off the side can I come off the top, then over, then down the wall?
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:32 PM   #11
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Cold air return in basement


You can, if that's your plan then you may be better off with the round duct as it will be easier to work with.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:53 PM   #12
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Cold air return in basement


An important factor to consider is the overall condition and humidity level of the basement. If this is a raw, dirty, sewer/plumbing stack issues or humid basement I would not recommend pulling return air from the basement. Contaminants and high humidity levels can be drawn into the system and pose other problems in the occupancy space. Some municipalities also do not approve return air from uninhabitable spaces. You should check local Code requirements.
The best and legitimate option is to pull return air from the actual occupancy space. This provides better air circulation, reduces air stratification, increases comfort levels and reduces energy consumption because the space is heated quicker. Pulling return air from the occupancy space is even more important during cooling months.
And NO a 6" duct won't cut it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:04 PM   #13
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Cold air return in basement


I was assuming this was a conditioned space seeing as he has 6 supplies. Don't know why he would be considering doing the work if he didn't plan on using the space. Also don't want to cause a big change in his airflow situation on the main floor, that's why 2-6" returns would make a noticeable impact to the basement if he has none, but shouldn't be enough to mess up the current main floor returns.

I may be way off, but this seems like pretty reasonable advice so far. If anyone wants to get in on it go for it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:09 PM   #14
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Cold air return in basement


The rest of the house uses 6" returns. I will be installing platon on the floor and walls to eliminate the chance for mold and humidity.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:16 AM   #15
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Cold air return in basement


After you install your new returns. Leave the basement door slightly open. Run the system. See if the door blows open or closed, or doesn't move at all. If it blows open, you need more return, if it closes, you have too much return in the basement. If it doesn't move at all, oil the hinges. LOL. If it doesn't move, good chance you have have very close to the amount of return you need for the amount of supplies in the basement.

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