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Old 02-20-2020, 01:23 PM   #16
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Re: Why don't return air registers have levers?


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You could look into doing a zoned system, but individual room zoning isnít an option.
You can do individual room control with a VRF system but thatís huge $$$$.
With your old oil furnace, youíve kinda got what you got.
Basement return is likely not to code. Is the basement finished/conditioned?
Basement is unfinished. I haven't looked into zones but maybe an upstairs and downstairs would be nice. How do you prevent the condensation issue with zoned rooms? Seems like this could also happen with mini-split systems which are becoming popular.
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:28 PM   #17
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Re: Why don't return air registers have levers?


Individual zoned rooms are rare. Even with VRF. So it’s not really a standard practice of what to do.
Most residential construction isn’t designed for individual room zoning anyway. There’s no real reason to do it and the return from the initial cost of doing such a system would be non-existent.
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:31 PM   #18
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Re: Why don't return air registers have levers?


Is your basement conditioned? As in insulated and supplied with conditioned air?
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:36 PM   #19
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Re: Why don't return air registers have levers?


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Is your basement conditioned? As in insulated and supplied with conditioned air?
Hard to say... it's below grade, surrounded by stone and brick on 3 sides but is open to a crawl space at the back (which is below grade, but may have some big leak points.. I've yet to explore it). I'd say there is some air infiltration but it's pretty good. One issue is the heat pump water heater sucks any warm air out of the basement. Radiant heat from the furnace and ductwork provides some warmth. Anyway, this will all be fixed when I add returns to the rooms and stop sucking it from the basement.
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:51 PM   #20
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Re: Why don't return air registers have levers?


I’d imagine your return air isn’t to code, and is creating a huge waste of energy pulling basement air in, that’s open to a crawl space.
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:55 PM   #21
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Re: Why don't return air registers have levers?


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Iíd imagine your return air isnít to code, and is creating a huge waste of energy pulling basement air in, thatís open to a crawl space.
Yep, the open basement return is the "low hanging fruit" in this optimization project. Zoning would be sweet but as you say the implementation cost may never be recouped by the efficiency gain. The other big gain will be switching to a high efficiency gas furnace.
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:02 PM   #22
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Re: Why don't return air registers have levers?


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Yep, the open basement return is the "low hanging fruit" in this optimization project. Zoning would be sweet but as you say the implementation cost may never be recouped by the efficiency gain. The other big gain will be switching to a high efficiency gas furnace.
The main gain of removing your old furnace is you can size it properly. That current furnace is enormous. Very doubtful you need anything that big.
Will you be using LP or natural gas?
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