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Old 12-28-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
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Duct work in basement?


Hello gang. Just found this site while trying to research how I should run ducts in my basement. I'm building a rec room that will be about 20' x 25'.

Right now there is a vent cut in the side of the main return, and I'm not sure if it should be left up high or run down the wall to return cold air off the basement floor?

There are also two heat vents pointing down into the room from the joist pockets above on either side of the room.

Maybe the heat should be run down the wall and the cold left up high?

Any ideas?

Thanks, Jim

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Old 12-28-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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As long as your supplies throw the air all the way to the floor, won't matter where the return is.

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Old 12-28-2010, 08:31 PM   #3
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Duct work in basement?


That is true as long as the furnace is running. If the fan is not continuous, the cold air will collect and stratify, cooling everything in the area until the fan kicks in and feebly tries to collect the cold air and warm the area.

I have a two level townhouse with an open stairway and run the fan fan continuously (variable speed) to minimize the temperature difference (2 degrees max in the end of winter with -20F nights) between the living levels. All the returns in the low level are at floor level for maximum collection/circulation. If they were high returns, the area would be useless from a comfort standpoint. This is in a cold winter climate, but with minimum exposure in terms of outside walls. - In the summer, with AC, the low returns are a bigger comfort benefit for the upper level.

Dick
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:52 AM   #4
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Duct work in basement?


Thanks guys. I may just leave them all high, If there is not any great reason to run them down the wall. I have been told before that it is best to run the fan full time. It is not variable speed though and I don't like the idea of running it full 24/7, so I try to run it as much as possible and give it the odd break by flipping it to auto every once in a while.

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Old 12-29-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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24/7 with a standard motor. Can increase your electric bill by 15 to 45 bucks a month. Depending on motor size.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:03 AM   #6
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Duct work in basement?


I've been thinking about this a little more. It should be fairly simple to tap into the cold return and run it down the wall to draw from near the floor. Would this create a more optimum heating situation?
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jimmmy View Post
I've been thinking about this a little more. It should be fairly simple to tap into the cold return and run it down the wall to draw from near the floor. Would this create a more optimum heating situation?

If your returns on the first floor are low returns. it often makes for a good path for all the cold air to fall into the basement, and make the basement floor very cold.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:58 PM   #8
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That is something I've always been curious about. I live in a 3 bedroom bungalow, in the main hall there is a large return (low) and in each of the bedrooms there is a smaller return up high. I've been wondering what the theory is. How is that set up going to affect the basement.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:00 PM   #9
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As long as your supplies throw the air all the way to the floor, won't matter where the return is.
I don't know if there is a proper way to check, but I did check with my hand and it feels like the heat is throwing all the way to the floor.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:41 AM   #10
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The large low main return will allow the coolest air during off times to drop to the basement.

If the basement's return is high. It is minimized. And what does come down, mixes with the warmer basement air, and you don't notice it too much.

If the basement return is low, and the supply high, then the coolest air will drop to the flow of the basement, and the warmest air will rise through the supply to the highest floor pretty quickly. Requiring you to run the fan continuously to be able to keep the basement some what warm.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I don't know if there is a proper way to check, but I did check with my hand and it feels like the heat is throwing all the way to the floor.
Take a piece of tissue, fasten it to the bottom step of a foot stool. Place it under a register, and see if the tissue moves when the blower is running during a heat cycle. If it does, your air is blowing to the floor.

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