AC Returns In Basement

This is a continuation of a thread I started a couple of weeks ago...
Recap - I mentioned that my basement was much cooler than the rest of my house, even with the basement AC vents closed. I asked about cutting a whole in the return trunk to move some of the cooler air upstairs. The consensus was that if I got my return air from the basement, I would be limiting the movement of air in the other rooms.
The last question I asked was never answered, so I'm giving it another shot:
If I were to *open* the basement vents *and* add a return in the trunk, wouldn't the basement now be just like any other room? Would that help to balance the temperatures across the 3 floors?
Thanks!
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That's true in a sense. If you open a return vent in the basement, then theoretically your return vent upstairs would not pull as much air, thus limiting movement of air. But I have a return vent in the basement at the base of my combo furnace&a/c unit and I keep it open because it takes out the humidity in the basement, and I don't notice any real compromise in my return upstairs.

No, I would not open the basement vents because then you are robbing your vents upstairs of airflow. The cold air in your house will naturally migrate down the the basement. And the basement is the coolest part of your house. I would still put in a return grill that is adjustable so you can experiment with it. You might find it actually helps if you have a humid basement.
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wrote:

I think this is more than a "can I equalized" temps, but what do you want to do? Is your basement occupied? If not, then why spend money conditioning the air to it?
Is the thermostat on everyfloor? If not, often it's differcult to equalize temps completely over floors. (might try running fan often).
Is your basement humid? If so, your AC will work harder to remove the moisture than cool down the living spaces.
See.... how there are more questions than answers. ;)
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.Info
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I insulated my ducts in the basement, before it was to cold.
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- - Is your basement occupied? If not, then why spend money conditioning - - the air to it?
The basement is not "occupied" per se, but it is used frequently (laundy, bathroom, workshop, etc).
However, the second part of that question why I started this thread. I don't want to spend money conditioning the air to it, but it is happening anyway. Since my basement is 4 - 5 degrees colder than the first floor, I feel that I am wasting money by having all that cold air downstairs. I was hoping that a cold air return in the basement would cause the blower to recirculate the cooler air to the rest of the house, thus turning off the thermostat sooner.
- - Is the thermostat on everyfloor? If not, often it's differcult to - - equalize temps completely over floors. (might try running fan often).
I'm not looking to specifically equalize temps completely over all floors, I'm just trying to recoup some of the cooler air that spending all it's time hanging out in the basement. BTW - The fan runs 24-7 when the AC is on.
- - Is your basement humid? If so, your AC will work harder to remove the - - moisture than cool down the living spaces.
No, the basment is not any more humid than the rest of the house...no moisture problems since I live on top of a sandy hill with great drainage.
- - See.... how there are more questions than answers. ;)
See....how I answered them all? ;-)
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Once you start circulating air thru the basement, it will no longer stay cool. Basements are typically cool because they are well insulated, not because they have any inherent cooling capability. What you suggest will increase, not decrease your cooling costs.
Don Young
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There is a Central unit for both floors located in the basement. When I bought the house the top floor had a return air duct located upstairs. When the the temp reached the hi 90s or even 100 the best i could get was 88 to 85 i call the AC pros and they said that my units was under sized and wanted 8k$ for a better AC unit. I theorized that if the basement was naturally cooler that if I pulled the return air directly out of the basement that the return air would be pulled down the stairs and cool before it was processed in the AC unit. This tuned out to be true I no longer have to run my basement HVAC an the upstairs runs a cool 72F.
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