My sister's relatively new house had vents near the ceiling, and vents
near the floor. They also had a plastic cover, one cover for every pair
of vents. In the summer, they covered the lower vents and warm air
from near the ceiling was drawn into the vents. In the winter, they
covered the upper vents, and the lower vents worked like the typical
cold air return. I never looked at the ducting, but in houses I have
looked at, the returns just dump the air into the basement, where it is
heated or cooled, depending on the season.
I just had a new system installed, and asked about the cold air returns,
which is all I have and are ducted to about a foot from the basement
floor. The installer said they could be cut off a bit higher, but he
didn't think it would make a lot of difference. When we bought this
house the wood floors were covered with wall to wall carpet. When I got
around to removing that to refinish the floors, I found a 2 foot by 2
foot hole, which had been filled with plywood. There are a couple of
ducts crossing the hole, so I can't duct it to the basement floor as an
extra cold air return. I put a nice cast iron grill in the hole for
aesthetics, and to keep me from falling through the hole. I'm curious
how the hole came to be there. Perhaps the original coal burning
furnace was under there, and the house was reducted when they switched
On Friday, June 6, 2014 5:10:07 PM UTC-4, Not@home wrote:
hased has fake cold air returns. Vents are there (high on walls) but at flo
or level they are sealed shut with wood. Wondering if this has happened to
anyone else and if inspection/old owners should have discovered/disclosed i
nformation. Essentially, the second floor of our house has no AC. No issue
with first floor/basement.
This is without regard to whether the basement is finished living space
or not? If it's an uninsulated, unfinished basement, this would seem
to be a significant source of energy waste. NYC area here and my basement
is 55 in winter and I don't want to be paying to heat it. This must be
a regional thing, because I've never seen it here.
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