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Old 03-29-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
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rearranging ducts


I am looking to finish my basement. I have 2 ducts that are impeding on height. there is a 10x12 supply duct and 4" round return air duct.

I want to reroute the 4" round. It is possible that I may have to make a "trap" i know this is a no no on plumbing vents but what about return air?

the 10x12...can i simply install a different size so long as it has the same cross sectional area (i.e. a 8x15)? to gain head clearance?

Anyone in MA have a recommendation for a sheet metal shop?

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Old 03-29-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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rearranging ducts


Transitioning from your 10x 12 to a shallower duct should be no problem, standard widths for your square area should be 8x16 which you could likely pick up at Home Depot, but getting the transition piece may be a bit trickier. The 4" round - is it a fresh air intake or just piped to a dedicated area of the house?

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Old 03-29-2011, 01:29 PM   #3
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Thanks! The 4" is piped to a dedicated area.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:32 PM   #4
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rearranging ducts


you shouldn't have any problems creating a trap then, if you were concerned about additional resistance you could increase to 5". It seems like you can always use a bit more return air, just don't take it out of the furnace room or a bathroom/kitchen.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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rearranging ducts


Now that that the first couple questions are answered here is the next. Obviously the finished basement it will not be used all of the time. To heat it I would like to branch off of the existing "trunk line" and install a register in a drop ceiling. Is there anything like an electric damper that i can buy such that i can shut off the flow of air to the basement when it is not being used? any idea where i can buy it?
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
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rearranging ducts


Sure there are motorized zone dampers available in all different sizes for round duct as well as rectangular duct. You may have trouble making this work with your current system without going into a zoning system. (which will get costly) You would be able to buy the dampers at a HVAC distributor. (some will and some won't sell to the general public)

I would just run some 5" runs from the main trunk to the basement rooms you want to heat and put in some screw in type diffusers that you would just turn to open when you wanted to use the area and shut off later. If it is only going to be used from time to time.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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rearranging ducts


do you know of anything that would work of a solenoid or a low voltage switch that is either open or closed? I don't need it to work off of a thermostat.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:06 PM   #8
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If your only going to use the basement once in a while. Your better off with electric baseboard. Since often, the furnace won't be running to heat the main living area when you decide to suddenly use the basement.

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