Can I use basement air to cool house?

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My house stays cool without air conditioning even with the heat of summer. Is this a good sign, or is my house going to be hard to heat this winter?
Anyway, it actually feels like the basement is air conditioned. I'd like to figure out a way to pull the air from the basement upstairs. Is it possible to install some type of fan on the cold air returns (from my forced air gas furnace)? I'd have make some type of access door, so I could remove the fans in the winter when I would actually be using the furnace. Do they already make some type of system to do this?
Steve
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You say your house stays cool without AC and then you ask if you can use the cooler air in the basement to cool it. I don't understand.
BTW if you home feels comfortable in the summer without AC I would tend to think it will do well in the winter as well.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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On Wed, 20 Aug 2003 09:22:00 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

I think he'd like it cooler :-)
You can use the hot air system to (re)circulate the air in the basement. But, there are lots of considerations. Once is that the basement air is cool but moist - you don't necessarily want that moisture upstairs where it's hot. You will need some duct work, unless you want to study for a long time you should have someone who knows HVAC design that. You need something that can be switched seasonally unless you plan to heat the basement.
There are duct fans you can buy and perhaps install in a custom piece of duct unrelated to the heating system. Don't forget to provide a return path - or at least open the basement door. You can also buy some "room to room" in-wall fans and maybe do something interesting with one of those. You have to move a lot of air... I don't know if it's worth it.

Yes, it indicates good insulation. Consider a whole house fan to cool things even better at night during the hot months, then close it up in the morning.
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Strange assumption, or maybe you never lived in the north. Summer time high 80, summer time low 55, (cool basement don't really need ac). Winter time high -10, winter time low -30 --the whole house freezes, so you better have a source of heat.
Joseph Meehan wrote:

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I live in the north, but the writer said "My house stays cool without air conditioning even with the heat of summer." If the house is cool, why bother with additional attempts to cool it?
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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One important concern is this: ............ If the walls of the basement are below dewpoint of the air that you are bringing into the basement, you will get condensation on the walls and floor, causing mold and other undesirable effects.. If you are able to use this setup and provide any appreciable amount of cooling to the rest of the house, the chances are pretty high you will have condensation and mold problems, otherwise if the walls and floor are at a high enough temperature that they will always be above dewpoint chances are that very little cooling will take place.
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john williamson wrote:

I don't think that condensation and mold growth would be much of a concern. More likely that after a few days the basement would warm up and the whole house would be warm.
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Re: Can I use basement air to cool house? Group: alt.home.repair Date: Fri, Aug 22, 2003, john williamson wrote: One important concern is this: ............ If the walls of the basement are below dewpoint of the air that you are bringing into the basement, you will get condensation on the walls and floor, causing mold and other undesirable effects.. If you are able to use this setup and provide any appreciable amount of cooling to the rest of the house, the chances are pretty high you will have condensation and mold problems, otherwise if the walls and floor are at a high enough temperature that they will always be above dewpoint chances are that very little cooling will take place. -------------------------- George Cawthorn
I don't think that condensation and mold growth would be much of a concern. More likely that after a few days the basement would warm up and the whole house would be warm.
++++++++++++
"I don't think", "More likely"..........................
john wrote:
I am not guessing, I know it happens, having seen it and understood it.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (X) wrote in message

I have a feeling the air in the basement is a little more damp than you'd like. If you really want to circulate air between the main floor and the basement, I would suggest getting a radon test first. It's not the kind of thing I want to put into the main living area if you have high levels.
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030820 0847 - Drummer of The Vibe wrote:

Yes, you should get a Radon check anyway. To circulate air from the basement to the rest of the house, close off the return air vents in the upper part of the house, and open just the ones in the basement. Then keep the doors open to the rooms upstairs and down to the basement so that the airflow can circulate down the basement stairs. This whole circulatory system will dry out the damp basement air and create a balance throughout the house. Of course, all this should be done with all of the windows closed.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net said...

You'll choke the system that way. You should never close off more than a couple of supplies at a time.
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sure you can, turn on your furnace blower (heat off)...........................unfortunately though, its moist air! YUCK in the summer.
-- read and post daily, it works! rosie
new virus: Sobig.F http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/ snipped-for-privacy@mm.html

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What you are describing is one of the standard ideas to improve the energy efficiency of american houseing - if it could be made practical for the masses.
The basement is cooler because the ground around it is cooler. Rock has a tremendous heat capacity compared to air, but the thermal conductivity is small too. What this leads to is that by the time the summer heat works its way down the season has changed. It is said that if you were to stick a thermometer in the ground at a depth of about 12 feet below the surface the temperature would be highest in the winter and coolest in the summer - because of the time lag of the heat working its way down.
Of course - if you pump the cold air upstairs replacing it with warm air downstairs the basement will be warmer, and the rock & walls will heat faster...

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I'd start simply by removing my attic access panel and putting a fan in the place of the panel to suck the air out of the top floor into the attic (which does have vents to the outside).
Rufus

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

It may be the opposite. If it stays cool during the summer, it may be keeping the heat out very well during summer, which may mean it will keep the heat in during winter.

effect of the earth on basement walls. After a few years, our furnace died and we installed one with a fan that circulated air through the ducts 24/7. We didn't notice that it cooled the house much, but we did notice that it warmed the basement.
Rick
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That's exactly the way to do it.
Nice post.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Cat...the OTHER white meat!
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On 20 Aug 2003 00:16:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (X) wrote:

Probably not in the Winter. But you'll probably have unusual situations in the intermediate seasons...Fall and Spring.
More than likely, in the Spring the house will still be cooler than the outside...so you might wind up using the heat a little longer...at least in the early morning hours.
And in the mid to late Fall, the inside will be warmer than the outside...so you'll be using the heat less.

If its a forced air system, Steve, you already have a fan. Just turn it on...and take the door off the furnace on that side. You may need to take the filter out...but I'd try it with it in first.
Good luck.
P.S. Moisture won't be a problem...nor will Radon.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Cat...the OTHER white meat!
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wrote:

And the air gets back to the basement, how ?

The basement moisture will be transferred to the upper floors. That might not be great in hot humid weather.
Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said...

If it is damp and musty in the basement and that is your air source then the air brought upstairs will be damp and musty. Sure, it will dilute because of the mixing with the upstairs air, but it will still be low quality air.
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Or, depending on the setup, open a large window, the highest in the house and open the basement/kitchen door and a downstairs window/door facing a breeze. You will get natural convection. Some energy efficient houses are now being built with a stack(tower) to induce better convection.
M Hamlin

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