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allthumbsdiy 09-10-2012 09:50 PM

Return air in the basement?
I saw this thread ( and had some extra questions.

What I have:

1. Central air/heat (natural gas; basement)
2. Hot water heater (natural gas; right next to furnace in the basement)
3. There are no return registers in the basement (other than gaps)
4. Basement door usually closes when the furnace blower kicks in (for ac and heat)


Do I need a dedicated return air register in the basement that will be remodeled? If I decide to bring in fresh air from the outside, do I bring just bring in unconditioned air and dump it in the basement, or filter it and/or pipe it to the furnace?

My original post ( started to address the basement door closing when my blower fan kicked in oo I started sealing up all my supply and returns (there are gaps as large as 1" on some panned joist end caps), using mastic wherever possible.

I also planned on posting a detailed diagram of my duct layout to get an advice about adding a return air from the first floor.

My Trane XL80 is probably reaching its end of life cycle but would like to prolong it as much as possible.


Pirulo 09-15-2012 01:04 AM

It is a good idea to have some air drawn from outside at the utility room, specially if your furnace/water heater uses that air for combustion (older models normally). New ones (if properly installed) burn gas only using outside air. If you house is old, you have lots of cracks/gaps where you are getting already fresh air.

beenthere 09-15-2012 06:36 AM

When you close off the area the furnace and water heater are in, you will need combustion air. Bring it in from the outside to that area only. Then you can add a return to the finished basement.

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