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Old 10-26-2010, 04:47 PM   #1
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tapping into existing HVAC for basement


Hey all,

I have a 2 story home with a basement. Two units. One heats/cools the second floor. One heats/cools the first floor. But the previous owner also had 1/2 of the basement completely finished, and ran off this downstairs unit for this finished room. Thermostats are on second floor and first floor.

Presently, the whole system throughout works fine. I don't recall which is which, but the units are 2.5 and 3 ton.

Now, I'm planning to finish (or at least use while I'm finishing) the other 1/2 of the basement. My home office which I'll use every day will be down there - and a 35 degree Atlanta winter is coming.

This unfinished half is insulated from the outside (aside from the exposed concreate foundation walls). There are doors to the finished side which I could leave open or closed.

So for the short term, I'm wondering if I can simply tap into the exposed ducts in the unfinished side ceiling with a few vents. Presently, the only return is in the finished side. Maybe I need to add a small return on the unfinished side as well short term? I'm concerned that perhaps this will throw off the entire house as this one system also does the first floor.

Longer term - I do plan to finish this side of the basement. We cannot afford a new HVAC unit yet, but prior to finishing, I did hope to at least run the proper ducts prior to drywall (perhaps with some dampered until a more powerful unit is placed?). Then when we do replace the unit, the ducts are already in place. I have no idea whether at that point a single system would run both the basement and first floor, perhaps even zoned.

So my second question is if rather than my short term solution above, whether I should hire an HVAC guy to just do this duct work now. Then open a few to heat the unfinished side for the short term.

Thanks!

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Old 10-26-2010, 06:32 PM   #2
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tapping into existing HVAC for basement


Good chance your current unit is oversized enough that it can handle the basement.

Zoning is probably your best option.

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Old 10-27-2010, 01:01 AM   #3
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tapping into existing HVAC for basement


Thanks for the response. For the short term, could I tomorrow just stick a few vents into the existing ducts (that lead to the first floor or other finished side of basement) on the presently unfinished side to get a little heat in there? I could remove these vents later. Or would this wack my whole balance?

Or again (short term only) - could I install perhaps two new duct runs off the main to heat this area temporarily? And would I also need a temp return?
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:12 AM   #4
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tapping into existing HVAC for basement


You would also need a return.

How well it will heat is not possible to say from here.. try it. If it works, it works. If it doesn't. then you know you need to redo it.
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