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Old 07-24-2010, 08:30 PM   #1
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No cold air return in home


I am looking at purchasing an older home. There's no cold air return, it just sucks air from the basement.

Is this a major problem? From what I have read it can cause heating/cooling inefficiencies in the home and extra costs with the bills.

Otherwise I really love the house, and would like to purchase it.

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Old 07-24-2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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No cold air return in home


It can cause fumes to be drawn from the chimney.
Put your other floors into a positive pressure, and push conditioned air out of the house, raising your heating and cooling bill.

Probably isn't too hard to run a return to your first floor.

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Old 07-24-2010, 11:14 PM   #3
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No cold air return in home


Basement return is great in the summer since you can bring the cool basement air upstairs.

In the winter though, it's probably more bad then it's good. I would add a return upstairs. If you do keep it as is, just make sure the basement is not sealed from upstairs. If there's a door, remove it or add a vent on it.

In fact a very cheap way out is just cut a hole in the floor near where the furnace is and add a return grill.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:34 AM   #4
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No cold air return in home


Most basements have high humidity. So bringing in basement air to the rest of the house in the summer can make you set your thermostat lower. To keep the humidity down so you can feel comfortable.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:35 AM   #5
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No cold air return in home


Even if you just cut a hole in the first floor floor and mount a grill there to provide the furnace return, that should be ducted directly to the furnace and not left open to the basement air.

In some houses, the space in the wall between two studs is a return air duct with appropriate grills in the wall as needed, and stud plates/stud caps cut away to let air come down from the second, third, etc. floors.

A problem that can arise with just recirculating basement air is radon gas, which finds it way into many basements in many regions of the country.

If a particular room or bedroom does not have its own return air duct, then the door has to be kept open to the hall in order to get good heating.
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