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Cold air return too cold...

2328 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Bud9051
Quest: I want to keep the cold air from my cold air return from freely flowing into my utility room downstairs.

Background: When I finished my basement a couple years ago, I had to add a cold air return. The 6" (or 8", can't remember) flexible insulted duct runs inward between the joists, then 10 feet in it dips under the joist between the HVAC ducting and runs back towards the outer wall. The run may be about 25' in all. Then on a shelf above the washer and dryer I have a bucket that the cold air returns terminates in. I heard this prevented the cold air from freely flowing in.

However, i want to finish the ceiling in the utility room and hook the cold air return up to a ceiling vent. i believe this will allow the cold air to freely flow. Can I put something to block the cold air from freely flowing but allow it to flow when the furnace is on? If I put a vent with louvers like a dryer vent to the outside, will that open when the furnace is on? How about just putting a cloth at the end? Will that stop the cold air from freely flowing?

Any suggestions?

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I have something similar in my 30 year old townhouse/quad home and so do well over 1000 homes surrounding me.

The home has no make-up air for combustion, which is fine because a ducted high efficiency furnace could not be justified. Mine has a insulated flexible duct up to the roof and end down in a 5 gallon pail. The concept works well because it creates a siphon when the furnace draw starts up for combustion air. The key is a good siphon depth (pail on the floor) that is not disturbed. Th air actuall(naturally) goes down because it is heavier. Your circuitous long route for you air source could be a problem.

My utility room is in the finished basement that also contains a washer, drier, water heater and a refrigerator, consequently the door is open to the finished area where the TV room/office is and there is never a temperature problem there. - We do run the furnace fan 24/7 from Nov to Apr to maintain the circulation and uniformity in a multi level home with an one stairway.

Our highest gas bill was $89, which is not bad for a 3 bedroom unit.

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